Make 7 out of 5

Conversion and modernization in the fruit juice filling plant - For the company EMIG GmbH & Co. KG, a supplier of soft drinks, the conversion of the existing S5-architecture control system of cleaning and filling plants meant not only the exchange of hardware components, but also the adaptation of the entire control system to changing requirements in the communications environment. This includes on the one hand the larger memory capacities and higher speeds of the control components and on the other hand the hardware had to be suitable for the extended process data communication with the production server and the visualization via HMI. With the CPUs from the SPEED7 series of VIPA a solution was found that met all requirements.

The headquarters of EMIG is located in Rellingen near Hamburg. With 1.5 billion liters of beverages in five production centers, the company is one of the leading European fruit juice filling plants. Emig supplies customers in 30 countries from two manufacturing locations in Germany (Calvörde near Magdeburg and Waibstadt near Heidelberg) as well as production centers in England, Poland and France.  

The fruit juice drinks are filled in cardboard packaging, glass and plastic bottles. The highest hygiene is required for all filling processes, which are permanently checked throughout the laboratory. So there are accordingly high demands for the filling line.

Conversion and modernization in the field of bottling

The conversion and equipping of the pasteurizer in the bottle filling plant in Waibstadt with new PLC technology is described as follows: The existing controllers of the filling plant consisted of S5 modules of the first generation from Siemens. The integration of the process control engineering Plant iT from ProLeiT showed very quickly, that the realization was only possible with S7 controllers due to the discontinuation of S5 from Siemens.

Due to the very good experiences with controllers from VIPA this version has been considered very quickly as an alternative to the market leader Siemens. After all, both companies are located in the Frankonian Herzogenaurach, so the exchange of experience already takes place very quickly since years.

Besides the spatial proximity of both enterprises the high performance of the SPEED7 CPUs from VIPA Ltd. in terms of memory capacity and speed was crucial for the choice of the VIPA system solution.

The PLC controller, including a CPU 317SN/NET and digital and analog input and output modules, controls and monitors all pumps and valves as well as the regulation of the temperatures, which are within a narrow range of tolerance. The controllers control approximately 140 digital I/O`s and 15 analog inputs.

Valves, flow meters, conductivity sensors, frequency converters, pumps and visualization are integrated in the control circuit. An additional control cubicle is placed at the location of the facility, in which further signal modules are connected decentralized via PROFIBUS, to avoid further cable lines.

The visualization is realized via Ethernet. For this, the integrated Ethernet interface of the VIPA CPU was very useful. The pasteurizer is connected to the filling machine by means of an I/O coupler. The flow rate during production is thus determined by the filling machine. Here is a minimum cycle time of 40ms was more than sufficient for the CPU.

The facility was completely programmed in the office and partially tested by using a simulation before commissioning.  After wiring the I/O points was tested, the system was first subjected to a preliminary examination with water and then cleaned. The optimization and adjustment of all program steps is realized with the collected data. The final determination of the setting values were concluded by the factory laboratory.

CIP installations

Additionally the existing S5/115U controllers of both CIP installations for filler, pasteurizers and tanks as well as three plants for pasteurizing of soft packaging are replaced. Here CPU 317 SN/NET modules were deployed. Furthermore an ET200M via PROFIBUS to the newly installed VIPA SPEED-CPU was connected.

Also the area of pallets transport was basically renewed. The components, controlled formerly by 4 different controllers are now coupled on one central CPU. Through the deployment of CPU modules of the series 315 new requirements such as pallets tracking and an increase of the performance could be realized.

Palletizing and wrapping center

The modernization of the palletizing and wrapping center was a further ambitious project. Nearly all controllers were equipped with many different modules of Siemens S5. The company Artschwager and Kohl Software, a specialist for intra-logistics, has replaced in cooperation with EMIG several Siemens S5 controllers through VIPA 315/Net. This was the basis for ensuring that the various control systems for pallet conveyors, transfer cars and a winder guarantees an integrated material flow control.

By modernizing the logistics management system LOMAS now provides the data for the palletizing orders for all the palletizer in real time. The responsible now simply starts the next palletizing order to LOMAS, so the material flow control and LOMAS manage the data management.

The pallets are transported chaotically through the various Strema-winders to the application printers. There LOMAS and the material flow control in the VIPA PLCs provide the printers with the required data. Through the modernization all pallets are now labeled fully automated and the stock is automatically logged into the block storage. The quality of the inventory postings could be increased so significantly.

Production data acquisition

The measuring instruments for the single media are partially connected to Profibus. Additionally in various control rooms further ET- stations were installed to read and record the impulses (current consumption) of different aggregates. The consumption values are retrieved via OPC server at present and stored in Excel. So it can be determined exactly when and where the stocks were consumed.

In a following step the entire water supply should be modernized by keeping up the S5 racks.  Here as a superior unit, a CPU 317SN/NET is planned. The integration of the old control units is made by means of Profibus adapter cards.

The particular difficulty is in a very small time frame. For the conversion is only a weekend available. To avoid difficulties during the conversion period, there is still the possibility to return anytime to the old S5 constellation during the conversion.


A general solution for various fields of applications was found with the VIPA SPEED7 CPUs that met both in terms of the performance requirements of the control system as well as design and price of the ideas of EMIG.

Additional advantages are the general use of the Siemens SIMATIC manager for all deployed CPUs and the simplified stockpiling by downgrading possibility of the series 317 to the series 315. Emig looks well prepared for the future due to a comprehensive support and a sales support extending beyond the reconstruction phase.

Authors: Robert Bauer, Emig GmbH & Co. KG, Mark Kohl, Vipa GmbH