Within the international glass industry, ZIPPE is renowned as the contact of choice for batch and cullet plants. Owner-operated in its fourth generation, the company was formed in 1920 and supplies everything from one source – from planning up to commissioning. 45 experienced individuals are responsible for the realization of modern, high-performance automation and control systems at ZIPPE.
"Within our industry, successfully completed reference projects are frequently the deciding factor for being awarded an order… or not. It is therefore imperative that we deliver systems with a high level of availability, and which are efficient and easy to operate," states Department Head Joachim Ullrich, who places great value in selecting suitable hardware and software solutions.
Glass production plants usually remain in operation for ten, twelve years – without interruption. And even if the plant "only" has to run for 16 of 24 hours, longer shutdown periods are still not an option.
"A maximum of three hours, then production has to continue," confirms Joachim Ullrich, explaining that reliably functioning systems are one of the main requirements of the glass industry, especially as the ZIPPE plants are directly connected with the center of the entire production system: the glass melting furnace.
"We take care of everything that has to happen prior to this step, from the delivery of the raw materials to their dosage and weighing, in some cases requiring precision to the exact gram," describes the Head of the Electrical Engineering and Process Automation Department.
Across the almost 100 year corporate history, a total of approximately 600 batch plants as well as more than 1,000 cullet plants have been designed and implemented by ZIPPE in accordance with customer requirements.
ZIPPE is globally renowned for a wide range of skills. The ability to modernize existing plants during continuous operation is one of the major strengths of the Wertheim-based company. Plant designs, which provide precisely what the final customer envisages, are another "specialty of the house."
In the course of a "Greenfield project" in France, ZIPPE was contracted to deliver a batch plant with mechanical conveyor technology and a cullet return system. With regard to execution of this project, the following requirements had to be met: the plant should be designed to supply two furnaces with a total of 130 tonnes of mixture in 16 hours.
Output reserves were requested and the facility should allow three different types of feeding – Big-Bag filling, filling with silo trucks and mechanical loading. The plant had to be erected within one year and put into operation with the supreme satisfaction of the final customer.
Last but not least, the utilization of the PlantPAx DCS as a higher-level process control system was demanded.This should ensure a uniform look and feel at all operating and monitoring stations of the entire factory.