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This would be a nightmare for any grower; a fire in your greenhouse! If a fire breaks out at the nerve center of the control system, the process computer, it can have disastrous consequences. Of course, it is important that you can get everything up and running again as quickly as possible, in order to limit additional damage. What is needed for this? Backup and service!

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Fire destroys essential systems

It has now been over two months since a fire broke out in a three-hectare greenhouse of Ball Australia, an Australian supplier of young plants. The fire was located around the maintenance area, the irrigation area and the storage area where fertilizer, chemicals and peat bales were located. Fortunately, no employees were injured because the fire started before the staff started working that day. However, the material damage was enormous; all irrigation, fertigation and UV water treatment installations, as well as the Priva Connext process computer, were irreparably damaged or destroyed by the fire. 

Backup, spare parts and service!

Despite the damage caused by the fire, Priva Full Service Partner Powerplants was able to ensure that Ball Australia could be operational again within a day. How? The Priva Connext control network was installed as a ring network. In this way, redundancy is built in: if the data cannot be turned counterclockwise, then it is done clockwise. This enabled technician Ben Volts to remove the affected area from the network and make an end-to-end connection so that the rest of the network could continue to run. The Priva Connext processor was then immediately replaced by a new one. 

Thanks to the backup system that Powerplants had installed, all previously selected settings of the system could be restored. This backup system restored the full functionality of most greenhouse areas, including all settings. Ben also succeeded in connecting a temporary power supply from the generator on the site to the boiler so that it could continue to run. An alternative irrigation solution and a temporary fertigation system were also installed within 24 hours of the fire with the help of the Powerplants team. 

Fortunately, the backup system, the quick availability of spare parts, the right expertise and service ensured that all young plants remained undamaged. Ball Australia is ready for the season!