Manufacturer of Margaret Holmes brand Southern-style canned fruits and vegetables, McCall Foods has tripled in size over the past five years, increasing from 75 million to more than  250 million pounds of produce per year. The company also recently acquired  Columbus, OH-based Glory Foods and introduced a variety of new food products as a result.
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McCall Farms installed Beckhoff CP7702 stainless steel panel PCs throughout the plant, directly above some kettles. They were specified because they aren’t painted and won’t rust. The HMI software is based on open-source software developed by Manufacturing Automation. Source: Beckhoff

The processor began implementing a new spice blending room and stainless steel (SS) renovation in late November 2010 and finished construction in April 2011. “One of the biggest challenges during this time was that the new building was built over our existing spice room,” recalls Jeff Crisp, McCall Farms maintenance manager. “During this major project, we literally changed the controls over in a weekend to keep the impact to production as minimal as possible.”

Manufacturing Automation, a system integrator, was called in to design a modern control system with HMIs for the new spice blending room and replace the old 6-inch, monochrome touch screen monitors throughout the production areas in the plant. “These were too small, they didn’t operate well in the environment, and they needed to be replaced frequently—about every year or so,” Crisp explains. “To improve this area, I wanted modern, rugged and powerful SS panels that can thrive in our challenging plant environment.”

McCall Farms found the solution for its display requirements in Beckhoff CP7702 SS panel PCs with Intel Atom processors. “These IP 65-rated panels withstand the food production environment very well,” says Crisp. “We installed the SS panel PCs throughout the plant, directly above some kettles. They were specified because they aren’t painted and won’t rust, eliminating the chance of any particles falling into the food process.”

AdvancedHMI software, based on open-source software developed by Manufacturing Automation and Windows .NET technology, was used in all the new panel PC HMIs. The upgraded plant installed three Manufacturing Automation-developed HMIs. One of these is the kettle room HMI, which shows production details for each kettle such as the temperature, fluid and salt levels, pump status, etc. Another HMI allows operators to select recipes and assign them to specific kettles. The third HMI is used in the blending room to control feeders that handle and blend a variety of spices.

In addition to resilience to a food production environment, HMI visibility for operators was a key consideration. “The 15-in. touch screens on the CP7702 panels are very easy to read and give a complete overview of the production area,” says Crisp.

McCall Farms also uses Beckhoff CX1020 Embedded PCs with 1 GHz Intel Celeron processors to control production on separate floors independently. If there is a requirement to work on the controls in the spice room upstairs, personnel can turn off power without interfering with production downstairs where the other CX1020 maintains production.

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Beckhoff sales, 877-TwinCAT,