Automated Dosing and Advanced PLC Programming Streamline Food Processing


  • Fresh Food Processing

Technology Focus

  • Allen Bradley Micro800 Series PLC
  • EWON VPN Gateway
  • EWON eCatcher
  • Connected Components Workbench
  • Panelview HMI
  • Powerflex Drives

Project Overview

In the agricultural and food processing sectors, ensuring the safety and extending the shelf life of fresh produce before it’s transported is paramount. These perishable goods are often treated with antimicrobial solutions that minimize the risk of microbial contamination during long transit times. This not only helps preserve the freshness of the produce but also reduces the potential for foodborne illnesses.

Upon reaching its destination, the treated produce goes through a thorough rinsing process. This step is essential to remove any residual treatment from the produce in order to adhere to stringent food safety regulations.

For our customer, its produce processing plant was experiencing issues when washing off the residue from the produce.


By designing and programming an automated control system, we provided the customer with a comprehensive turn-key solution that enables the system to operate for hours without human intervention. The system's remote capabilities allow for on-site troubleshooting with remote support, significantly reducing downtime and support costs."

- JT Hartt, NeoMatrix 


When washing the produce, the processing plant noticed the development of excessive foam which significantly impeded the effectiveness and efficiency of the cleaning. This not only compromises the quality of the produce but also disrupts the workflow.

When this happened, production stopped to allow the foam to dissipate before the washing equipment could be restarted.


To address the operational inefficiencies and foam control in the washing tanks, an additional ingredient was necessary for periodic dosing. The client facilitated this process by providing standalone skids adjacent to the washing tanks, designed to dose the tanks at regular intervals as part of an automated solution dosing initiative.

Neomatrix was enlisted by the client given our expertise in Allen Bradley PLC programming. The client's objective was to enable remote control functionality for accessing various set points and historical data. This capability was sought to allow for easy data access via VPN, enabling the client to monitor real-time HMI data for optimal dosing scheduling and setup.

Collaborating closely with the client's mechanical engineer and leveraging the Allen Bradley Micro800 Series PLC, Neomatrix successfully implemented a solution. This solution enabled the mixing of the necessary solution in the standalone skids and facilitated scheduled dosing into the wash tanks, preventing production downtime due to excess foaming. 


The solution delivered to the produce processing plant yielded several significant and beneficial results, enhancing both operational efficiency and the quality of the produce.

  • Reduced Downtime: Before the intervention, excessive foaming would necessitate halting the washing process, resulting in significant downtime. The new system's ability to control foam formation allowed for continuous operation of the washing equipment.
  • Enhanced Efficiency: The elimination of excess foam ensured that the produce could be cleaned thoroughly in a single pass, thereby saving time and reducing water and energy usage.
  • Improved Product Safety and Quality: By addressing the issue of excessive foam, the risk of insufficiently washed produce entering the market was mitigated.
  • Compliance with Food Safety Regulations: The thorough rinsing process, now more efficient due to reduced foaming, ensured that any residual solution was effectively removed from the produce.
  • Enhanced Monitoring and Data Accessibility: By integrating remote control functionality and enabling access to real-time HMI data via VPN, the client gained the ability to monitor the system closely and adjust settings as needed. This enhanced oversight meant potential issues could be identified and addressed promptly, further increasing operational efficiency and productivity.

The challenge of excessive foam development during the washing phase posed significant risks to the plant’s operational efficiency and to the quality of the produce. Partnering with Neomatrix and implementing a strategic solution that integrated automated chemical dosing and advanced PLC programming, the plant overcame these challenges.

Additionally, implementing remote monitoring and data access capabilities gave all parties greater control over their processes, enabling them to respond swiftly to any potential issues and maintain high standards of product safety and quality.

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