Delivering an Automation Network for a Fully Automated Milk Plant

Delivering an Automation Network for a Fully Automated Milk Plant
Crossmuller is also assisting in the project to deliver a second site at Erskine Park in Sydney’s west, which will service the New South Wales market.

Crossmuller Technology in conjunction with Belden were contracted by Murray Goulburn with designing and implementing a redundant wired and wireless network, capable of supporting 24x7 milk production plants with reliability, redundancy and performance as the key driving factors.

Hirschmann Involvement

Murray Goulburn chose Hirschmann products for this solution due to their proven reliability and performance in a number of their existing plants.

The network consists of 5 off MACH104 Layer 2 switches, 2 off MACH104 Layer 3 switches, and 15 BAT-R Wireless Access Points controlled by a WLC-25 Wireless LAN Controller.

The switches are connected in a ring configuration.

Functionality in Failure

The network architecture automatically fails over to a redundant path around the ring should a failure in the ring occur. In the event of a single failure in the fibre ring, traffic will automatically re-route via the alternate path. In the event of a switch failure, only devices connected to that switch will be inaccessible until it is returned to a functional state, while the remainder of the devices will still function normally.

Crossmuller undertook rigorous testing to ensure that the network was capable of withstanding many different types of failure conditions including physically disconnecting and removing power from equipment.

The wireless network is designed with coverage and redundancy in mind. Each physical area is serviced by access points which are running from multiple switches to ensure that there are no coverage black spots in the event of a failure.

The wireless access points are configured centrally by the WLC. This ensures consistent configuration across all wireless access points. Additionally, the WLC performs automatic spectrum analysis and channel choice to ensure the most optimum channel selection for each individual access point.

Each switch and access point is connected to a USB Flash Drive, which holds the saved configuration of that particular device. In the event that a device requires replacement, it’s a simple matter of removing the old device, installing the new device and re-connecting the USB Flash Drive. The saved configuration will automatically be loaded from the USB Flash Drive by the new device, coming online automatically with no configuration required.

Why Hirschmann over the alternatives?

  • Most Hirschmann devices are passively cooled and work very well in warm dusty environments

  • Hirschmann devices boot up, and fail-over very quickly

  • Hirschmann devices have a mean time between failure that many competitors cannot match

  • Industrial HiVision is a monitoring package which runs on Windows and gives a real-time graphical view of the wired and wireless network status

  • Hirschmann’s in-built diagnostics has been a god-send during implementation, allowing for fast and reliable troubleshooting

  • Hirschmann devices fully support open standards, and due to the vast number of vendor devices in use in the Murray Goulburn project it was absolutely imperative that inter-connectivity was seamless and reliable

  • How did Hirschmann and Belden help us deliver the Murray Goulburn solution?

  • Belden and their partners worked closely with Crossmuller in the design and implementation of the wired and wireless networks at several plants

  • Belden and their partners were very helpful in troubleshooting and remote assistance throughout the implement and testing phases of the project

Official Opening

On Thursday 3rd of July 2014 The Hon Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia and The Hon Dr Denis Napthine, Premier of Victoria, officially opened the plant at Laverton North, Victoria. The $80 million facility was supported by Coles and approximately 200 million litres of milk will be produced annually. It is said that the Laverton North site produces 50,000 litres of milk per hour.

You might also like these articles

Michael Kershaw, the Man Who Started it All!
Michael Kershaw, the Man Who Started it All!
3 minute read
The founder of Crossmuller retires after 30 years of operation. Here is how Crossmuller came to be and the highlights of Kershaw’s career.
Schneider Electric's Global Software Partner Summit
Schneider Electric's Global Software Partner Summit
2 minute read
This year, Schneider Electric’s Global Software Partner Summit was held at the Wonderware headquarters in Lake Forest, California in February.
Retail Meat Packing Facility Commissioning
Retail Meat Packing Facility Commissioning
3 minute read
Crossmuller was contracted by a leader in the Food Retail Industry to assist commissioning one of Australia’s largest fully automated meat packing facilities.