Upscaling process components is a critical process. Allocating financial means in an too early state, might lead to investments in non-critical process area. But postponing investments might lead to a mismatch between production capacity and (market) demands, opening a window for less well thought panic investments and expansions. Cargill was well aware of these challenges; their expansion goal was to invest in both quality and capacity.
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Upscaling processes offers unique opportunities. It allows ways to improve integration with other factory and process areas, and forward and backward integration with other organizational processes. For Cargill, choosing the PCS 7 platform was a simple decision. It allowed simple integration with other plant systems (i.e. Simatic Batch and MES integration), but also made hardware upscaling easier. In this particular case ABB controllers and remote IO's could be exchanges for higher compatible PCS 7 alternatives. These investments secured future up-scaling and local and global compatibility.
As a result, also the user interface was improved; touch panels were applied to facilitate in-process input and fine tuning. As a result, not only the current production capacity was increased, future extensibility and long term compatibility amongst other process areas was secured. In short: future ready!