Integrated control system for DCA storage

Nijssen Koeling has extended its control system with a module for managing Controlled Atmosphere (CA)- and Dynamic Controlled Atmosphere (DCA) storage. This new module was taken into use by Fruitmasters for 57 newly built and renovated cold stores in two depots in Geldermalsen.

Fruitmasters stores around 9 million kilos of top fruit, soft fruit and stonefruit under DCA conditions. Optimal conditions need to be established for each fruit variety, even for each batch - depending on factors such as the fruit size, the (micro)climate in the orchard and the degree of ripeness during harvest. Constant monitoring, measuring and adjustments are required to keep conditions consistent and fruit quality at an optimum condition for each room.

Frequent gas analysis
The Fruitmasters' depots are provided with three ULO gas control stations. Using measurement hoses, each station analyses the atmosphere in 20 cold stores. The control system provides individual settings in each room, for any gas and temperature storage regime. All settings are tightly controlled and any deviations from the set value points are notified to the user.

Integrated ULO-components
Nijssen's control system regulates all of the processes, both cooling conditions (i.e. temperature, humidity) and ULO components (i.e. gas measurements, aeration, CO2 scrubbers, nitrogen generator). Cold stores can be controlled individually or as part of a group.

Large amounts of data traffic
"The data management was one of the challenges for this set up," technical engineer Edwin Snabel of Nijssen explains. "Monitoring the conditions in all cold stores generates a huge amount of data - especially in Fruitmasters' large scale operations. Smart solutions for data traffic have been applied in the software. This means the system can control and respond quickly and efficiently."

"Due to extensive measuring and registering, we are now able to respond quickly to deviations," says Harry Beelen, cold store manager at Fruitmasters. "Also, it is simpler to interpret tendencies in the storage process."

Quick set up based on recipes
With around 350 settings and measurement per cooling cell, custom control threatens to be a huge task. The control therefore offers the opportunity to capture the basic conditions and for each variety and set a basic recipes for the different phases in storage. Through user friendly menus adjustment is possible on all parameters. The basic recipes are stored on the control computer, so that unlimited recipes can be defined.

Extensive data registration
All actions, alarms and log data are registered by the system and can easily be recovered for analysis. A full report of each batch is available, including detailed overviews and graphs. Of course, all information can also be printed and exported. "An extensive and accurate account of the storage process is of the utmost importance for us," says Harry Beelen. "With around 50 million kilos of fruit in storage we have a big responsibility."

Nijssen will be at GreenTech 2016 (14-16 June 2016, Amsterdam RAI).

For more information:
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