Single cable technology: the future of wine automation

We’re in a business environment where plug and play equipment is becoming the magic bullet for those who are ready to embrace new technologies.

Every winery is unique, and considering new automation technology can sometimes feel overwhelming, how do you take the first step toward future proofing your processes without losing all the knowledge and formulas you’ve gained from the past?

Gone are the days of traditional, bespoke systems. The long drawn out process of commissioning customised panels, taking 16 weeks to deliver – this should be a thing of the past. Today’s age of fast connection and single touch operation capabilities, with standard networks and systems, will benefit your winery from the get go with: 

  • open network connectivity;
  • real time diagnostics;
  • expansion capabilities;
  • flexible process control;
  • automatic software updates; and
  • remote operating functions.
The example shows an IO-Link Ignition SCADA screen setup to show asset and
diagnostic data of an actuated butterfly valve.

A solution for everyone

When considering upgrading your systems to a fieldbus network or “smart winery” packaged solution, you’re embracing the now and the future.

So it doesn’t matter where you’ve come from, it’s where you’re going and who you’re on that journey with.
Interestingly, we were recently involved in a winery upgrade project. The winery met with their two contracted companies to discuss options and requested both a more traditional bespoke upgrade, as well as a field based option (in this case, IO-Link). The senior engineer of the winery said, “Initially, I thought the IO-Link option was going to be too expensive. It offered advanced diagnostics beyond the more traditional install. There were so many other advantages. I didn’t think it would even come within our budget”.

Surprisingly, both contracted installation companies provided similar feedback: ‘it wasn’t worth quoting on the bespoke, traditional analogue system – it would be too expensive!’

“After speaking with our consultants, I was told it wasn’t worth going with a bespoke system. IO-Link was going to be installed faster than any other traditional set up. It was also going to be easy to maintain, I could make small changes to equipment on the spot with hot-swap capabilities. No more advanced electrical requirements – anyone could work with the software and equipment. I couldn’t believe I got so much more, and it was going to cost me so much less!” the winery spokesperson said.

Our experience shows that in introducing a single cable networked system, wineries could potentially save up to 40% on project costs, that’s not including the ongoing cost savings once the system is installed.

The engineer wrapped up by saying, “I was extremely pleased with the project overall. But it’s the ongoing savings, that I didn’t realise at first, that have benefited us the most. The reduction in ongoing maintenance, the fast response to immediate product failure or loss of connection has been invaluable.”

“Being able to control the entire site at my fingertips from a table or computer, all the way through to being able to fix minor issues myself, without having to wait for an electrician to be available is incredible,” the engineer continued. “IO-Link’s plug and play technology has been the best thing I’ve experienced in working in the wine industry for many years.”

What is IO-LINK?

IO-Link is a fieldbus-independent communication protocol. Simply, it enables the connection of field devices (e.g. sensors, actuators) to the controller via a point-to-point connection.

It is flexible and easy to integrate into all standard fieldbus and automation systems, and is characterised by its high efficiency and excellent diagnostic capabilities.

Your benefits:

  • Standardised I/O (Input/Output) technology (IEC 61131-9) that enables communication between sensors and actuators.
  • Field devices can be connected to and be controlled at control level via a cost-effective point-to-point connection.
  • Data exchange between the higher-level controller and the IO-Link devices is bidirectional (i.e. takes place in both directions). Both cyclic (e.g. process values) and acyclic (e.g. diagnostic messages) data can be transmitted separately.
  • IO-Link transmits various types of data, such as process data, value status, device status and events.

How we connect

In a nutshell, IO-Link and Bürkert’s Efficient Device Integration Platform (EDIP) are proving to be the most cost effective, flexible and easiest to install solutions when future-proofing your business.

German engineering supports Australian wineries

As this article is published, there are things we cannot tell you: when we can travel again, if this is as bad as it will get, if we will have tougher droughts, bigger winds, crazier storms or heavier rainfall. What we are sure of, is that none of us can predict what’s next?

Burkert have been supporting the essential industries of Australia for over 40 years. Our depth of knowledge for fit-for-purpose equipment and networked structures is supported by local and global capabilities.

In our WineEng 2020 Forum and Trade Review webinar event, sponsored by the Winery Engineering Association, we’ll delve further into these fieldbus solutions, show online and live examples, as well as a connectivity demonstration that will show you just how simple and effective installing IO-Link can be.

Christopher Hoey

Managing Director (Pacific) – Bürkert Fluid Control Systems

As Managing Director for Bürkert Australia and Sales Director for the Asia-Pacific region, Chris Hoey offers over 35 years’ experience in Process Control and Automation. Whilst having a diverse international portfolio, Chris remains hands-on to the challenges faced by industry, and in turn strives to be part of developing applications that use both new and well-proven technologies, aligned to the needs of each customer. 

During his career, Chris has been an active committee member of the Profibus/Profinet Association in Australian and South-East Asia, as well as being highly involved as a member with the local Institute for Industrial Control and Automation (IICA). Chris’ enthusiasm for industry evolution and success is second to none.

At Burkert we understand that quality, value, efficiency and bottom line results are extremely important to our customers. Chris’ extensive knowledge, combined with his technical know-how is a key influence within the business and has for many years supported end users and OEMs in the following industries: food and beverage, pharmaceutical, water, medical and chemical. By involving our local engineering team from the get-go, we listen to your needs, evaluate your successes and understand your challenges and areas where you’re looking to expand or future proof your brand.

Bürkert, locally providing real value to our customers – every day.

This free on-demand webinar is launched on 21 September 2020.
Register online here

This article was originally published in the September issue of The Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker. To find out more about our monthly magazine, or to subscribe, click here!

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