Re-automation of bulk loading at ForFarmers

Imtech Industry recently converted, tested and commissioned ForFarmers' bulk loading at the plant in Zwolle. Mid May 2022, the Zwolle 2 plant was converted in a first phase, followed 2 weeks later by the Zwolle 1 plant and the crate loading facility.

The bulk loading had to be completely re-automated. Imtech was awarded the contract for this in 2021. The PLC control still consisted of S5 PLCs and the switch boxes were also outdated. A total of 4 MCC/PLC cabinets, in which 2 Siemens TIA PLCs S7-1500 are installed, and 9 RIO cabinets were built and delivered. The assembly and cabling work was carried out by ForFarmers under its own management.

Furthermore, new PLC software was provided by Imtech Industry, SCADA images were developed in Wonderware System Platform and the plant was fully configured in ImPlant®. In addition, new software was developed for Handheld Devices (PDAs) to enable the truck drivers to load their own trucks completely independently. Using these PDAs, the drivers are guided around the plant to all the places where they need to load. The display shows camera images so that they can easily position themselves at the various loading points without having to get out of the truck. Once a truck is fully loaded, the driver returns his PDA, a check weighing is carried out on the weighbridge and he receives his transport documents.

About ForFarmers

ForFarmers is the market leader in Europe with sales of approximately 10 million tons of animal food on an annual basis. The company is active in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Poland and the United Kingdom. ForFarmers has approximately 2,500 employees and its turnover in 2021 was approximately €2.7 billion. In Zwolle, ForFarmers primarily makes beef feed.