Located in the heart of Solvang’s Historic Danish Downtown is one of the Central Coast’s favorite watering holes – the Solvang Brewing Company. Known for delicious food, Danish tradition, and award-winning craft beer, their food and ales are carefully finished with special spices and ingredients.
Solvang Brewing Company guarantees fresh, high quality products. For this to happen, their beer operations require an accurate and reliable system for maintaining production. A Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system controls the brewing processes, which include: fermentation tank, temperatures, wort tank, temperatures, and variable frequency drives (VFDs) to control various mixers and pumps. With over seven ales, stouts, IPAs, Porters, and seasonal brews on tap, management of each brewing process requires the utmost organization, sequencing, and above all accuracy.
Historically, the SCADA system was installed and maintained by brewery staff. Recently, the system experienced random errors and anomalies with temperature readings. They sought the advice of Cannon’s Automation and Electrical Engineering Division. What was thought to be a straight-forward problem (inaccurate readings from the temperature probes), was actually the symptom of a four-fold problem.
- Grounding was inconsistent among the conduits, motors, tanks, and panels.
- Control wiring was installed in the same panel with high voltage wiring. EMF from the VFD and the converter legs created noise currents in the control loops, which threw off the instruments.
- The single-phase 120-volt to three-phase 380-volt converter failed while Cannon was trouble-shooting the system; this added to the randomness of problems seen in the system.
- One of the RTD cards in the PLC failed, likely due to the above mentioned power issues.
By methodically isolating each problem, and fully understanding the sequence which the system was to operate, Cannon’s staff resolved the issues. With the brew schedule dictating when the SCADA system could be serviced, Cannon’s engineering and automation technicians often worked in the evenings and on weekends.
Solutions for this project included upgrading the grounding for the system; rewiring and reprogramming portions of the Programmable Logic Controllers Ladder Logic and instrumentation loops; and separating the control wiring from the high voltage wiring.
- Upgrading the grounding for the system;
- Rewiring and reprogramming portions of the Programmable Logic Controllers Ladder Logic and instrumentation loops; and
- Separating the control wiring from the high voltage wiring.
- Solvang Brewing Company is now confident in their SCADA system. Their time is now focused on what their passion – brewing award-winning, craft beer.