We were keeping busy during the past December shutdown period, installing a turnkey solution and control upgrade. The control upgrade solution, which was fabricated and tested towards the end of last year, was ready for the shutdown period to finish installation and integration into the existing plant.

The solution involved replacing the existing Mitsubishi FX PLC with a new Mitsubishi iQR PLC. Additionally, a GOT touchscreen was added to the solution to manage the new recipe control. A further barcode scanner was integrated to call an associated recipe, quickly for each cycle. Further data capturing and reporting had been added to the PLC, this data was collected by the plant PLC to record cycle time, sequence number, recipe type, and pass or failure result. 

Our Turnkey Solution installation had been running well before the site installation, with complete sign-off. The solution consisted of Siemens PLC & HMI communicating to field IO using IO-Link modules. Motion technology, high-speed counting, RFID & camera systems were integrated to provide a reliable sorting and counting function for our client.

The need to identify, recipe, orientate, count and distribute plastic clips in batches within 8-second intervals was achieved using innovative methods, like carbon fiber 3D printing to reduce the machine footprint and overall cost.

Vibration orientation was implemented for the clips to facilitate transport and handling. The sorting and transportation prepared 100-150 clips per minute for the counting head. The counting motor counted each clip through position control and verified the count with a photoelectric sensor wired to a high-speed input. Using both methods ensured that the count was accurate each time.

This was an exciting project where the use of industry-leading methods and technologies were implemented to create a one-of-a-kind solution. Head over to our news page for other interesting reads: https://motiontronic.co.za/news/