Laragon

Renmark, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Project: Almond Processing Plant

The Almond Industry has played and continues to play a vital role in the Riverland’s economic development.

A new plant constructed in 1997 has approximately three times the capacity of the original plant and has significantly reduced the damage on the kernel during the cracking operation, thus improving product quality, which is a key issue in the creation of new export markets.

Exports account for a significant fraction ($20m) of this plant’s $40M output, providing capitals returns to South Australia.

The factory receives almonds directly from the orchards. The almonds are then hulled, shelled and the kernels obtained are then cleaned. From there, they are dimensioned into seven different sizes, ready for final sorting, packaging and marketing.

GJC Engineers’s Role
GJC was appointed Project Manager of the $2.2 million expansion project.

GJC also provided all the mechanical and electrical engineering design

Electrically GJC took a bold step up introducing SCADA Control and distributed PLC’s into a largely agricultural industry to provide its client with the most cost-effective and reliable system possible.

GJC installed InTouch Wonderware as the SCADA control system to five distributed Hitachi PLC’s connected together on the proprietary PLC Data highway. As an autonomous system, the PLCs control all sequence start and process interlocking for safe, reliable plant operation.

Features of the Almond Processing Plant:

The system provides fault diagnostics to operators so any fault or problem can be quickly rectified.

The system automatically stops and starts more than 300 motors used in the plant from a single operator console.

The automatic systems have allowed Laragon to achieve record production throughputs with only two shift operators.

Client Statement
We have what we believe to be, (and visitors from all over the world have confirmed), the most advanced and automated almond processing plant in the world.

Over the past three years, we have expanded and enhanced the plant to almost double its capacity.

Throughout all this, GJC have provided Laragon technology, engineering and support to make this [almond shelling] plant a success story.

Graham Jones
Laragon Pty. Ltd.
Operations Manager
Contact: (08) 8595 8080