In order to eliminate the bottleneck at their wood grading system, Weyerhaeuser turned to a local systems integrator who developed an open architecture control system utilizing a SoftPLC in Tealware™ PLC, coupled with RSVIEW32 as the operator interface. SoftPLC in Tealware I/O are used for control of the majority of discrete field devices, as well as a DeviceNet network. SoftPLC In Tealware I/O are used for control of the majority of discrete field devices.
Improving the capacity through the lumber grading station was the most logical way to increase overall productivity and profitability of the entire system.Weyerhaeuser turned to a local systems integrator to recommend control and data acquisition products, as well as an overall system approach to improve the grading station. Given the needs and goals of the Weyerhaeuser system, the integrator designed and implemented an open architecture control system utilizing a SoftPLC in Tealware™ PLC, coupled with RSVIEW32 as the operator interface.
Overall, by combining products from multiple vendors — SoftPLC In Tealware CPU and I/O, DeviceNet I/O, a web browser, and RSVIEW32 –Weyerhaeuser has been given the stability of a traditional grading control system while providing immediate improvements and a platform on which to build in the future. Most importantly, the company effectively doubled the throughput of the grading station, the original goal of the project.
Supplying parts to the world’s leading automotive companies leaves no room for error. That’s why Miniature Precision Components Inc. (MPC) uses three vision sensors to error-proof the automated assembly of oil-caps.
After a demo, they chose Checker 202 vision sensors because they include a simple, yet powerful graphical form of ladder logic that allows tying Checker’s individual inspection sensors directly to outputs to easily solve more complex applications. “The small size, built-in lighting, variable working distance, ladder logic and free-running capability make these devices very simple to install. There was no need to wire them to a PLC, no need to install and wire trigger sensors, and the four-step set up makes it by far the easiest vision sensor that I’ve ever used,” says Champion. “Unlike with the vision systems that we’ve used in the past, I am able to set up the entire inspection with Checker in just a few minutes.”
Checker vision sensors have helped us achieve zero-defect rates in the manufacturing process,” notes Harsha, “while lowering scrap. They are the perfect solution for many of our inspection and error-proofing applications.”
An application customer success story from Cognex.
Increased efficiency and process optimization have become hot topics for the professional pharmacist. An important technology that assists in overall customer service is a fully automated warehousing system. With these types of systems in place, more time is available for customer contact—valuable time that can be used to generate additional sales. In addition to the quick picking of products, the initial delivery and warehousing of products is also important because several hundred new products can arrive each hour at large pharmacies.
The fully automated warehousing system at KLS Steuerungstechnik GmbH, located in Germany, achieves this with ease thanks to image-based DataMan 500 barcode readers from Cognex. The DataMan 500 scans each product as it arrives and transfers the data to the company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system so all warehoused items are cataloged. As a stand-alone system, the DataMan 500 can deal with an hourly throughput of 450 units.
The DataMan 500 image-based code reader replaced laser scanners that KLS had previously used. DataMan 500 offers variable focus liquid lens technology, which allows it to achieve a highly flexible depth of field—even when the package moves extremely fast. With the aid of its IDMax® code reading software, the DataMan 500 achieves higher read rates than a laser scanner and identifies codes that a laser cannot, for example, distorted, blurry, small, or extremely low-contrast codes. Even codes on reflective packaging pose no problems for the DataMan 500. It also keeps pace with the high speed system by achieving image capture rates of up to 1,000 frames per second. “With the DataMan 500, we especially appreciate its speed and accuracy,” says development engineer Daniel Hauch of KLS Steuerungstechnik. “It offers us considerably more handling flexibility than our previous systems.” The new system reduces the workload of pharmacies substantially and opens up new revenue potential.
The process kegging brings significant challenges and recording weight information. Barcodes are used in the weighting process and the barcode can become significantly damaged while being transported and when in use in the pub cellar. Previously, a laser scanner was used to read the barcodes. However, due to the amount of damage the scanner was only achieving a 60 – 65 percent success rate of barcodes being read correctly.
Without making a change to the labeling process, the DataMan 500 industrial id reader was able to achieve 63 percent increase in read rates. A key advantage is it has no moving parts which means less chance of downtime due to mechanical faults. Plus, the DataMan is easy to use and set up which means operators can adjust or alter the system themselves without the need for technical assistance.
Decentralized control of intelligent container with integrated RFID transponder
A solution from Pepperl+Fuchs
In conveyor and production systems, work steps and conveyor routes are often centrally controlled. The F61 RFID reading head from Pepperl+Fuchs forms the basis for the track switch reading point that helps you optimize your processes. Logistics processes, like congested conveyor belt sections, can continue without disruptions.
The F61 reading head even allows the decentralized control of intelligent containers with integrated, writeable RFID transponders directly at the scene. The transponders in the containers integrate all the required information, which is present throughout the entire conveyor process.
The “Internet of things” principle should be transferred to warehouse, conveyor, and production systems. All goods are accompanied by a transponder that carries information on the origin, quality assurance, and other processes and transport destinations. Write operations can be used to update this data at any time. A decision is made to select the next process step and the best conveyor route. A large antenna fitted to the track switches and work stations makes the transponder position noncritical. As a result, time-critical adjustments in combination with a central database are rendered superfluous, and data communication to the higher level is reduced. Due to the modular structure of the conveyor modules and automatic topology detection, the conveyor route operates almost fully automatically and transports goods to their destination.
Featuring an extremely slim design, the F61 reading head is ideal for integrating in machines or installing in locations with limited space.
The customer’s thermoforming equipment was using two opposing vertical hydraulic cylinders that came together to compress polystyrene sheets into foam trays at a high rate of speed. These trays are commonly found in grocery stores mainly in the meat department for meat and fish, fast food containers, restaurant take out containers, etc.
The customer wanted a “green” solution that eliminated the undesirable traits of hydraulics – such as mess from hydraulic fluid leaks, constant maintenance, etc. They were also seeking a higher production rate and improved product consistency.
The Exlar proposal consisted of an Exlar®FT35-0410 with high capacity screw, 2:1 parallel mount, oil ports with site gauge and a Schneider servo motor / drive.
The Exlar actuation solution nearly doubled the production rate from 20 cpm to 37 cpm. It also provides significantly better consistency of the finished product
The new Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) has all but replaced the old POSTNET and PLANET barcodes used in United States Postal Service (USPS) automation. FASTechnology Group created FASTverify Postal Verification System is the first system that not only verifies the readability and critical metrics of the barcode but also verifies that it is the right barcode. They chose to integrate the Cognex In-Sight 5613 because it provides powerful tools for IMB verification and automation control connectivity that greatly reduced development time.
The new Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) has all but replaced the old POSTNET and PLANET barcodes used in United States Postal Service (USPS) automation. FASTechnology Group, already the leading developer and supplier of high-speed selective binding and mailing controllers used to address large mailings, anticipated the need for an inspection system that would validate the quality and conformity of IMBs to help mailers avoid potential additional charges.
FASTech used the Cognex In-Sight® 5613 because it provides powerful tools for IMB verification and automation control connectivity that greatly reduced development time. Mark Breunig, VP Product Development for FASTech. “Cognex offers a full set of built-in IMB verification tools that make it possible to program the vision system to verify IMB compliance with just a few simple commands. Cognex connectivity tools make it easier to integrate Cognex vision systems into existing automation control systems.”
We were able to develop the application in a remarkably short period of time,” Breunig concluded. “The cameras and software that we have used in the past to develop vision applications could have done this job but it would have been more difficult and taken considerably more time. Cognex vision tools helped us quickly bring a product to market that is the first in the IMB verification space to offer a number of important capabilities. Our system is the first to provide the ability to not only verify that the IMB is produced to specifications but also to verify that the right code has been printed on the mailer. The FASTverify Postal Verification System is also one of the first systems with one button calibration and the capability to inspect every single piece of mail produced by today’s high-speed selective binding and co-mailing systems with full image archival capability”
Cognex DataMan barcode readers help ensure fill quantities match stated weight.
To ensure the fill quantity matches the stated weight, the Warsteiner brewery, located in Germany, weighs their kegs before and after the filling process. Traceability of the kegs during the production process is currently provided by a combination of label printing, precision weighing and barcode reading. The labels (and the Data Matrix codes) are subject to beer foaming over the keg and the cleaning water from the barrel washer unit, which make them even more difficult to read. There are often highly reflective water droplets on the code when the full keg is weighed, which would be a challenge for most barcode readers.
DataMan® barcode readers from Cognex are used to read the challenging barcodes that are affixed to the kegs Cognex DataMan 302X barcode readers for the challenging 2-D Data Matrix codes, which are robust enough to read the reflective codes on labels which are soaking wet and wrinkled.
The two weighing stations with Cognex barcode were a complete success for Warsteiner, saving them time and money. Because the reading station recognizes 100 percent of the Data Matrix codes applied to the kegs, manual re-weighing becomes unnecessary. The DataMan 302X is one of the main factors in the success of this solution. It was designed to cope with the most demanding applications with hard-to-read codes on clocked or high-speed lines. The 2DMax algorithm gives it a crucial advantage over competitive products. In addition, the liquid lens autofocus gives the DataMan maximum flexibility in obtaining the desired depth of field. Additionally, the controllable and field replaceable red lighting allows the DataMan to be configured to provide the best possible lighting for any application. This unique design enables the DataMan 302X to achieve the highest read rates, even under the most difficult conditions.