Summit Fertilizers are a leading fertiliser manufacturer that have been in operation since 1989, operating out of Western Australia. They have a diverse and innovative range of products and services and have spearheaded change within the fertiliser manufacturing industry, demonstrated in the innovations they have introduced to the Western Australia market.
Diverseco’s partnership with Summit Fertilizers has allowed for an improved customised load out control system to be provided, that controls the product blending process for all of the various product blends in real time to ensure the blend accuracy & avoids blending system overload.
The supply of equipment included a whole raft of different products, which were:
- Loss-in-Weight controllers.
- Remote displays with traffic light indicators.
- External PLC which our indicators could seamlessly communicate to.
- Light Curtain to detect loading and ensure accuracy of blend.
The process control philosophy brief that Diverseco was able to provide was Loss in Weight (LIW) functionality that not only tracked granular fertiliser product weight in each hopper, but also the required quantity of the product to complete the batch. This also included the mass flow of the bulk solids transferring onto the numerous belt feeders. In addition, the system included LIW on the liquid fungicide application to the final blend providing a more accurate and consistent application.
Adhering to this process control scope, and ensuring safe and optimized throughputs at the loadout side of the plant, Summit Fertilizers was able to fully realise the advantages of having a tailormade solution. Thereby, steering away from manual controlled delivery speed of the discharge conveyors. Diverseco was able to suggest an alternative P&ID scheme so as to eliminate bottlenecking of downstream equipment.
Product conveyor discharge speeds were able to be altered in real time while still maintaining the correct blend ratio of the fertiliser to be discharged.
The product would then load into a waiting truck located underneath the hopper, and the whole truck is treated as one blend or discharge (regardless of the number of trailers) therefore hopper refill down time between trailers’ is eliminated due to a real time discharge pause function.
By offering real time discharge conveyor speeds and exact blend requirements, unproductive hopper clean outs were dramatically reduced thus improving load out rates resulting in more trucks being loaded within a given time frame.
Here’s what Phil Hargreaves, Executive Manager of Engineering at Summit Fertilizer had to say:
“Summit had used its previous system from initial installation with limited success and restricted options to improve process speed or accuracy. We were looking for ways to improve our blend quality and dispatching rates, reduce the human interaction with the system thus reduce the errors and knew the answer was in the controls.
Diverseco had experience in this field and provided us with a solution that not only achieve our goals but is enabling us to think about what future looks like, such as remote access and improved reporting.
We have had two blend systems running with the new controls now for a year and have another blend system being converted this year for use in the coming season.”