PlantPax Batching Installation

August 9, 2016



The client is a manufacturer of naturally derived, biodegradable, non-toxic household cleaners, and they opened a new manufacturing facility in Chicago, IL.  They wanted an S88 batch process control system for the new facility.  Grantek teamed up with the local Allen Bradley distributor, Revere Electric, to provide a turnkey solution using S88 programming models and the PlantPAX library of process objects.


The batch control system would initially control five mix tank units with five ingredient storage tanks.  Each mix tank would need the ability topull ingredients from each of the storage tanks through a shared valve header.  The system would need to be modular, capable of easy expansion with additional mix tanks and storage tanks for future installations.  Also, the system needed to be fully automated and “Batch Ready.”  Grantek worked with Revere Electric to design the PLC code and HMI program using the PlantPAX library to control all devices.  The PLC code was written using S88 standards with equipment phases that may be duplicated to new units and integrated seamlessly with FactoryTalk Batch.


Grantek worked with the client to provide the PLC program and HMI application from a Functional Description.  The PLC program provided automated ingredient delivery from each of the storage tanks to each of the mix tank units.  A system queue was used to manage ingredient delivery through the shared valve header.  Additionally, Grantek programmed a mix proof valve header to direct batches from any mix tank to any of four possible production lines.

Along with using the PlantPAX library of process objects to control all devices, Grantek created custom equipment phase pushbutton objects and faceplates.  In order to perform a function, all interlocks needed to be satisfied with no faults present.  If all interlocks were not satisfied, the operator could view a popup display to determine exactly what conditions needed to be met or what faults needed to be cleared.  This addition made Grantek’s equipment phase operation behave similar to the PlantPAX device operation.

The client required HMI users with varying access levels and control.  Grantek was able to create custom users based on the PlantPAX suggested users.  Additionally, Grantek’s phase pushbutton objects were designed to grant similar permissions for phase control as defined in the PlantPAX library for individual device control.  HMI control was also limited by terminal location:  A HMI terminal would only provide control to units and equipment within line-of-sight of the terminal.  Grantek was able to provide this non-native feature to the FactoryTalk View SE application.

The system was designed using the S88 batch model.  All equipment operations were written as equipment phases using Rockwell’s Phase Manager.  Once a phase was tested for one unit (i.e. Agitation, Recirculation), the logic could be duplicated to similar units.  Using Rockwell’s PlantPAX object library and Phase Manager enabled quick commissioning.  The entire system was programmed and commissioned within four months.  Grantek was also able to test and commission equipment around the client’s startup schedule, allowing the client to ramp up production as equipment became available.

Revere and Grantek’s process control system allowed the client to meet the startup schedule for the new manufacturing facility.  Additional commissioning stages will install new storage tanks, mix units, and production lines, but the process will be as easy as duplicating existing equipment phases.  Programming the equipment phases using Phase Manager makes the system FactoryTalk Batch ready.  The client already has plans to quickly implement FactoryTalk Batch to execute recipes using the existing equipment phases.

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