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8 September 2014

Knuaf Plasterboard Australia manufacture and distribute a diverse range of products and systems including plasterboard, mineral fibre tiles and acoustic boards for commercial and residential applications. With two manufacturing facilties in Australia (one in Melbourne and Sydney), Knauf’s determination to produce innovative products and systems that are exceptionally  engineered, recently led them to a review of their plant operations at their two facilities - in particular their process automation control infrastructure.

Knauf required a system that enabled them to deliver the highest levels of quality and service – all of which needed to be underpinned by a commitment to sustainable development.  After considering the available products on the market, it was decided that NHP and the Rockwell Automation PlantPAx™ solution was a natural fit and it was subsequently specified for the upgrades at both facilities which each have an identical system comprising of six control centres.

“The first of a series of upgrades began a couple of years ago at our Sydney opearation and have been spread out in a way to minimise our production downtime. As well as upgrading our process control with the Allen-Bradley ControlLogix range, we’ve also upgraded our SCADA piece by piece utilising the PlantPAX system”, said Knauf Project Engineer at the Altona facility in West Melbourne, Jack Hayes.

The system was installed by recognised Rockwell Automation system integrators, Integrated Automation, who while working with NHP and Knauf were able to successfully integrate the PlantPAx plant-wide control system.

“We showed them the tools that were available as part of the PlantPAx solution to reduce engineering effort and when it came to architecture design we were also able to assist with correct product selection”, said Andrew Allen, NHP’s Process Technology Specialist.

“Following the successful integration, Integrated Automation’s feedback has been really positive and  in using the PlantPAx solution they were able to significantly reduce their engineering effort which is always a great result”.

By adopting this solution, Knauf were able to not only increase efficiencies and productivity across all layers of their operations, but also enable improved business agility, security, time to market and sustainability.

“From our perspective, it is important to get the backbone of your process control solution right and that’s what we’ve been able to do thanks to PlantPAx. We’re now well positioned for future upgrades and the expereience has opened our mind to the places that PlantPAx can take us as a business and the opportunities this creates”, Jack concluded.

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