Rockwell Automation Solutions For OctoFrost
This article is in collaboration with Rockwell Automation. OctoFrost Group is a globally recognized manufacturer of Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) freezers, which are used for a wide range of applications: from fruits, berries, vegetables to meat, poultry, seafood and even pasta and cheese.
OctoFrost, realising that many food processors wanted a single supplier for their full IQF lines, has evolved into a supplier of full IQF processing lines, through the strategic acquisition of the Dutch Innotec Systems – an expert in blanching, cooking and cooling processing. Today, OctoFrost offers individual processing equipment, including Impingement Flash (IF) Cooker, IF Blancher, IF Chiller, IQF Freezer or complete IQF lines as per the requirements of each processor.
Each type of OctoFrost equipment is a unique, sophisticated technology, built through continuous development and by listening to the customers’ needs. The OctoFrost IQF Freezer is already a well-known technology on the IQF processing market. Its unique design and aerodynamics, allow adjustable airflow for each type of product, resulting in a well separated IQF product and energy efficiency. In addition, the OctoFrost exchangeable bedplates together with the open and cleanable design help ensure more reliable food safety.
A recent redesign project and subsequent directive by the company saw it move from hardwired automation solutions to those based on Ethernet
Each type of OctoFrost equipment is a unique, sophisticated technology built through continuous development and by listening to the customers’ needs
Allen-Bradley CompactLogix programmable automation controller Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 525 variable-speed drives Allen-Bradley PanelView Plus HMI– with Allen-Bradley® products from Rockwell Automation becoming the new in-house standard. As a result of this new approach, the company’s popular IQF freezer now use
Allen-Bradley CompactLogix programmable automation controllers (PAC) as the primary means of control. Coupled to the PAC are up to 15 –depending on the size of the machine – Allen-Bradley PowerFlex® variable-speed drives, which are used to control the fans deployed in the freezing process. Operator interactions are delivered by an Allen-Bradley PanelView™ Plus 7 HMI, with an Allen-Bradley Guardmaster® CR30 Configurable Safety Relay and various low-voltage products completing the control infrastructure.
Running on an EtherNet/IP™ network, with Stratix™ switches, the automation solution can be connected to the wider enterprise if so required. According to Marcus Dubre, Project Manager at OctoFrost: “The redesign project gave us a real opportunity to evolve our products. We had a number of leading suppliers to choose from, so we balanced a number of important criteria. Rockwell Automation came out on top, not only because of its product range, price and global reach, but also because it could offer the whole package, something that some of the other suppliers could not. “This single-supplier approach makes our job significantly easier,” he adds. “Not only have we streamlined our design efforts, but we have also reduced wiring thanks to the use of Ethernet. The open platform also makes it far easier for us to evolve our products even further to cater for future demands. Our customers benefit from reduced changeover times, faster installation and start up and enhanced machine and operator safety. “We received great support from the Rockwell Automation engineers,” he concludes, “they were easy to work with and always delivered the help we needed. We always got great answers to our questions and the solutions just work. Five stars out of five from me!”