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Ignition Implementation for Coca-Cola


The advantages of Iginition

  • Web-based: suitable for any device with a browser
  • Monitor the status of a line remotely
  • Implement changes from anywhere within the factory
  • Faster support thanks to remote monitoring

It’s enough to fill 200 Olympic swimming pools. At their Dongen factory, Coca-Cola produces 490 million liters of soft drinks every year. Essential to the operation is the SCADA software (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition), which controls the factory lines and stores all the process data. The soft drink giant enlisted Eltra to implement a new SCADA package: Ignition. Project manager Jeroen van Roy and lead developer Coen Robben tell about the project.

What prompted this project?
Jeroen: “Initially, the customer wanted to upgrade their SCADA package. But after we learned more about their needs, we recommended switching to Ignition. Upgrading their current solution would be almost as much work as migrating to this much newer software, which offers numerous advantages.”

“In short, Ignition is much more modern.”

What is the difference between Ignition and other SCADA packages?
Coen: “In short, Ignition is much more modern. It is web-based, which means you can log in from any device with a browser, wherever you are. This allows you to view the status of a line remotely or make changes from anywhere in the factory. With older systems, this can only be done from the engineering station: a physical location in the factory. So this package is much more accessible, which is highly convenient for office staff, the technical department, and the client’s automation department. It also allows us to provide quick support by viewing the system status remotely.”

“This allows you to view the status of a line remotely or make changes from anywhere in the factory.”

What was the biggest challenge?
Coen: “Our field has developed enormously in recent years. Stacks of books have been written on designing interfaces that are effective and easy to use: so-called high-performance HMIs (Human-Machine Interfaces). A major challenge was to remove all unnecessary information from the old screens. The interface should be as straightforward as possible: you should be able to see at a glance if there are any anomalies. For example, that’s why we use much less color in a high-performance HMI and mainly work with shades of gray. Only in case of anomalies, such as a valve not opening or a broken sensor, will you see an orange triangle. So it’s much easier on your eyes and allows you to monitor the process more closely.”

What is the status of the project?
Jeroen: “The first step was to install and set up a server. Our IT colleagues connected the server to the network and tested it extensively. Last week we commissioned Ignition on the first of four production lines. It is currently running alongside the existing system so that we can thoroughly test everything. To validate that everything is working properly, we check whether the data matches the old system. In addition, we’re observing how the customer is interacting with the system and whether we can implement improvements that improve user-friendliness. If so, we’ll make adjustments that we’ll also implement on the next line. We plan to activate Ignition on a new line every three weeks, so we expect to switch completely in about three months.”

What makes this project special to you?
Coen: “Ignition isn’t the standard solution for this customer. So this project is actually a pilot to prove that we can deliver a system with this software that seamlessly meets the client’s requirements. It is the first Coca Cola factory where Ignition is used. It really is the showpiece – an example for other factories of what a SCADA system should look like!”