Case StudiesDatabase ManagementProcess Historian

Rockwell Process Analytics for Cement Manufacturing Facility

By June 16, 2017 August 8th, 2019 No Comments

Project Drive

A cement manufacturing facility worked with us to implement a process historian and data visualization tools for its R&D plant.

We completed the work on-site, working directly with the facility personnel to specify the data to be stored in the process historian.


We met with the client to discuss their existing system and how both the PLC and operator interface were failing due to age and general wear and tear. The mixer had been installed since the plant was first opened in the early 90’s, and no software was available for the Cutler Hammer PLC or operator interface HMI 20 years after installation.

We worked with the plant operators to understand and develop a control philosophy for the mixer and make upgrades to the operator interface. One major issue with the existing hardware was that some of the inputs to the PLC from safety devices had failed. These issues were resolved with the upgraded PLC.

The operators also requested recipe management functionality, allowing them to easily configure various mixing steps depending on the product being produced. We implemented a screen in the HMI allowing them to configure a handful of steps with various mixing speeds and times, which allowed them to reduce a large amount of over and under-mixing caused by manually timing steps using the old system.

The new system was commissioned, operators were trained, and the process was back up and running by lunchtime. The client now has updated copies of all documentation, putting them in a better position for the future.


  • Process data stored in a centralized database
  • Data accessible from outside of the HMI application, including access to corporate staff upgrade
  • Automated reporting capability
  • Reduced overhead to collect data required for periodic reporting
  • Decreased overhead for managing test data
  • Increased productivity of R&D process
  • Increased knowledge and awareness of R&D projects

Project Details

Gilroy, CA
Process Historian, Process Analytics, Data Visualization


  • FactoryTalk Historian
  • FactoryTalk VantagePoint
  • Allen Bradley ControlLogix PLC
  • SQL Server


  • To improve usefulness of R&D testing processes
  • To collect process data in a centralized location
  • Make process data easily accessbile to plant personnel
  • Configure hardware and software
  • Establish expectations for data collection and analysis
  • Train staff on optimal use of the systems