Batch Control System Upgrade



Business Issue

The client had been experiencing a significant amount of downtime associated with an existing Fryma Suspension mixer equipped with a RSBatch control system.  An initial assessment of the downtime issues resulted in a list of recommendations to enhance the operability of the system.  The scope of this project is to implement these recommendations.

The goal of these recommendations was to improve the operation of the Batch Control System by: 

  • Providing Operator and Maintenance enhancements to facilitate the operation and troubleshooting of the system
  • Upgrading the system to the newer versions of the Rockwell Software to eliminate known issues

Project Summary

New production servers and workstations were needed to accommodate the RS Software upgrades.  During the project development, these servers and workstations were used for software development, testing and factory acceptance testing.  The new production system was then installed in the production area.

The implemented recommendations include the following:

  • Developing graphic displays to assist with troubleshooting including interlock screens and device status screens
  • Revising the alarm messaging and operator prompts to be more understandable to the maintenance and operations personnel
  • Enhancing Batch recipes to check status of equipment before proceeding through the next step
  • Removing unnecessary complex code and simplifying code to use built-in features
  • Include manual overrides for interlocks to assist during routine maintenance
  • Upgrade the RSView and RSBatch software to the latest versions
  • Complete a network analysis to improve system communications

Once the changes were implemented, validation testing was required to return the system to a validated state.

Scope Responsibility

The project team first conducted a review of the system running in production and determined the causes for common downtime issues.  A review of the network configuration and network traffic analysis was completed to determine if changes needed to be made in the network configuration. The resulting recommendations were then implemented and validated.

The project team was responsible for:

  • Project Management
  • Specifying, procuring, and configuring the new production servers and workstations
  • Conducting customer interviews to better define the operator prompts and alarm messaging
  • Installing and configuring the RS Software upgrades
  • Developing a design specification detailing changes to the software
  • Developing the test specification to validate all of the software and hardware modifications
  • Implementing and testing all of the software recommendations
  • Performing a Factory Acceptance Test
  • Reconfiguring the automation network
  • Developing an operator manual and completing the operator / maintenance training on the modifications
  • Installing the production system onsite
  • Completing and documenting all validation testing


System uptime increased. Time required to troubleshoot issues was reduced.