All the Data, All the Time

Client: Waiwera Organic Winery

Project: Distillation Plant

  • Functional Description
  • Supply and programming of ABB’s AC500 PLC and Compact HMI (SCADA)
  • MCC cabinet
  • Process Engineering
  • Installation and Commissioning

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Waiwera Organic Winery (WOW) was formed when it was noticed how much excess wine wineries were unable to export. The directors of WOW had developed a patented distillation process that allowed very efficient distillation of ethanol. The New Zealand wine was perfect for this application. After progressing through the development stage, they were ready for commercialisation, including building a large scale distillation plant that could operate 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. They had the expertise in how to make the ethanol, they just needed the expertise in scaling and automating their plant.


Their unique distillation process was refined over many years using very manual processes. Although this was an excellent way to understand the intricacies of their process, it was not practical for large scale production. WOW wanted to develop a fully automated plant to make super premium spirits, and was capable of operating 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. To develop this state of the art process they required help.

WOW asked N2P Controls to submit a price for a package automation solution that included engineering assistance, supply of process equipment, PLC/SCADA supply and programming, the MCC and installation and commissioning assistance. Once N2P Controls investigated and understood what WOW’s requirements were, a detailed proposal was submitted.


WOW accepted N2P Controls proposal for the Automation of the project and Southtrade was selected as the Mechanical suppliers to the project. ABB was the preferred PLC/SCADA supplier and N2P Controls had successfully used ABB process equipment in the past.

The patented distillation process involves two batched stages. Each batched stage had multiple distilling units. These two stages were required to be run by two separate PLCs, all interlinked through the SCADA software. This included supplying two separate MCCs with sufficient room left for future expansion.

N2P Controls had to work very closely with WOW and Southtrade requiring flexibility to allow installation and commissioning of the MCC and PLC while other construction work continued. A close partnership was formed due to all parties having a positive and constructive approach to design changes.

The Technical Stuff

The PLCs used were ABB’s AC500 and were programmed using CoDeSys. ABB’s SCADA package, Compact HMI, was
the software used to interface the PLCs and give the visual detail wanted for the operators. The PLC and Compact HMI used Modbus as its communication protocol. A virtual private network was set up for remote access to the Compact HMI to allow remote changes. The PLCs had a combined 120 digital I/O points, 25 analogue I/O points and close to 500 SCADA signals. Connection between the PLCs, SCADA and other remote computers was through Ethernet.


WOW is now successfully manufacturing premium spirits for export, including their premium vodka. In the short time they have been manufacturing, they are already manufacturing 24hrs a day. Thanks to N2P Controls work ethic and determination
to deliver a high quality solution for their client, WOW now have a state of the art manufacturing facility. Wayne Avery, General Manager at WOW, is full of praise for N2P Controls; “I was very impressed with their work ethic and willingness to
go the extra mile for us”. He also states; “I am very glad that we went with N2P Controls. We will be using them again for our upgrades”.

Because N2P Controls was able to supply a fully package automation proposal it allowed WOW to focus on the mechanical and civil design. N2P’s solution included customised advance programming and graphical features that WOW retains ownership of and has the ability to use in future upgrades

N2P Controls prides itself on delivering successful projects through their approach to their work and skill set they have. With professionals ranging from a Chartered Process Engineer, to Electrical/Electronic Engineers and Industrial Technicians,
let N2P Controls help make your next project a success.

 Download this case study as a PDF (800KB)