Whatever we do, we do it right

In over 10 years of our company history, Automation from BMA has solved quite a few automation technology problems around the globe. Our many references speak for themselves.

Actuell references

What had started with a centrifugal delivery a few years previously continued in 2014 with the signing of additional agreements for delivery of extraction and evaporator plants. Collaboration between BMA and the Agrosnabsakhar sugar factory at Yelets in Russia has been going from strength to strength (see BMA Info 53/2015); in 2015, the agreement was extended to include a process control system.

In early 2015, BMA Automation was awarded two large-scale automation projects for the Slutsk sugar combine. Two key factors that helped win the bids were the company's comprehensive expertise in sugar production and its brand-indepen- dent software and hardware knowledge.

Ein vorzeitige Projekt für optimale Zusammenarbeit zwischen Kunde und Gesellschaften der BMA Gruppe. Entstanden ist die modernste Fabrik Usbekistans.

Centrifugal optimisation from BMA for better energy Efficiency.

The JSC Khorazm Shakar sugar factory in Uzbekistan was processing 1,000 tons of imported raw sugar per day. Not enough to meet demand on the domestic market, the company realised, and proposed the building of a second refinery to the government. Angren Shakar, the newly founded operating company, awarded this project to BMA, with tasks ranging from preparation of a concept study, to planning and building of the technical equipment, and to training the future operating staff. With BMA manufacturing the necessary process technology plants and equipment, it fell to BMA Automation in collaboration with BMA Russia to supply all electrical and automation equipment for the sugar process. With the innovative Siemens PCS7 process control system, integration of third-party solutions is easy. BMA Automation ran a factory acceptance test, or FAT, to test functionality of the new plant in advance. Together with the customer, BMA experts simulated commissioning of the entire virtual plant in the BMA simulation lab, to gain an idea of how to operate the controller without problems and how to integrate all technical components in a network. Thanks to the innovative SIMIT simulation tool, it was possible at that stage to configure automation of the vacuum pans to maximise sugar output and minimise energy consumption. Following thorough testing, sugar production started in August 2014. Since then, the plant has been running with a daily capacity of 1,000 tons of white sugar.

Factory acceptance testing (FAT) is a major milestone for BMA Automation, who has set new standards with this method. It involves recreating the process control system of a planned factory (like the original, with the software and all switchgear such as PLC, IPC, and bus systems) and simulating process flows, in order to enhance the interaction of all components.


Eight CPUs, four servers, ten clients, one Engineering Station, one Process Historian and one Maintenance Station comprising 125 metres of switchgear cabinets. All these components had to be integrated in a network to permit operation of Etihad Food’s new sugar refinery. A factory acceptance test, or FAT, performed at BMA’s main site in Braunschweig, ensured that everything would go according to plan on the Iraqi company’s premises. Relying on the SIMIT simulation software, BMA Automation worked alongside the customer and colleagues from BMA MENA to check control loops, lockout devices, process flows and alert functions. From process technology to controllers – all elements of the automated sugar process were reviewed in detail and quickly tailored to the customer’s specifications. Throughout, from the PID to production of the switchgear, BMA worked with the database-based COMOS engineering software. This provides modules for almost all areas of engineering. The result: a fully automated sugar plant with an integrated process control system and a capacity of 3,000 tons per day, which meets all efficiency and quality requirements. In late 2014, the last shipment reached Iraq. In early 2015 as agreed, Etihad Food started sugar production – on schedule and certain that any potential faults, which might have resulted in additional costs, had been eliminated.

The Gorodeya and Sluzk sugar factories in Belarus were processing 2,000 to 3,000 tons of beet per day, using two overhauled DDS trough extraction systems. This figure could clearly be improved, and the solution was quite obvious: replacing them with new extraction plants from BMA, with a daily processing rate of 10,000 tons. To avoid additional costs resulting from long downtimes, the customer wanted to integrate the new plants with the existing process control system and recommission them as quickly as possible. A typical case for the experts from BMA Automation, who developed complete automation solutions for the Gorodeya and Sluzk sugar factories. In a factory acceptance test, the processes of the new extraction plants were simulated and customised in collaboration with the customer to meet the requirements of multiple drives. Our customer in Gorodeya opted for the ABB Freelance control system for a smooth interaction of all components and process optimisation. The Sluzk factory chose ControlLogix from Allen-Bradley and GuardLogix from Rockwell Automation as their controllers. Soon the concepts developed by BMA Automation in their simulation lab proved successful. The new extraction plants were assembled and commissioned on site within the short time frame specified by the customer. Acceptance by BMA Automation was also quick and easy, so the plants started up in good time for the beet campaign.

Greater process efficiency and enhanced safety in compliance with current standards for G1750 centrifugals from BMA: those were Nordzucker AG’s specifications. To ensure that production would continue even if the primary controller should fail, BMA Automation installed a secondary redundant controller, which communicates with the direct control system via Ethernet. The controller components were fitted to the centrifugal and not in a switchgear cabinet. The result: minimal effort for maximum process stability. BMA Automation also developed a simple yet highly effective solution for low-energy operation of the frequency converter. The central retrofitting element was a common DC link busbar, which permits energy exchange between the motor modules, thus reducing energy consumption. Thanks to the use of an innovative energy management system, the customer can choose between operation for batch efficiency or for energy efficiency, depending on whether the priority is on high output or on energy and cost savings. Since the plant was commissioned in late summer 2013, this innovative concept has proved highly effective, well exceeding expectations, in fact.

Make safety a priority – that was the reason for Südzucker AG from Ochsenfurth, in winter 2013, to have their key machinery upgraded. In having their batch-type centrifugal for higher quality white sugar retrofitted by BMA Automation with state-of-the-art fail-safe technology, Südzucker successfully implemented the recommendation by the German employers' liability insurance association for raw materials and the chemical industry (BGRCI). With the aim of enhancing batch performance, the plant was equipped with the latest drive technology and highly efficient converter motors at the same time. The result is impressive: the upgraded centrifugal can process 22 rather than 17 batches per hour. At the same time, energy consumption for all six upgraded centrifugals has been cut by 390,000 kWh during an annual campaign time of 123.5 days. Based on a price of € 0.13/kWh, this results in savings of about € 50,000 per year. The new batch-type centrifugals thus produce an additional 89,000 batches in the same amount of time. Alternatively, it would be possible to reduce the campaign period by 28 days.

Efficient sugar production requires more than the latest batch pan. What the Uspensky sugar factory, a subsidiary of Prodimex, the Russian agricultural producer, needed were the following: a more powerful agitator and an upgraded vapour chamber, as well as an automation solution that could be integrated with the existing process control system. With BMA supplying the necessary components, it fell to BMA Automation to automate the crystallisation process in an innovative way that would integrate individual components and several batch pans in an overall control system via a number of interfaces. A key element of this innovative solution was DynFAS MW, the high-precision microwave measuring system from BMA Automation, which promises a perfectly homogeneous finished product. The upgrade has resulted in higher product quality and a five percent increase in sugar output, as well as considerably reducing energy consumption.

A new safety concept, the integration of a 10.000-litre Plasticoat tank, integration with the extended warehouse management system, and disassembly of an x-ray system: the list of challenges awaiting BMA Automation in the process optimisation of a facility for natural cheese ripening at Leppersdorf was long – but far from complete. And yet, despite the enormous scope of services for Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller, the operator, the facility started up again on schedule, after only the shortest possible downtime. The magic word was organisation. Thanks to regular morning meetings and weekly sessions with the customer, work progressed quickly. Within the shortest of time and while production was running, BMA Automation replaced the existing CPUs with fail-safe plant control systems. The implementation of emergency-stop concepts required a separation of the individual areas, creating the technical basis for increased performance. Without interrupting production, BMA Automation managed to integrate the plant with the slicing line. This involved installation from scratch of the rack management and robot programming systems. A wide range of services – from design to installation and programming, and to commissioning and documentation – all from a single source: BMA Automation. January 2013 saw the start-up of the plant; since then, it has gone from strength to strength.

BMA Automation: our references at a glance

Sugar refinery projects | SIEMENS PCS 7 process control system

Year Customer Country Configuration Capacity
2014 Etihad Iraq 11 clients/2 red. servers 3,000 t/d
2013 Angren Shakar Uzbekistan 7 clients/red. server 1,000 t/d

Sugar factory projects | SIEMENS PCS 7 process control system

Year Customer Country Process Configuration
2014 Prodimex Russia Sugar house 2 clients/red. Server
2013 Prodimex Russia Extraction 2 clients/ red. server
2011 Keskinkilic Aksaray Turkey Extraction 1 client/server
2010 Fayoum Sugar Egypt Extraction, crystallisation 4 clients, red. server, red. AS
2010 Tambov Russia Extraction 1 client/Server
2004 Ghazwin Iran Extraction 1 client/server

Sugar factory projects | various process control systems

Year Customer Country Process SPS
2013 Sluzk Belarus Extraction Allen Bradley ControlLogix 1756
2013 Gorodeya Belarus Extraction ABB Freelance
2012-2014 Sugar factories Germany Batch centrifugals: more than 40 safety upgrades in compliance with BGRCI recommendation Siemens S7/315-2F
2010 Delta Sugar Egypt Extraction Siemens S7/317-2 DP
2010 Cristal Union Corbeilles France Extraction Siemens S7/317-2 DP
2010 Société Tereos Origny France Extraction Siemens S7/317-2 DP
2010 Südzucker Plattling Germany Extraction Siemens S7/315-2 DP
2009 Aarberg & Frauenfeld Switzerland Extraction Siemens S7/319-3
2008 Dakahlia Belkas 2 Egypt Extraction Siemens S7/317-2 DP
2008 Suta Morocco Extraction Siemens S7/317-2 DP
2007 Nordzucker Clauen Germany Extraction Siemens S7 412-2 DP
2007 Nordzucker Güstrow Germany Extraction Siemens S7 412-2 DP
2007 Nordzucker Chelmza Poland Extraction Siemens S7/315-2 DP
2005 Cosumar, Sidi Bennour Morocco Extraction Siemens S7/315-2 DP
2005 Cosumar, Sidi Bennour Morocco Press Siemens S7/315-2 DP
2005 Nobaria Egypt Extraction Siemens S7/317-2 DP

Projects in the food and beverages industry

Year Customer Country Configuration Configuration
2011 Sachsenmilch Germany Cheese ripening  
2011 Metidji Algeria Grain processing 4 clients/server

Please choose your contact

Show all countries