APCI Link Newsletter

18/12/2013: Food production

Our customer, a leading national food retail chain, is in charge of the delivery and marketing of a line of chunky dips.

The dips consist of vegetables, nuts and cheese and are available in popular flavours such as Red Pepper, Pecorino and Cashew with Thai Chili, Lemongrass, Coriander and Cashew. This famous dip manufacturing plant will be completely automated with innovative and modern technology to guarantee certified quality.

Plant Description

The production plant is primarily built of pumps, pipes, mixers and valves that move the product through the different treatment processes. The automatic sequences are controlled by an Allen Bradley ControlLogix PLC located in the stainless steel control panel. This system has to guarantee maximum security and reliability, both during the different operating stages and working and chemical parameters, which are mainly determined by specific controlled temperatures and the product’s organoleptic features which are very important for quality and hygiene maintenance.

The dip production plant is managed by an automated system that handles all the different production stages. These stages involve a series of components and systems that prepare the raw material used for making dip then perform the different treatment processes right through to the packaging stage.

The first part of the plant manages the raw ingredient by sending it to the 2000 litre cooker (the ingredient is mixed with water then cooking stages will be stated) then the paste is pumped on to a cooling system. The cooled paste will be pumped to another cooling system for further cooling and storage.

The paste will be pumped on to mixing tanks where it mixed with other ingredients based on the recipe, then it will be pumped on to the filling machines.

Allen Bradley HMI screens are installed in different areas of the plant to provide full control and supervision of the production and Clean-In-Place (CIP).

Perfect Hygiene

Perfect hygiene is guaranteed by a sophisticated sanitisation system (CIP), which is one of the fundamental parts of the plant system production. CIP (Clean-In-Place) is an automatic cleaning process that refers to the use of a mix of water, heat and chemicals used to clean machinery, vessels, pumps, valves or pipe work without dismantling the plant.

Production plants implemented with CIP systems always guarantee efficient and effective cleaning and fully meet the health and quality standards.

Scope of APCI:

  • Switchboard and Control boards design and manufacturing.
  • Electrical design.
  • Control system design.
  • Design of Control Safety System.
  • Supply of process instrumentation. 
  • Software development (PLC and HMI Programming).

18/10/2011: Case Study - Aldinga MAR

Industry: Water
Location: Aldinga, SA
Value: $400,000
Customer: SA Water

BackgroundAldinga MAR Site

The recycled water stored in the aquifer is   sourced from the Christies Beach wastewater treatment plant at a quality suitable for irrigation of vineyards.  Up to 400 megalitres (ML) of water can be stored per annum.

This project has enabled SA Water to increase the use of recycled water from the Christies Beach wastewater treatment plant, and thereby reduced the amount discharged to St Vincent Gulf. The project has also benefited the River Murray by reducing the amount of drinking water being used for irrigation.

The recycled water is used for irrigation by customers of the Willunga Basin Water Company. Willunga Basin Water Company currently supplies recycled water to more than 100 vineyards and irrigators located in the Willunga Basin.

APC Integration Electrical & Control Overview

APC Integration designed, programmed, installed and commissioned the electrical & control, consisting of the stainless steel switchboard, PLC, Touchscreen & Electrical cabling.

The Aldinga Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) project had four (4) Bore Compounds comprising of one fixed speed pump unit, injection and extraction flow meters, PRV's and pressure sensing equipment.

Aldinga MAR SwitchboardIn addition, the MAR Compound comprises of flow meters, pressure transmitters, pipe work manifold and manually operated valves to control the operation for either the injection or extraction of treated effluent to or from the bores.

During the injection period operators select which bore to inject. The injection pressure is controlled by a PRV at each bore compound and bore availability. Pressure sensors indicate when bores sites are at full capacity. Operators manually initiate an injection backwash when certain flow and pressure characteristics detected by the control system on each bore.

The operators select which bore pumps to operate (up to four at any one time) either via SCADA, the touch screen or locally at each bore.  A bore pump will automatically stop if the water level in a bore falls to below the bore pump stop level.

The complete operation is controlled locally via iFix SCADA and can be monitored from SA Waters operation centre.

Aldinga MAR SCADA Screen

SCADA overview screen

APC Integration has over 27 years of experience working in the water industry and can provide the latest technology solutions to ensure cost effective and highly robust solutions.


12/07/2011: Nordic ID Merlin HF Blade

The Nordic ID Merlin HF RFID Blade mobile computer follows the successful footsteps of our UHF RFID devices. As a robust, best-in-class HF RFID reader, it is a reliable working tool for various environments and verticals. Nordic ID Merlin Blade is proven to be very efficient for example in libraries & archives and also in laundry solutions. In addition to the powerful Blade antenna, Nordic ID Merlin HF RFID devices are available with an internal HF antenna

Nordic ID Merlin HF RFID and Nordic ID Merlin HF RFID BLADE replace Nordic ID PL3000 HF RFID units

Nordic ID PL3000 HF versions will be replaced by Nordic ID Merlin HF RFID and Nordic ID Merlin HF RFID Blade. The EOL versions can be purchased until 30th September 2011 and after EOL if agreed separately. Service and support of the EOL versions is planned to continue until 31st March 2016

25/02/2011: Service - Electrical/Control/CNC/Maintenance

APCI continues to provide 24 hour service to customers across all industries. We specialise in PLCs, machine control and CNC breakdowns, Electrical Service & Maintenance. If you need assistance please contact our service staff on 8366 2333.

01/12/2010: Merry Christmas

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas, and thank you once again for your support over the past year.  We look forward to working with you in the New Year.

For your information, our office will be closed from the evening of 24th December, reopening on Tuesday 4th January 2011.  As always our service department will be on call during this time should you require assistance.  Contact details are located at the end of this newsletter.

23/11/2010: Energy Monitoring and Saving Money

Why monitor Energy Usage?

Government legislation such as NABERS, from 1 November 2010 require most sellers or lessors of office space greater than 2,000 square metres to obtain and disclose an up-to-date energy efficiency rating.

APC Integration specialises in solutions for energy monitoring and management. We have typical savings of 10% or more depending on the industry and processes involved. This system has successfully been used from small offices to large industrial customers across multiple sites allowing for savings greater than $100 million in some cases.

10/11/2010: Full Steam Ahead!

APCI helps export to the UK! APCI have developed a control system for a mobile soil reclamation machine. The machine is entirely self-powered, including the control system, by a 300HP turbo diesel engine. A PLC and 15 inch marine grade touch screen are used to display and control machine parameters. The display of "in screen" video images from two cameras located at strategic points on the machine is another feature highlighting APCI's expertise and ability in integrating different systems through custom software.

The system utilises hardened I/O blocks throughout the machine to efficiently input and output data and a "canbus" interface to a specialised mobile machinery valve Export Machinecontroller which controls the various hydraulic motors on the machine. The PLC system chosen was ideal for this application due to the wide range of I/O types and configurations available. It easily coped with the large I/O count required and did so at a very competitive price with efficient service. APCI will be providing remote support for the machine from Australia via a modem link. The machine was shipped in August and delivered in September.

10/11/2010: Electrical switchboard Cost savings

Locating electrical switchboards next to process plant rather than in a dedicated electrical switch room can save significant building costs. An example of this is a switchboard built by APCI for a new chemical dosing facility at a water treatment plant. The switchboard is 4.8m long, made of 316 stainless steel and weighs in at 1.6 tonnes. As the board has to withstand being hosed down careful selection of components and ventilation design was required. The chemical dosing plant is essential for water treatment so as well as a redundant PLC the control system includes further backup in the form of a dedicated process controller, hardwired manual control and even some hardwired automatic control.