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Cristall Distillery
Cristall Distillery

TRACE MODE at the Moscow Cristall Distillery

The most famous Russian distillery the Moscow Cristall Distillery several year ago has celebrated its 100-th jubilee anniversary. Being founded in 1901 as a state enterprise producing distillery products, the Moscow Cristall Distillery has been the industry leader in the course of the century.

Now the Moscow Cristall Distillery workshops are equiped with high technological and modern equipment for vodka production, bottling and design. Vodkas, bitter and sweet nastoykas, nalivkas and liqueurs, balsam and gin are produced on eleven automated lines of the Moscow Cristall Distillery. The actual productive capacity of the Cristall distillery is 12,0 mln. dekalitres per year.

vodkaFor the first time the TRACE MODE SCADA/HMI and Softlogic-system was implemented at the Moscow Cristall Distillery in 2001 in the control system of water treatment shop. The system was designed for monitoring the process conditions of the water treatment system and partly for the central heat station. The water treatment shop control system carried out the acquisition of data on temperatures of reservoirs and pipelines from recycling and hot water supply, water intake, data on the discharge mainline and the information about the environment. The data obtained from the water treatment shop control system is used by the shop operator and also in the central heat station control system at the Moscow Cristall Distillery. The information about the temperature of the water treatment shop equipment is continuously saved in the local TRACE MODE HMI log as well as in the long-term archive. After the first launch of the TRACE MODE HMI based control system into commercial operation, the Moscow Cristall Distillery managers has taken decision about  the step-by-step modernization of all low-level and medium-level control systems in all enterprise production processes. The following modernization goals have been set: 

  • To increase the “transparency” of the production processes;
  • To provide the safe and reliable control systems operation;
  • To unify the equipment and software in the production department.

A reference list of the TRACE MODE HMI based control systems developed at the Moscow Cristall Distillery is given below:

  •  boiler-house control system; 
  •  water treatment shop control system;
  •  packing shop control system; 
  •  central heat station control system; 
  •  blending division control system; 
  •  boiler-room monitoring system; 
  •  spirit inflow shop control system; 
  •  bottling division control system; 
  •  rectification shop control system.

All  control systems at the Moscow Cristall Distillery were developed by the AdAstrA Research Group, Ltd  authorised system integrator Komens. According to the company control engineers’ , the most difficult part of the works has been “blending”- the process of obtaining a water-sprit mixture with the specified alcohol proof. The process of blending has a number of rigid restrictions on the raw materials, is inertial and requires continuous correction of the flow-meter equipment.

Before launching the control system for the blending process, at the Moscow Cristall Distillery engineers monitored the process manually. The labour-intensity of such control is evident. At the beginning of each production cycle, the blending operator performed a thorough measurement of unspent residues of the water-spirit mixture, its proof and the amount in the tank. The determination of the liquid proof is carried out by sampling, with the use of a usual spirit gauge and a usual thermometer and has taken several minutes. Then the required amount of added water was calculated depending upon the proof of vodka, specified formula or the amount of spirit in service tanks. On the basis of calculation, the operator gradually performed mixing of liquids and determined the alcohol proof obtained by means of repeated measurements. One blending operator had to monitor up to 8 tanks. The labour intensity of such work negatively affected the quality of vodka.

The TRACE MODE HMI based blending control system, launched at the Moscow Cristall Distillery, has allowed to improve the existing technology.

The Moscow Cristall Distillery have been achieved the following results:

  • deviation of the alcohol proof equals to not more than 0.1 degree and the volume - not more than 0.1 dekalitres, which fully complies with the requirements made by supervising agencies; 
  • the process cycle time has been reduced. This effect is especially perceivable at the proof adjustment stage; 
  • the use of adaptive pid loops of the liquid feed system has allowed to secure the operator against occasional overspending of normal alcohol; 
  • the requirements for the blending operator skills have been reduced; 
  • manual sampling from the tank was avoided, what considerably facilitated the labour conditions and reduced a danger of workers’ poisoning by strong alcohol vapours.

After the successful implementation of the blending control system,  the Komens company enginers and started developing a new TRACE MODE HMI based control system for the manual bottling shop of the Moscow Cristall Distillery. The alcohol drink bottling into non-standard bottles is made by small batches (by several tens-hundreds of packages) and in conditions, which completely exclude usage of any automated high-productivity revolver type lines. The situation is aggravated by the fact that job requirements for bottling may vary several times during the working shift.

The process control system for pouring metering at the manual bottling section of the Moscow Cristall Distillery has been developed on the basis of TRACE MODE HMI and covers 4 workplaces, each of which has 2 pouring nipples.

The main system functions are as follows:

  • semi-automatic local or remote control of metering devices; 
  • centralised programming of flow meters;
  • monitoring of amounts and product consumption in absolute and alcohol terms;
  • current monitoring of the product alcohol proof and temperature;
  • mnemonic and voice indication of the minimal level of service tanks;
  • selective block/stop of pouring;
  • monitoring of product consumption per working shift;
  • displaying of the metering device operation on the shop engineer workstation;
  • recording of data on the product consumption and fulfilment of the job requirements into the main distillery database. 

The new bottling control system at the Moscow Cristall Distillery has managed to fully automate and make transparent the process of alcohol drink bottling in the shop producing souvenir distillery products.

After launching of most critical control system, further automation was carried out at the Moscow Cristall Distillery already for the factory-level systems also using the TRACE MODE and T-FACTORY.

The control system development program at the Moscow Cristall Distillery is successfully evolving and now the distillery has production departments fully been automated with the TRACE MODE HMI.  The Blending control system and Pouring metering control system at the manual bottling section examples demonstrate that all Moscow Cristall Distillery management’s requirements for the control systems have been fulfilled.

The information has been used  kindly provided by Komens Group.


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