Hill's Pet Nutrition continues to update its existing technology systems at the Kentucky plant to eliminate analog input failures.

In 2006, the company decided to implement new control technology based on the Allen-Bradley ControlLogix programmable automation controller (PAC) from Rockwell Automation, to help eliminate I/O failures and streamline software programming. The first phase of implementation began in 2008 with the conversion of the first of four extruder lines to ControlLogix PAC technology, and eventually replacing the existing Modbus Plus network with EtherNet/IP. In addition, variable-frequency drives in the plant are being updated and replaced with Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 70 drives.

The upgrade project will continue over five years, and will involve upgrading all major production lines and a minimum of six of the plant’s existing controllers to the ControlLogix PAC platform.