Red Wine Fermentation


Project Description

Temperature control in the fermentation process of wine is critical in producing good quality red wine. In total 22 tanks needed their bottom and top temperature to be monitored and automatically controlled. Also the start and stop of circulation pumps at certain time intervals are very important. The below systems must have also enabled the operator to control the whole cooling system manually and notify the wine maker, via SMS, if any temperature set points could not be achieved within a certain time limit.

The PLC and HMI centralised control systems are taking care of the cooling water solenoids, circulation pumps and routing valves. It controls the wine temperature at a pre-set set point and also circulates the wine on pre-set on/off/interval times after been routed to the correct tanks. This allows the winemaker to spend more time on monitoring the wine manufacturing process, rather than to keep on checking the temperature every 2 hours. Not only does the system regulate the temperature and circulation, but also indicate alarm conditions and sending out an update/alarm SMS on user required intervals. The above system was implemented at Riebeek Cellars in the Boland, where 32 tanks of different capacities where automated.


System Integrator

Equipment Used

Wafer Packer


HmTmechatronics was contracted by Neptek to implement a control system on a automated packer. Product was coming out of a machine at a level that was uncomfortable and unhealthy to work at. This lead to the need for a packaging machine that would automatically pack the product in bags and at a level that is safe to work at.

With the help of linear actuators, product was moved from one conveyor on to a platform. The platform lifted product to the desired height, from there it was moved on to a second conveyor. The conveyor then fed the product into bags. A first for HmT : One of the requirements was that the system had to have a safety controller. This protected any user from working on the machine while it is in operation. While nothing new to industry these controllers aren’t widely used and after seeing what these can bring to the table in terms of safety, we can definitely recommend that these be implemented in factories.