Case Studies

Fiber Cement Board

Control System Upgrades for Cement Production Process

Posted in Chemical, Consumer Goods, HMI and SCADA, Manufacturing Automation and Intelligence, MES


DMC improved and upgraded a batched-based cement manufacturing process on a large factory line.  DMC added improved HMIs, manual control, controls for additional mixers and holding tanks, and added controls for a new ingredient and process to the product. 


DMC worked with the client to implement a new process with a new ingredient to an existing line that improved the end product quality.  The addition was an extensive change to the line, requiring additional PLC hardware, networked IO, control panel, mixing stations, and holding tanks. 

PLC to PLC and PLC to IO communication is over ControlNet protocol.  The factory contains over 50 PLCs of different families that share data and network and factory resources.  Network load analysis was performed to ensure system performance was not impacted by new systems.  The system runs two complex pressure control loops to attain optimal pipe pressure and flow rate.  End system tuning is tolerant for a large range of set points.

Additional services included generating HMI screens, improving recipe management system, creating ingredient diverting system, configuring historian trending, and I/O checkout.  The end system was robust; no additional issues or support were needed after implementation and initial training.

Customer Benefits

  • Improved process and end product quality with minimal downtime and minimal loss of production
  • Increased product quality across a wide range of setpoints with robust, optimal PID tuning
  • Improved ROI of project with fast time from concept to design to implementation
  • Modular, flexible, intuitive code base adhering to client's internal standards allowed easy adoption by client's maintenance staff.



  • Allen-Bradley ControlLogix PLC
  • Allen-Bradley ControlNet IO Expansion
  • Allen-Bradley PowerFlex Drive Control
  • ControlNet Protocol
  • Mettler-Toledo EIP Scales 


  • RSlogix 5000
  • FactoryTalk Historian
  • Wonderware InTouch
  • DriveLogix
  • RSNetworx for ControlNet
  • DriveExecutive