INTERSTATES Control Systems announced that it has commissioned the control system programming, human machine interface (HMI) programming and I-Control system for the O.H. Kruse Feed Technology Innovation Center at Kansas State University, which moved the facility one step closer to fully operational status.
Interstates' team completed installation and start-up of the control system during the month of May.
In addition to serving the daily feed production needs of Kansas State's animal science program, the center will provide hands-on learning opportunities for students and industry professionals interested in the latest technology, research and practices in feed science and management.
Interstates said its I-Control system "bridges the gap" between the business of feed milling and the plant's physical equipment.
Kansas State recently completed the user acceptance testing process and reviewed the control system, including its process flow and all system HMI screens. The testing process allows hands-on training for the plant's management and staff, as well as the opportunity to adjust plant processes in the HMI system before the system goes "live."
"We were extremely happy with the process and outcome of user acceptance testing," Kansas State professor Fred Fairchild said. "Interstates was receptive to how we wanted the facility to work and helped us develop an automated system that thoroughly addresses our needs."
Combining the needs of a world-class teaching and research facility within the confines of a working feed mill required a facility design and control system that was both flexible and multipurpose. Interstates said the modular architecture of its I-Control system supports the plant's academic mission while allowing flexibility and traceability throughout the entire feed milling process.
"Kansas State University researchers and students will use I-Control to store recipes, produce feed batches and track the source and destination of the feed that is produced in the facility, as done in the industry," Interstates president Jack Woelber said. "Students entering the work force with hands-on experience using the same tools used by industry leaders have a solid educational foundation that is clearly transferrable from the classroom and lab to the business and production setting."
I-Control's architecture is based on an SQL server database, allowing users to gather information, report and export information that will help them effectively manage the feed facility. HMI screens are customized to match the process flow of each facility that implements the system, and the modular programming design allows users to choose which parts of the facility will be automated.
It allows for concentration-based ingredient sequencing, lot tracking, hand-add bar code capability, automatic free-fall adjustments, data maintenance, data collection and reporting and integration with multiple ERP systems.
Interstates has partnered with several educational feed milling facilities. In addition to the O.H. Kruse center at Kansas State, the company implemented the I-Control system at Auburn University's $7.1 million Poultry & Animal Nutrition Center and provided automation, electrical engineering and prefabrication services for California Polytechnic State University's feed mill in San Luis Obispo, Cal.