Why ICAD Automation?
ICAD Automation has been in the business of pistachio processing automation for 20+ years. Our customers choose us because we combine our extensive experience with the latest proven technology and then tailor the whole package to each client’s specific requirements.
Where many integrators and electrical contractors claim to work in the pistachio industry, few can say they have been doing it as long as we have. ICAD doesn’t just have the automation knowledge; we have the process knowledge. We know how the machines operate and the nuances to make a system run smoothly from day one of implementation, without a learning curve.
Benefits of Pistachio Processing Automation
Every project is tailored to each customer’s requirements, and systems can be built as simple or complex as the customer desires, but a sampling of pistachio processing automation is as follows:
Automatic “One Touch” Start/Stop
An operator can start or stop the plant by pressing one button on a touchscreen. The pistachio processing automation system will then start or stop the machinery one-by-one in order. Additionally, each piece of equipment is interlocked in our logic, so that if a machine suddenly stops working, all equipment feeding it will shut down immediately to prevent clogs.
Automatic Feed Rate
One of the keys to a smooth and efficient process is a constant rate of product flowing through your machines. Unfortunately, depending on how the operator is feeding product into the line, it can vary greatly. Thankfully, we can utilize variable speed drives to smooth out the ups and downs and give you a constant feed rate into your plant.
By including in-line scales at various parts of the process, you can see in real-time the throughput of your facility. Additionally, production totals can be automatically recorded and emailed to management at periodic intervals.
Integration With Color Sorting
Color sorters and other grading equipment are the backbone of any processing operation. While many of these pieces of equipment are very “smart”, the information that they produce is kept locally at the machine. Getting the data out of the machine can be a cumbersome and time consuming process. With our systems, we can integrate with these machines, to gather the data automatically. This data can then be included in daily (or hourly) production reports. Additionally, this communication allows for remote alarming of this equipment, so an operator can be alerted immediately if something has gone out of spec.
Smart Motor Controls
Gone are the days of guessing why a motor stopped or hoping that no motor problems crop up during a critical product run. By utilizing smart motor control centers, you can see the health of each motor (amps, overload status, total run hours, etc.). This allows you to see potential issues before they become problems. By automatically recording and having a history of this data, you can see clues as you why a specific piece of equipment failed, so that you can take steps to prevent the problem next time.
The above list is just a high level sampling of things that you can do with pistachio processing automation. The possibilities are many and only depend on a customer’s budget and desires.
We do Pistachio Hulling Automation Too!
Not only do we provide pistachio processing automation… We also automate hulling too! Many of the features in our pistachio processing automation can be included in pistachio hulling automation. Infact, many of our customers choose to have a single system that covers both hulling and automation. We understand how uptime is even more critical during hulling season, therefore we design our systems to withstand the summer heat, dirty conditions and 24/7 run time associated with hulling.
Our Design Process
Our role in these projects typically starts with the initial design of the electrical and pistachio processing automation systems long before ground is broken. Unlike many of our competitors, we use in-house professional engineers to design our systems. This ensures compliance with the latest standards and easy construction permit approval. Additionally, during this time we coordinate heavily with OEM manufacturers of the mechanical equipment to ensure all of the inputs and outputs that they require are accounted for. We also handle all coordination with the electric utility company, which is typically a tedious and extended process that customers dread.
Our Implementation Process
Upon permit approval, our sister company, Lighthouse Electrical installs both the electrical and automation infrastructure. PLC’s, Motor Control Centers (MCC’s), SCADA systems and lot tracking–we integrate it all into one complete package. As typically happens with projects of such scale – we rely heavily upon our experienced engineers who knew exactly how each component worked due to specific customized client needs and unique business processes. Our seasoned engineers design intricate, yet easy-to-use systems including Rockwell Automation, Inductive Automation Ignition and other suppliers like Eaton ABB, Siemens and Schneider Electric.
Our customers appreciate that we handle both the design and build of the system. This eliminates the finger pointing and excessive change orders that can happen between engineers and contractors when they are from different companies. Our remarkable team is able to handle any electrical or automation project, no matter how intricate. From start-to-finish they ensure timely delivery and 100% accuracy at launch. These are the types of project our team enjoys that put our expertise to the test and create lasting client relationships.
How Can We Help?
If you need help with your pistachio processing automation (or hulling!) give us a call or shoot us a message. We look forward to working with you on your project’s specific needs.