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LacPatrick Dairy – Artigarvan


LacPatrick Dairy

Project Completion

January 2018

About The Customer

A merger of two N.I dairy companies (Ballyrashane Creamery and T.M.C Dairies) in 2015 resulted in the formation of LacPatrick Dairies.

  • Both firms have achieved awards within the dairy sector for their environmental and product services.
  • These two leading companies recognised that their complementary experience, facilities and products would offer solid business opportunities.
  • Together they aim to be more competitive in global market place.
  • Investing an approximate €40m for a new milk processing plant

However, LacPatrick found themselves facing customary production challenges.

The plant manager explained:

As part of our ongoing growth we needed to increase production, which would consequently have a positive knock-on effect on sales, market share and customer base. Finding a system that could professionally manage all control aspects of the BMS in one, user friendly HMI was key to maximising production and making this happen.”

The project:

On this project, Little Electrical was responsible for the electrical and automation components for the new facility.

  • The contract went to tender and Little Electrical was chosen as the best company for the job.
  • Little electrical provided total solution for the client’s needs.
  • This included the electrical installation along with the design, programming and commissioning of the building management system.

Artigarvan’s new facility, opened in early 2017, and is one of the most innovative and modern facilities in the market.

  • Operating with advanced processes, automated control, and the latest technology in powder production!
  • It also can produce Instantised Powders using Nozzle Atomisation.
  • Not to mention it has one of the lowest carbon footprints of its kind in Western Europe.

Furthermore the new facility needed to include a building management system (BMS) capable of using automation to control the temperature.

  • Cooling areas of the factory where the milk drying plant produces large amounts of heat.
  • It also controls heat in the office spaces and maintains constant supply of services to the process plant control systems.
  • Resulting in the highest quality and most efficient production.


Little Electrical chose a Beckhoff control platform to handle all BMS functions.

  • Consisting of: 4 CP6606 screened controllers, 2 programable logic controllers (PLC’s); CX 5020, CX 9020 and a front-end PC.

Specifically, the BMS controlled:

  • Eight air handling units
  • An air compressor
  • Desiccant dryer
  • Chiller
  • Cooling tower
  • Steam and condensation plan
  • A process water plant

Access to each control panel was via a small touchscreen in each plant room. It also has been designed so that operators have the luxury of flexibility, meaning monitoring and altering instrumentation settings can be conducted while on routine factory walk-arounds, remote from the control room.

Conclusively the final system provided by Little Electrical can:

  • Display live values
  • Generate alarms
  • Includes trend logs for various areas of the plant. Meaning operators can view the state of sensors for the previous three weeks. This allows the cause of any factory or production defects in the future to be immediately pinpointed.

Project after effects:

The new BMS has had the desired effect on the client’s production process. Using automation to consolidate large amounts of data into one front end HMI allows LacPatrick Dairies’ operators:

  • To observe the status of every sensor throughout the 30,000 sq ft (2,800m2) building relating to the incorporated systems.
  • This means a vast decrease in operator reaction time, should a critical sensor fall into alarm state.
  • This enables the operators to limit the possibility of an error taking place, meaning less time spent off product.

Padraig McCormack of LacPatrick Dairies has been impressed with the abilities of the Beckhoff BMS and Little electrical, commenting:

the BMS allows our operators to have access to all the essential utilities simply with the click of a mouse and with the built-in alarm system it allows us to react quickly to any potential issues…. all work carried out by Little Electrical has been completed to the highest of standards and they have shown a unique understanding of both the electrical and automation requirements