The Challenge

A major producer of dairy goods for the consumer market, our customer is committed to the importance of having fully supported process technologies. As part of a larger upgrade project, they asked us to complete a total upgrade of the Profibus network on one of their key production lines. They required a solution that would not only easily accommodate local network disruptions and planned interventions, but also would be future-proofed against further expansion to manufacturing capability.

Unconventional wisdom

We offer more than 30 years of expertise gained as a key provider of bespoke and turnkey solutions for organisations across the dairy sector. Our solution for this project began with a comprehensive network health check and a review of the various process areas that make up the plant. This activity was followed by a widespread redesign of the network topology. Several major trunk lines were then converted from copper cable to fibre-optic transmission. Siemens’ Optical Link Modules (OLMs) were selected to transition between the copper and fibre segments. These were used in conjunction with PCF fibre optic cable to enable longer transmission distances and ensure complete noise immunity of the Profibus signals. Finally, the implementation of clearly defined process segment lengths and ‘compartmentalised’ modular process areas ensured robust data communication and the reassurance of prompt fault identification should production issues ever occur.


We have worked with this customer over many years and on a wide range of refurbishment, redevelopment and expansion projects. We were chosen for our in-depth expertise and detailed understanding of their business. We took full responsibility for all aspects of the project, from the early design stages to final performance trials. Our scope of work included the preparation of all design documentation, drawings, budgetary forecasts, procedures and risk assessment. As we are not tied to any particular technology provider, we were able to provide complete impartiality regarding the equipment that was used.

The result

We have equipped our customer with a robust solution that can be easily extended to accommodate new plant and manufacturing strategies and provides for the rapid identification of network issues. The upgrade is sufficiently flexible to allow for both the expansion of individual modules and locations within the plant – all without any likelihood of impact on production.


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FMA Process Engineering,

Three Spires House,

Station Road,



WS13 6HX, UK

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