Improved network enables higher volume beer production and packaging lines


Longtime importer Constellation Brands Inc. (CBI) began brewing beer itself after purchasing the distribution rights for Grupo Modelo in the United States in 2013 as well as its sprawling brewery in Nava, Mexico. Under the terms of its acquisition, the brewery’s operations were to be completely self-sufficient – without any assistance from Grupo Modelo – by June 2016.

“In addition to the delay, CBI had to increase its annual production capacity from 8.5 million to 20 million hectoliters. [225 million to 528 million gallons] at the same time to meet anticipated market growth, ”said Chris Renken, vice president of manufacturing systems at CBI.

The plant’s expansion strategy was simple but not easy. “While we were building, we had to keep the existing brewery running while making connections to critical infrastructure such as water treatment systems, ammonia systems and power generation systems,” explains Renken.

Standardize the network

Achieving all of this also required a network upgrade for the 885-acre plant – the existing network did not have the segregation and uptime required.

CBI turned to Siemens Professional Services for Industrial Networks for advice on the design and implementation of the new network design, with the overall goal of optimizing plant availability and segmentation.

“Originally, the packaging lines, automated laser-guided transport vehicles and our high-density storage facilities operated on a single, flat layer 2 network,” explains Renken. “Anytime we had a broadcast storm on the network or someone accidentally connected to a loop, the entire packaging operations were disrupted, with huge operational impacts getting back on line.”

The updated design includes three separate industrial facility networks for brewing, packaging, and utilities. These control and operations networks feature 1 Gb fiber rings over Profinet using High Speed ​​Redundancy Protocol (HRP) to ensure network resiliency and availability.

Within these 1 Gb fiber rings are three layers consisting of a floor-level access network with Scalance XC-200 managed switches that interconnect to programmable logic controllers (PLCs), I / O S remote ET200SP, WinCC servers and human machine interfaces (HMI). . From there, the rings connect through Scalance 307-3LD managed switches to a higher level data distribution layer. These layers then connect to a core layer that uses a Layer 3 Scalance XM-408-8C managed switch to securely connect to the plant-wide CBI industrial core network.

According to the project team, field commissioning of the new network design took just a few days for each area of ​​the plant.

In addition to the security, redundancy and scalability advantages of the managed switches, CBI also needed a system for overall network management and remote monitoring of all devices and equipment. The global brewer uses Sinema server software to manage more than 200 switches and provide visibility into networks, including automatic topology recognition, 24/7 network monitoring and comprehensive diagnostics. Sinema can automatically detect all network components and map them topologically or as a list.

Nava’s network diagnostics are also integrated into the WinCC HMI / SCADA platforms of the plant and can output warnings and error messages via an OPC interface. Event logs and alarms are also captured for performance audits.

The deployment of the Nava brewery plant extension took place in several phases. The first phase added 10 million hectoliters (264 million gallons) of brewing capacity and included five packaging lines, including one capable of processing 4,000 cans per minute. All supporting utilities, including 18 MW of power generation, were completed on time in June 2016.

To accommodate the additional brewing capacity in the first phase, the plant expansion also included an expansion of the wireless network that supports 78 production vehicles and 48 laser guided shipping (LGV). At the Nava plant, 80 Scalance Wi-Fi access points, a mix of Siemens W770 and W880 models, allow the company’s LGV traffic manager to coordinate routes for each LGV and assign points pickup / delivery.

With the updated network in place, Nava Brewery staff are trained and certified in handling this large modern architecture and can also rely on Siemens Professional Services staff for consultation when needed.

“With its proven track record of implementing hundreds of large-scale industrial networking projects, Siemens has eliminated the risk of our choosing,” says Renken. “We were confident that they could help us design and deploy a standardized network model that could serve us, along with any future requirements. “


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