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Jul 28, 2012 -

While modernizing the controls of the Lynemouth plant in England,  Alcan had expressed the need for better real-time control of the plant’s 176 tanks. An open, rugged solution needed to be designed and deployed.  This solution had to interface 2nd level systems  (UNIX), where control decisions are taken.


the client

Rio Tinto Alcan is a world leader of aluminium production. It is one of the most important suppliers of bauxite, alumine and aluminium. Its leadership is backed up by the principles of durable development, that dictate its actions and decisions. Excellence in the fields of health, safety and the environment is one of its highest priorities.


the challenge

The large quantity of communication between level 2 servers, the integration of a new proprietary protocol (ISONet from Apix) and the need to encapsulate and automatically generate the codes made the use of a standard controller difficult. Also, the solution had to handle change notices and facilitate system certification by means of a simulator for the entire tank chain.



A modular architecture was developped, partly through the use of a control block library.  The client chose an open platform based on industrial PCs.  The chosen control software was ISaGRAF with the ISONet protocol for I/O cards.  For level 2 communications, a proprietary TCP/IP protocol was developped between the control application and the servers.  Automatic function block instance and code generators were also developped.



  • 176 electrolysis tanks;
  • 6000 physical I/Os;
  • ISONet Apix protocol;
  • TCP/IP Communications with server;
  • 4 Ziatech STD-32 processors;
  • ‘cold stand-by’ type redundancy;
  • 1 monitoring station;
Jul 27, 2012 -

To its clients, Lallemand supplies a complete storage and delivery system for liquid yeast. The mandate for this project was to automate the management of the two 40,000lbs yeast tanks, and to ensure automatic transfer of precise yeast quantities to the mixers for bread production according to specific baker recipes.

the client

Lallemand produces baker’s yeast. Its “ingredients” division answers to the industry needs of bakeries by employing cutting-edge yeast technology, their enzymes and other products containing specialty ingredients. These products are then joined with added value services for the bakeries.


the challenge

Being a living organism, yeast requires tight storage parameter controls. Also, since minute variations in the yeast quantity delivered to the mixers can greatly affect end product quality, control over all delivery system parameters had to be extremely precise.



A ‘’Soft Logic’’ control engine running on an industrial computer was chosen for this application. I/O card communication was based on RS-485, while communication between Allen-Bradley modules used Highway+. A local HMI, near the yeast tanks, handled stock management and production methods. Yeast transfer queries to the mixers were either handled manually by Red Lion modules or automatically via requests sent from a central system.



  • 1 industrial computer per bakery
  • 80 I/Os
  • Opto-22 or Allen-Bradley
  • RS-485 ou DH+ Protocols 
  • Red Lion Communications 
  • Modem access for remote support