Automation in the food industry is also a major issue for the Wilhelmshaven fish experts at Greenland Seafood. An everyday problem loomed: limited resource IP addresses in the production network.
From classic fish sticks to freshly caught frozen shrimp: On ten high-tech production lines and with more than 400 employees, Greenland Seafood, a subsidiary of AliSa International, produces 1.3 million fish meals per day. In view of these quantities, automation naturally plays a central role. That's why those responsible set out on the road toward Industry 4.0 several years ago. In addition to the increased collection and use of data from the production network, this process also entails increasing Ethernet networking of machines and components.
However, despite all the advantages, such an abundance of networked individual elements also means that the IP addresses in the higher-level production network will eventually run out. Joachim Gerken, who works in automation technology at the Wilhelmshaven site, makes the following calculation: "The production line for fish sticks alone has seven or eight frequency converters, plus numerous other components. If each has its own IP address, 20 to 30 addresses are lost per line. With ten lines, that would be 300." And the production network is only designed for a maximum of 255 IP addresses. However, a complete conversion or expansion of the production network would have been very costly. So it quickly became clear to Gerken: "This is not the way to go, we need another alternative."