Alliance Grain Terminal

Case Study: Upgrading SCADA and PLC system to decrease downtime and increase user controls

Overview

Alliance Grain Terminal (AGT) is a large-scale grain terminal and ship loading facility located on the south shore of Burrard Inlet in the Port of Vancouver.

 

AGT required a SCADA and PLC upgrade to modernize their control system and reduce downtime caused by an older and unreliable control system. 

Alliance Power was contracted to upgrade their control systems. We leveraged our extensive background in PLC and SCADA control systems to develop and implement these changes for AGT.

Our Solution

At Alliance Power, our focus on this project was to minimize downtime to the utmost of our ability. Development, simulating and testing had to be accomplished and completed ahead of the actual commissioning and implementation. 

 

AGT's client heavily rely on their services to ensure smooth transportation of shipments and the goods that they are responsible for handling. Any errors in their control systems would result in delays for their clients -- errors had to be eliminated and avoided at all cost.

Our solution for the AGT Project was carried out with the process listed below:

Challenges

1

Old Equipment, New Requirements

  • AGT had a hybrid SCADA system (mixture between DCS and SCADA) and older Schneider PLC's

  • Outdated system caused downtime and created reliability issues

2

Limited Allowable Downtime

  • Due to the sheer amount of bulk handling that AGT is responsible for, downtime was capped at 5 business days

  • Train and shipping deadlines

3

Plant Shutdown Time

Commissioning and implementation require full plant shutdown. A plant shutdown is costly and requires minimum downtime. Installation, commissioning, and troubleshooting require 100% completion before plant startup occurs. 

4

Environmental Concerns

High level of detail and diligence is required to ensure that no errors occur. Any subsequent errors in the wastewater treatment has a potential to harm wildlife and the environmental surroundings of the mine

Port over the hybrid SCADA system and old Schneider PLC to Wonderware and Schneider M580 PLC

Plan and prepare strategic development, testing, simulation and implementation procedure

Develop synergistic plan with site partners to ensure minimal downtime for outbound and inbound train and ship loading

24-hour on-site shifts to Implement, test, troubleshoot and optimize

Client Achievements

Minimal upgrade downtime achieved
New SCADA and PLC system to eliminate further downtime
Increased control capabilities for maintenance team

Alliance Automation

On-Time. On-Budget. Automation Done Right.

 

© 2020 by Alliance Power Ltd.

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