Plantwide Systems


Sterling Systems & Controls, Inc. offers complete customized plantwide systems and process control & automation system solutions for various industries. Examples: Food Processing/Manufacturing requires the control of a variety of different processes from start to finish; Animal Feed is produced for nearly every animal such as swine, poultry, cattle, horses; Pet Food Manufacturing for our dogs and cats; Miscellaneous Chemicals; and many other agricultural and industrial processes. Each incorporates many multiple process steps, and requires control and automation to optimize efficiency, consistency and profitability.

Animal Feed production is done in a Feed Mill. The term “Feed Mill” and the word “Feedmill” are used interchangeably. For example, Sterling Systems & Controls can provide plantwide systems for the Feed Mill, providing automation and control for individual aspects of the Feed manufacturing process (shown below). In addition, Sterling Systems & Controls can provide fully integrated plantwide systems as turn-key by working with our partner network.

The Sterling Systems & Controls automated batching systems are at the heart of many industrial bulk solids processing facilities, and definitely for Feed Mill automation solutions. Our WebCentral software is the central nervous system of a plantwide system. It allows for the management of Ingredients, Formulas, Bin Assignments, Schedules and other data tables in a batching process and control system right from your office desk, not necessarily on the plant floor. In addition, you can view and print historical batching and process data reports. PLC-based control systems are constrained by limited PLC memory. They hold a limited amount of data (Ingredients, Formulas, etc) at one time. WebCentral stores data in a Microsoft SQL Server (or SQL Express) database. A virtually unlimited amount of data can be stored. WebCentral monitors key processes, and batching data and alarm conditions in the automation system. It provides logging and historical analysis of this data. PLC’s and Control Systems are good at controlling equipment. Computers and Databases are good at managing data. WebCentral provides the means to bridge these two worlds. This provides a seamlessly integrated automation solution.

Plantwide Systems – Automation – Food, Feed, Other Industrial:

Plantwide Systems – Key Features:

  • Plantwide automation systems integrate into business systems with either proprietary or non-proprietary software.
  • Incorporates standard or custom features required by each process control application.
  • Accommodates Allen-Bradley, Wonderware, Intellution, and other industrial software packages.
  • Scheduling.
  • Formulation Management (ingredient batching applications).
  • Raw Material Management, Inventory and Usage.
  • Material Parameters (Tolerance, Feeder Speed, Jog, and Pre-act/Cutoff).
  • Product Safety – Raw Material Lot Tracking (Bar Code, RFID).
  • Process Validation (Bar Code, RFID).
  • Equipment Parameters (Scales, Mixer, Dry Ingredient Feeders, Liquid Meters).
  • Finished Batch Tracking.
  • Abnormal Condition Alarms and Tracking.
  • Remote Batching & Data Access Software (WebCentral).
  • Troubleshooting & Diagnostics Features (Local & Remote).
  • Least Cost Formulation Software Interfaces.
Receiving/Transfer System:
  • Receiving System Automation Screen (Feed Mill example).
  • Raw Ingredient Tracking.
  • Scale Integration.
  • Source Selection.
  • Destination Selection.
  • Auto Routing with Interlocks.
  • Equipment Monitoring for Abnormal Conditions.
  • Grinding Equipment Monitoring for Maximum Throughput.
  • Equipment Monitoring for Abnormal Conditions.

Grinding System:
  • Grinding System Automation Screen (Feed Mill example).
  • Pre-Ground Product Storage Routing To Grinding Bins.
  • Grinding Bins Level Control.
  • Feeder Speed Varied Automatically based upon Mill Load.
  • Grinding Equipment Monitoring for Maximum Throughput.
  • Equipment Monitoring for Abnormal Conditions & Run times.
  • Auto Routing of Ground Product.
Batching System:
  • Automated Batching System Screen.
  • Batching of Bulk Dry Ingredients, Powder Batching Systems, Bulk Liquid Ingredients,
    Minor Ingredient, Micro Ingredient, Bulk Bag Unloading.
  • Hand Add Addition Kitchen Systems and Hand Prompt Systems.
  • Scheduling.
  • Inventory of Raw & Finished Materials.
  • Tolerance Control.
  • Lot Tracking of Raw Materials.
  • Equipment Monitoring for Abnormal Conditions & Run times.
  • Auto Routing of Finished Feed.
Pelleting System (Feed Mill application):
  • Pellet Mill Automation Screen.
  • Amps.
  • No Roll Slip.
  • Pellet Mill Inlet Mash Temperature.
  • Steam Modulating Valve.
  • Lineator Roll Gap Software and I/O.
  • Equipment Monitoring for Abnormal Conditions & Run times.
  • Pellet Mill Setup Screens (password protected).
  • Parameter Storage for Operating Formula and Pellet Mill:
    • Operating instructions.
    • Run setpoints.
    • Amps.
    • Temperatures.
    • Speeds for the pellet mill.
  • Unique parameters Stored for Multiple Formulas.
  • Liquids can be controlled by the PELLET MILL workstation.
  • Liquids Added either at the Conditioner or Die.
  • Auto/Man – Operate Manually and Switch to Auto “on the fly”.
Loadout Systems:
  • Railcar/Truck Loadout Automation Screen (truck loadout shown here).
  • Scale Integration.
  • Shuttle Conveyors or Trolley Systems.
  • Multiple Compartment Filling.
  • Truck Tracking.
  • Customer Tracking.
  • Finished Product Tracking.

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