SUCCESSFUL COMBINATION OF THE TIMELESS TRADITIONS AND MODERN TECHNOLOGIES IN WINE MAKING
The Ukrainian winemakers use CC-Link for automation and expansion of production of their world-class wines and brandies. Given the increasing popularity of these drinks in the domestic market and opening of export markets, Shabo winery in Odessa Region has managed to successfully combine modern technologies with the fine art of premium wine production.
The grapes have been being grown in Shabo ever since the ancient Greeks have appeared. Five hundred years ago, the region was conquered by Turks, then, approximately in 1822, the Swiss immigrants brought the knowledge of wine-makers. Mild climate, warm air of prairies, sands and the unique microclimate of the Black Sea shore provides perfect conditions for grape growing. Same as Bordeaux and Burgundy, Shabo village is located on the so called “grape latitude” — between 46° and 47° of north latitude.
In 2004, the vineyards have been completely upgraded, using modern European equipment. Combining it with the ancient wine cellars, wine producers received the opportunity to produce such fine wines and brandies, as over the past 200 years.
The successful investment program provides for the establishment of production of complete cycle: from grape cultivation, storage and wine seasoning in the wine storage facilities to bottling at the production facilities, including distillation processes for alcohol and blending for vermouth. Currently, it has capacity to process 20 thousand tons of grapes in a season, producing up to 45 million bottles of wine and 25 million bottles of brandy, using the delicate “cold bottling” method.
All stages of Shabo wine production are focused on preserving grapes’ taste, color and aroma of the grape itself. Therefore, the grapes are harvested by hand, allowing selection of the best grapes. Then the grapes goes through the various winemaking, maturing, blending and bottling processes.
However, the viticulturists at Shabo are keen to embrace the most modern automation technologies, both efficient and quality focused, to cover their increasing production needs. In October 2011, for instance, they installed a high tech system to maintain given temperature in both production, and maturing areas, and also to measure the level of wine in the holding tanks. The new system also controls pumping activities of the refrigeration units and cooling temperature. This automates a previously manual task that was time consuming and required considerable concentration to ensure accurate recording and thorough analysis.
The opportunity was also taken to integrate several processes that were already individually automated into one unified system. For data communication, the system CC-Link was chosen because of its ability to communicate easily with the devices from a wide range of manufacturers. It shall be also noted that CC-Link can be quickly installed and is highly reliable, eliminating two potential reasons for work disruption. The architecture of the system is based on a supervisory level computer equipped with twin monitors and operator panels running a SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) program, which is connected to the run-time system based on five PLC’s (programmable logic controllers). The data communication is performed via two CC-Link networks.
In the process of production, the computers collect and process data from numerous sensors, controlling temperature, humidity, tank levels and valve settings. In total, there are 256 analog and digital inputs and 152 outputs (all digital) in the CC-Link system. And it is planned that the system will be expanded in the coming years.
One of the key advantages of CC-Link in this situation is that if a section of the system is temporarily taken off-line, the data signals will be automatically re-routed through the alternative routes, so that overall control is never lost. Similarly, the system can be expanded simply by plugging new devices or sub-systems into the existing wiring; signal routing is instantly and automatically optimized and communications are never interrupted.
Shabo already has plans to increase the number of holding tanks fitted with sensors and automated pumping stations, as production is increased, in order to meet growing demand.
The wine market is promising for Ukrainian producers, because the consumption volumes are steadily growing. Currently, the wine market in Ukraine comprises about 17.6 million decalitres of wine or 800 million dollars US. Experts believe that annual growth of wine consumption for the next several years will be around 17.5%. It is caused by the increasing adoption of European lifestyle choices, namely, switch from vodka to wine, and by the growing wealth of the region.
Additionally, export opportunities are opening up rapidly. Wine drinkers around the world are keen to try wines from new regions; Shabo has recently opened a Ukrainian Wine Cultural Centre, which has been included in the European first wine cultural routes development map drawn up by the Council of Europe, European commission, UNESCO and representatives of European wine industry.
About the CLPA
The CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) is an international organization with over 1,500 member companies worldwide. The partners’ common objective is promotion and technical development of CC-Link open network technologies. Over 1,100 certified products are now available from over 250 manufacturers. CC-Link is the leading industrial network in Asia, which is becoming increasingly popular in Europe and in America. The European headquarters are in Germany, with the company offices located throughout the continent.
Note: The above information is a translated article ‘Winemaker blends timeless tradition with high tech comms’ from the web-site of CLPA (http://www.clpa-europe.com)
ассоциации CLPA (http://www.clpa-europe.com)
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