APPLICATION REPORT: WhiteWave Foods PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 13 June 2009 08:53

whitewave-smWhiteWave Foods in Mount Crawford, VA undertook a major effort to improve the reliability and performance of tank level gauging. Taking a systematic approach to the issue, they contacted King after hearing positive reports about another KING-GAGE system installed by our local distributor KSE Corporation (King of Prussia, PA). WhiteWave management wanted better accuracy, integration of level data to a PLC and the ability to share real-time inventory with other WhiteWave units that exchange product with this plant.

The plant had implemented a PLC based gauging system over a period of years that had yielded disappointing results. Various manufacturers' liquid level transmitters had been installed in hopes of resolving issues of reliability and/or stability. The proposal by KSE recommended replacing all twenty-four existing transmitters, installation of four (4) local readout KING-GAGE LP2 multiple tank digital indicators and a KING-GAGE LP3 tank monitoring system.

The KING-GAGE system achieved the critical aspect of a reliable integration to their Allen Bradley PLC5 process control architecture while enabling access to tank inventory data via the LP3's built-in web server. Now other WhiteWave facilities can obtain their data directly via a gateway and secure network to better coordinate with the Mount Crawford plant.

With the digital communications interface to the Allen Bradley PLC5 established beforehand by KSE Corporation, ultimately the changeover was accomplished by plant personnel on a tank-by-tank basis, enabling them to bring the system on line without interrupting processing or receiving operations.

The majority of tanks were physically calibrated by KSE using NIST traceable, PA Dept. of Weights & Measures certified provers. On a handful of sugar tanks where this was impractical, the final scaling data will be based on tank drawings. Startup of the new system has gone extremely well and plant operations have benefitted from consistency and greater accuracy of tank level data.

Approximately (10) of WhiteWave's tanks are located in a refrigerated silo alley with extremely tough conditions for electronics, hence KSE's recommendation of the KING-GAGE AcraSensor/868 DP Sensor Control level sensing package for the project. Our hybrid design pairs a sanitary pneumatic diaphragm sensor with a two wire transmitter providing 4-20 mA output. Adapter insert fittings were provided for all tanks equipped with competitive shells (e.g., Anderson Instrument, Rosemount, Tank Mate) which greatly reduced the effort and cost of a retrofit.

The Mount Crawford facility produces national brands including Silk soymilk, Horizon Organic, International Delight non-dairy coffee creamer and Land O' Lakes creamer products. Originally constructed in 1988, Dean Foods acquired the plant in 2002 and has solely produced WhiteWave foods (a wholly owned subsidiary) since 2005.


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