June 6, 2014 | Bretislav Valek
Van der Lem is a Dutch company specializing in the packaging, distribution, and sale of fruits and vegetables. The company's headquarters and warehouse with rooms for ripening bananas are located in Uitgeest, North Holland. The distribution of fruits and vegetables is provided by modern and fully-equipped trucks.
In the company's warehouse, a system designed to visualize and control the ripening process in 7 out of a total of 28 ripening rooms was installed. The system was implemented by the Dutch company De Laat Koudetechniek.
Each ripening room is equipped with a cooling system, which consists of a fan and evaporator. Cold water is used as a coolant during the process. The cold water is cooled based on ammonia (NH3) cooling in a 2MW cooling system.
The system controls the air circulation in the ripening rooms. This allows bananas to ripen equally. To control the banana ripening process, ethylene (C2H4) of a specific concentration is released into a ripening room. As a result, a mixture is created to start the ripening process. The ethylene is held in a tank located in a central unit. The tank is connected to all ripening rooms.
To control and visualize the process of banana ripening, the Reliance SCADA/HMI system is used. Reliance is installed on the fruit storage main office's computer. The Reliance system acquires the process data from Siemens SIMATIC S7-300 and S7-1200 PLCs. Reliance and the PLCs communicate via an OPC server. All tags defined through the Reliance system are structured.
Special features for this project are:
NH3 heat exchanger
Thanks to a large number of well-arranged visualization screens, the warehouse operating personnel can view and control:
The overview window
Visualization of the banana ripening process
Temperature settings for a ripening room
Detailed settings for a ripening room
Try the Reliance SCADA/HMI system on several example projects or download the installer of the trial version for free.
Visualization and control of the ripening process at the Dutch company Van der Lem in the town of Uitgeest
De Laat Koudetechniek B.V.
Siemens SIMATIC S7-1200
Siemens SIMATIC S7-300
1 x Reliance 4 Control with 5,000 data points