Although Montagu in the Western Cape is largely known for its fruit orchards in the KOO Valley, there are also many vineyards. Montagu Wines have been producing high quality wine since 1941 and are currently processing 16 000 tonnes of grapes each year.
With larger quantities of grapes produced in the area, the cellar was forced to look at additional unloading zones. Current technology at the unloading zones has been outdated for some time and it became very difficult to expand the system electrically/electronically. It was therefore necessary to first upgrade the electrical control system before new mechanical equipment could be installed. The main requirement of the new system was to give operators a bird’s-eye view of all processes, inside and outside the cellar, by means of user-friendly touch interfaces.
In collaboration with Groen Karoo Elektries in Ashton, our engineers undertook this project and implemented a first-class electrical control system within 6 months.
Our Solution to the Problem:
To enable future expansion capabilities into other areas of the cellar, we decided to make use of a centralised control system, based on an Ethernet platform. This control included all equipment associated with the unloading zones, separators, presses and tanks, as well as their associated pumps, augers and valves.
Along with our suggestion to upgrade the old control system to the latest HMI, PLC and VFD technology, we introduced a lot of new features that resulted in more efficient production and improved quality. The operator can now control the entire cellar from 2x 10-inch touch screens, one inside the cellar and the other one next to the unloading zones outside. The 2x control interfaces allow the operator to select which load from what unload bay must go to which tank or press unit via what mass cooler. Apart from directing and transferring wine between different sections of the cellar, our interlocking procedures play a vital role in quality control. The interlock procedures prevent the operator from starting a transfer to any unit that is in use or not fully operational.
This client now has the peace of mind that he gets the necessary local support from a company that is only 15 km away. In the event of a breakdown and quick fault-finding need to be conducted, remote support is also available from Cape Town.