MODEX 2018 - supply chain, manufacturing, distribution trade show
Georgia World Congress Center
  Atlanta, GA | April 9-12, 2018
  • MODEX the leading trade show for supply chain, manufacturing and distribution industries

The standardized control of non-standard conveyor components

Sponsored by AMK Automation Corporation

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  • Seminar Number 223
  • Date Tuesday, April 10, 2018
  • Time 2:15 PM - 3:00 PM
  • Location Theater B
  • Type Seminar

Presented By

Tom Jensen - EVP/GM and Technology Evangelist
AMK Automation
773.316.5715 (w)


What You Will Learn

Problem - Laying out the structure and flow of the conveyor system to move product through a plant operation is difficult. The need to know at any point — the efficiency of the system (and subsystems) — where a product is, where a failure is and foreseeing where rerouting is needed all add to the challenge of plant design. Add to that the complexity that comes from sourcing specialized conveyors and high-performance machinery from key OEM providers makes the integration of the system exponentially more complicated, often requiring extra time, money and explicit knowledge of multiple drives and control systems. As if that wasn't enough, subsystems of PLCs need to have cross communication — the ability to see what other conveyor cells are doing to be able to achieve the plants goals. Solution - All drives make motors spin. However, if the machinery modules are created with simple-to-connect smart drives based on a standard command concept, the cell controller that manages those drives can then be focused on parameterization, not on creating a program from scratch. If the controllers have a standard program, the job of getting multiple cell controllers to work together becomes easier, focused on data exchange and not hierarchy. Thus, the introduction of modular [drive and control] components from many different technology providers can help standardize a methodology for making plant integration achievable. This idea will even help produce efficiency numbers for "black box" machines sandwiched between two standardized machine modules, providing more information to drive cell/line/plant efficiency. Finally, this type of standardization can allow plants to quickly modify (add, remove or relocate) machines in a structure, an important tool in an age of shrinking batch sizes and boutique products for a changing demographic. If done right, the standardized control of non-standard conveyor components will turn the question of "how do we integrate this?" into "what changes can we make to improve our throughput?".

Key Takeaways

- This technique does not change the physical machinery, instead, the way engineers interact with the machines.
- Standardization focuses on the cell level, and asks OEMs to create machine modules based on a unified control architecture.
- When machine modules respond to the same commands, regardless of technology vendor, the control can be seamless.
- When a control system can assume that modules are programmed to a standard, the control system itself can be, as well.
- A standardized control (program that can dynamically read standard modules) can be parameterized.


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