Food Additive Pilot Plant


Food & Beverage

Business Issue

Existing pilot plant was outdated and shared space with a manufacturing facility.  A new research facility was built to include an upgraded pilot plant.  Customer needed to upgrade equipment and provide centralized modern data acquisition for a variety of lab and scale-up equipment in a flexible environment.  Products are routinely manufactured with solvents and a control system capable of supporting a Class 1 Div 2 installation was required.

Large quantities of the products have high market value.  The #1 business driver is speed to market, where the first guy on the block gets 80% of the market share.

Project Summary

A DeltaV control system was installed with Foundation Fieldbus valves, instruments and I/O.  Equipment in the hazardous area were interfaced with intrinsically safe I/O.  Lab data was incorporated into the control system to support data historian functions.

Scope Responsibility

Cornerstone Controls was responsible for the following areas:

  • Project management of turnkey automation project.
  • Automation engineering, design, and development of DeltaV control system.  Systems included:
    • Portable Vessels
    • Batch Still
    • Pope Scientific Wiped Film Still
    • Niro Filtermat dryer with Automated CIP
    • Engineering Sciences Lab instruments
    • H.P. Gas Chromatograph
  • System commissioning and operator training.
  • Furnished Emerson control valves and instrumentation.
  • Design and furnished DeltaV control panels.
  • Design of intrinsically safe Fieldbus installation.
  • Extensive use of process historian for 24/7 remote monitoring of lab equipment.
  • 200 I/O including intrinsically safe Fieldbus  3 workstations, Continuous historian.


The customer is able to control, monitor and collect historian data on a number of lab processes and pieces of equipment from a central location.  The operation of hazardous scale-up reactors are controlled and monitored from a remote area.  The flexibility of the system has improved the customer’s speed to market.