Turnkey project for the improvement of the plant's automation, software and hardware storage centre, and the distribution of cereal.
Turnkey software project
Since its establishment in Ghent in 1968, Euro-Silo – a distribution and storage centre for grain and related products – has succeeded in continuously adapting to the growing demand for storage space in the market. The company has evolved from 18,000 mt at the start to 650,000 mt of storage space today – constantly improving and expanding its installations to meet that need. But of course the plant’s automation process, software and hardware have to evolve continuously too. That’s a project with AG Solution’s name on it.
“We were looking for a partner to guide us through the various adaptations of our automation process,” says Marnix Buysse, Technical Director for Euro-Silo. “AG Solution already had a lot of expertise in our sector – the bulk and grain industry – and we felt that was a strong plus-point. Furthermore, they had already shown that they could manage software automation projects successfully.”
First of all, AG Solution took responsibility for the pre-engineering and gave the company advice on the feasibility of projects in the areas of ROI, timing, selecting partners, and so on. Euro-Silo also relied on AG Solution’s know-how in the field of industrial IT. We first took care of the ICT infrastructure of the technical network: the Citrix server, SQL database server, file print server, MES server, remote access with DMZ zone, and so forth. We also defined the standards for implementing the process automation project.
In addition, AG Solution conducted a study concerning software that supports the operator in bulk handling tasks. Hundreds of routes make up the link between a product’s source and its destination. Up to 10 routes can transport material at the same time from A to B, from C to D, etc. And a route database, developed in SQL,determines the most appropriate routes for all of the transfer orders that the operator manages. The database takes into account, for example, minimal energy consumption, the availability of certain transport elements that must also be active in other routes, possible maintenance work on silos, product contamination, and so on.
“Thanks to their experience in the grain industry, AG Solution can sense what we need very well“, says Marnix. “They understand very quickly what problem we’re grappling with, and they devise solutions that are cost-effective as well as practical. In addition, they’re always available whenever we need advice or support.”