Wireless network boosts Dasani plant efficiency

By Plant Engineering Staff August 8, 2006

Wireless network boosts Dasani plant efficiency
The Coca-Cola Co. purchased a plant in southern Missouri to bottle its Dasani brand drinking water. The plant pumps water from the nearby Roubidoux Formation, which is the source of some of the purest water in North America.

The recently redesigned control system uses a wireless Ethernet network to communicate with the operator terminal, I/O controller and various devices that control equipment in the plant. The Ethernet-enabled touch screen is the primary interface for plant workers to monitor the control system. The terminal is linked to an I/O controller, which is the central control device for the entire system. This system controls the three wells that pump the water into the plant.

A VFD controls the motor of each pump. The VFDs are programmed and coordinated to work together to ensure that the three wells are constantly pumping the exact amount of water that Coca-Cola needs to meet the current demand for Dasani water. Any of the pumps can be designated as the lead, which will maintain pressure at a preset level. If the lead pump reaches maximum speed of the VFD, the system brings more pumps online to maintain volume demand while maintaining system pressure.

The reactions to water flow happen in a fraction of a second. The Ethernet-based system operating over a wireless network ensures that all of the communication takes place very quickly and efficiently. When the I/O controller sends out a request for information, it is estimated that the response arrives within 3 milliseconds, as opposed to 5 to 10 seconds with traditional radio telemetry equipment.

The system allowed Dasani to eliminate a 30,000-gallon tank that was used to store water before it was bottled. Removing the storage tank has freed up 3,000 square feet of floor space in the plant and also eliminated the need for a 100-hp pump that moved water from the tank to the bottling process. Eliminating the storage tank also removes the possibility of bacteria forming in the water sitting idly in the tank. Wireless technology Webcast in October
For more information on how wireless technology can benefit your plant, go to www.plantengineering.com where you will find more wireless articles, white papers, applications and resource links.

PLANT ENGINEERING magazine will present a free Webcast titled “Advancements in Wireless Ethernet” on Thursday, Oct. 12 at 1 p.m. CDT. Learn about the advantages and challenges of applying wireless networking to your plant. Visit www.plantengineering.com for more information or to register.