Rockwell Automation controls Green Planet Farms food plant | Automation.com

Rockwell Automation controls Green Planet Farms food plant

April 30, 2009 — Green Planet Farms, located in South Sioux City, Neb., selected a Rockwell Automation process automation system to help process the industry’s first hexane-free, soy protein isolate. These isolates are a key ingredient in a wide variety of food products, including milk, protein shakes and snack foods.

Unlike other soybean processing plants that rely on hexane – a gasoline byproduct – to separate protein from the fat, sugar and fiber found in soy flour, Green Planet Farms developed a unique water-based process for its new organic soybean processing plant that more naturally separates these elements.

“To bring this new isolate to market, we turned to Rockwell Automation and ESE Inc. as they share our strong commitment to environmental stewardship and have considerable experience implementing innovative manufacturing processes,” said Susanne Stoeger-Moore, board chairman and chief marketing officer, Green Planet Farms. “As a manufacturer, we are focused on ensuring that we produce products and food ingredients in an environmentally responsible manner, and we knew automation could help play a role in enabling our sustainable production practices. We were impressed by the extent to which Rockwell Automation was able to help us reduce the use of raw materials and energy, as well as improve workplace safety. Additionally, they are recognized as a leader in corporate responsibility, and that's important to us in our ethical culture.”

A Rockwell Automation PlantPAx process automation system manages more than 100 batch and continuous process phases designed to separate and dry the isolates. Green Planet Farms’ automation system also features HMI software from Rockwell Automation to help the company meet its track-and-trace requirements, as well as process instrumentation from Endress+Hauser and wireless solutions from ProSoft Technology. As part of the Rockwell Automation PartnerNetwork program, Endress+Hauser and ProSoft Technology feature built-in connectivity to the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture.

As a pilot plant, the primary system integration challenge involved migrating from a lab environment to a full scale, automated manufacturing process. “We had a general idea for how the production process should run, but as with most pilots, transitioning from a lab environment requires maximum design and manufacturing flexibility,” said Vince Krueger, project engineer, ESE Inc. “That’s why we recommended Rockwell Automation – its scalable automation solutions, PartnerNetwork program and configuration tools ease integration and bring the high level of flexibility and innovation companies like Green Planet Farms need for success.”

At full production, Green Planet Farms can process 68,000 acres of organic soybeans annually. Based on the success of the plant, which opened in November 2008, Green Planet Farms plans to open another organic soy processing plant in 2011.

About Rockwell Automation, Inc.
Rockwell Automation, Inc. (NYSE: ROK) is a leading global provider of industrial automation power, control and information solutions that help manufacturers achieve a competitive advantage for their businesses. The company brings together leading global brands in industrial automation that include Allen Bradley controls and services, and Rockwell Software factory management software. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., the company employs about 20,000 people serving customers in more than 80 countries.

About ESE Inc.
ESE Inc. has been at the forefront of designing and commissioning innovative plant automation systems for food and beverage applications since 1981. ESE tightly integrates leading-edge analytical instruments with best-in-class control systems and sophisticated software.

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