Our commitment to training, safe design and working practices, coupled with our extensive experience working across a range of industrial and civil sectors, ensures smooth and swift service no matter how complex the project.


The challenge

Our customer is one of world’s largest pet care companies manufacturing premium pet food brands 24 hours, 365 days per year. A new food colouring process had been developed to be more environmentally friendly by using natural water-based additives instead of synthetic based colouring. A new control system was required to manage this new and more complex process. The project was challenging due the uncertainty of the new technical process operational requirements, having to integrate into existing systems and a need to minimise production downtime.

Pet Foods Colour Additive Process Line

How we approached the problem

The IES team, working closely with the Project Engineers and other contractors thoroughly interrogated the brief to understand the scope of works and how best to cost-effectively design, manufacture, install and commission safely. All within a tight timeframe to minimise impact for production that would seamlessly integrate into the main factory high level Rockwell Factory Talk control system and provide the necessary production data for traceability requirements.

How IES went about it / implementing the solution:

The technical process solution utilised a Rockwell Automation ControlLogix PLC. The system was designed for maximum flexibility and functionality for installation and operation alongside active plant and baseline controls. With a safety performance level defined by the client, the solution was audited to meet the requirements laid down in BSEN 61849-1. Essential hygiene compliance was needed to meet the requirements of EU Regulation (EC) No 183/2005. In addition, certain criteria around compliance to Regulation (EC) No 1831/2003 – Additives for use in animal nutrition.

How we approached the problem

What was achieved / results:

A detailed project plan ensured all information and manufacturing proceeded on a scheduled basis and helped identify milestones and key dates within the project’s lifecycle. The installed solution was safely completed on a working food production factory environment and delivered on time to the client programme. The new control system meets the clients operational and performance requirements as well as the safety performance requirements laid down in BSEN 13849-1.

To record which colour has been placed in which colour vessel, a barcode scanner scans a QR code of a colour product. This information is then sent via the PLC to a higher-level SCADA system and is recorded, along with batch details, into a database for batch records allowing traceability of which colour has been used in which product.

Technical details

  • Rockwell Automation 1756-L72 ControlLogix PLC
  • Ethernet connection to 3 remote racks of Rockwell Flexbus modules with additional I/O
  • Rockwell Automation Panelview Plus 7 Colour Touchscreen HMI allowing:
    • start / stop procedures of the 6 colour vessel sequences
    • control of individual items of plant in a maintenance mode.
  • Barcode scanner with ethernet connection the PLC system using its own CBX800 data gateway