Complete Solution for Identification and Volume Measurement in Mail and Parcel Sorting Center

Mail and parcel centers profit from integrated, complete SICK solutions for identification and volume measurement for letters, small packages, parcels and bundle mail

Industry: Courier Express Parcel, Postal & Cargo

Itella, the Finnish mail and communication company (formerly Finnish Post) has invested in new sorting and recognition technology in four centers. As a first in this sector, all these centers combined sorting technologies for letters, small packages, parcels and bundles. The throughput of tote boxes for letters and flats is up to 5,000 units per hour and system. For small packages, parcels and bundles, the throughput is 10,000 units per hour for each system. To technically achieve the targeted throughput by integrating economical and service-related invoicing aspects market proven 1D and 2D code readers with integrated image capturing capabilities for further OCR processing and video coding including legal-for-trade volume measurement systems for larger objects was requested. All components needed to be integrated into the sorting system via a common control system. Permanent monitoring of the device and system functions and the option for remote diagnostics and maintenance had to be realized from a single source, together with the overall sensor-system combination.

Itella decided to acquire all the technology for the identification, volume measurement and system monitoring from a single source. The fundamental components of the SICK system combination in each sorting center are the 1D and 2D code reader cameras (ICR890) and the volume measurement system (VMS520). The code reader camera concurrently identifies and decodes the 1D and 2D codes on the objects and sends images to the OCR and video coding subsystems. The volume measuring systems for precise detection of the height, width, length and shape of sorting objects are calibrated and legal for trade. As such, they form the basis for precise invoicing of the services performed. Each complete system is connected to the system control unit by a controller (MSC800). Use of a tool for monitoring the system output and for remote maintenance (RDT400) guarantees the desired availability both for individual components and for the entire systems.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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Automation Zone Builds InduSoft Web Studio Based OEE Solution

The biggest challenge for Automation Zone in selecting an OEE development platform was finding a solution that could handle not only the SCADA and HMI needs of clients, but that also included OEE capabilities. Because most automation software is based around module pricing, finding one solution to do everything seemed like a tall order.

In the end, only one software solution could communicate with a range of hardware, was highly customizable, affordable, and fully featured. InduSoft Web Studio was chosen to serve as the development platform for Automation Zone’s OEE Plant Tracker software.

The benefit of using the Plant Tracker is evident to customers, who can quickly isolate problems on the production line, make improvements that will decrease downtime and wasted materials, track costs, and increase output. This is a valuable tool that Automation Zone is able to provide due to the strengths of the InduSoft Web Studio platform.

Tri-Phase Automation is an InduSoft distributor in Wisconsin
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Automation Technique Finds the Recipe for Success in the Concrete Production Industry.

Traceability, recipes, batch processing, and database storage are key in producing quality concrete in the Balkans

In any multi-step process, there is always a challenge involved when it comes to tracking every aspect of the process. This is especially true in concrete mixing applications, where operators will be responsible for the integrity of the final output. That is why Automation Technique, located in Greece, chose to work with InduSoft Web Studio for supervision of their concrete mixing equipment.

InduSoft Web Studio was chosen for the task of creating a system that could accommodate equipment already in place, maintain secure records, and operate with a multi-language interface. Automation Technique selected InduSoft among dozens of options available in Europe.

InduSoft Web Studio makes the process of concrete mixing much more efficient. With detailed report generation, and SQL database connectivity, Automation Technique is able to create and store accurate data without spending human hours extracting information manually from the PLC. They were also able to incorporate a system that made use of the existing panel and buttons.

Tri-Phase Automation is an InduSoft distributor in Wisconsin
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Johnson Control Achieves Zero Shipping Errors with InduSoft Web Studio Software

Johnson Controls is the world’s leading suppliers of automotive interiors systems. As the manufacturer and supplier of automotive interiors products for General Motors trucks, Johnson Controls Ossian Facility ships seats to GM’s  plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  The correct time, location and sequence of each delivery are dictated by strict GM requirements.  Meeting these requirements had become difficult due to the unpredictable elements of human error in the current inventory control and shipping system.  Human operators would often store seats in the wrong location and when staging a shipment, would load seat out of sequence. In addition,  parts inventories were frequently inaccurate, causing operators to recount inventory by hand. Johnson Control turned to Flexware Integration for assistance.  The goal was to eliminate the element of costly errors in the storage and shipment of seats.

Flexware responded with the deign of an automated storage and shipping system that required limited user input and was based of Xycom computers, InduSoft software, and wireless communications. The system uses the originals legacy inventory control software to track orders, supplemented by a Microsoft SQL database. The InduSoft Web Studio application reads an incoming order from the legacy system, locates the appropriate seats in the electronic inventory system, and sends the location of the pallet to the Web Studio client application. The software instructs the fork lift driver to retrieve a pallet form a specific location in the warehouse. It then monitors the forklift’s position in the warehouse and directs the operator to the correction location based on laser positioning. The forklift operators scan the pallet  with a bar cord read to verify retrieval of the correct seats, and the InduSoft application indexes the staging system, directs the operator to deposit the pallet on the correct staging conveyor, them removes the seat from inventory. After the operator unloads the pallet, they system issues an order to pick up another pallet. This process continues until the the system accumulates enough for a truck load.

The InduSoft Web Studio solution slashes shipping errors from 300 parts per million to zero resulting in significant savings by eliminating returns and correct shipments.

This is a customer story of InduSoft.
Tri-Phase Automation is an InduSoft distributor in Wisconsin
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The Clever Mounting Aid for Workpiece Carriers used for Inductive Identification

Pepperl Fuchs develops mounting aid to deal with transport change of direction

At some conveyor lines, the transport direction changes by 90°. The work piece carrier has an IDC-15-1K data carrier (lateral reading and writing at the roller conveyor with IVH-M1K). If the direction of travel of the work piece carrier changes by 90°, the data carrier is no longer in a potential read/write area. In the past, a complicated mechanical system (lifting cylinder) was used to place the work piece carrier so that it could be read and written with a 90° turn.

Pepperl Fuchs developed a holder for the IDC-15-1K data carrier that permits reading and writing from two sides.

The use of the special holder saves costs because now only one inclined data carrier is required. The technically complicated mechanics of the lifting cylinder are no longer required because the work piece carrier no longer needs to be turned.

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of Pepperl + Fuchs in Wisconsin.
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Easy Integration of remote monitoring system for FLSmidth

FLSmidth, a world leader in Elctrostatic Precipitator (ESP) technology, develops advanced pollution control systems in order to comply with the stringent industrial standards. Particle removal efficiency is controlled in real time by sophisticated micro processor based voltage controls. FLSmidth decided to integrate HMS’s communication gateways to inform their users of the status of the air pollution control equipment.

Application Solution
For such an advanced control system it is critical to inform the final end user. HMS products enable the communication  of all information concerning the equipment status and the real time emission control system.

Tri-Phase Automation is a HMS/Anybus/eWon distributor in Wisconsin. Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote

Detecting contact thickness of mobile phone speakers

Fiber sensor used to measure mobile phone speaker dimensions. Use of fiber with led light eliminates the need for more costly laser.

In order to be installed closely, a compact narrow-beam sensor is required.  But a laser sensor is too big and expensive.

If we try to focus on the tip when the tip is not present, the beam spot will hit the land (end side in copper pattern) or soldering part and reflect more light.  Purposely shifting the focus of the spot to achieve a stable detection.

A fiber sensor is applicable to small jigs accompanying small targets. When a super fine spot lens FX-MR6 is attached, detection of super fine boss (0.6×0.6mm) is also possible. Detection is done using safe LED light source instead of laser. Saves cost in comparison to using a laser sensor.

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of Panasonic products in Wisconsin.
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ASSA Abloy-owned Portsystem

Opening the door to the warehouse of the future

Portsystem searched for an HMI solution that would help the company to sustain its business strength – to offer docking systems that are customized based on their customers´ wishes.

Operation via buttons on control cabinets are replaced by pressure-sensitive operator panels and iX software from Beijer Electronics. The embedded flexibility in the iX user interface and a strong support offer was decisive in the selection of Beijer Electronics as a supplier.

The result of this technology shift is that Portsystem today and in the future can offer their customers easily served systems that leads to time savings, fewer problems and improved overview compared to previous solutions. This will increase competitiveness.

This application success story is from Beijer.
Tri-Phase Automation is a Beijer in Wisconsin
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Alfa Laval

Alfa Laval sharpens the competitive edge with iX

Alfa Laval needed a new user interface to live up to their successful company strategy– to make machines just as intuitive to use as today’s personal computers and mobile phones.

An intensive evaluation of the different HMI concepts on the market made Alfa Laval decide on iX from Beijer Electronics. No other vendor could offer as strong features, flexibility and graphic possibilities in an open architecture.

Today Alfa Laval has an aesthetically pleasing HMI solution with a modern feel and with lots of advantages for the technicians. And while end-users are satisfied, Alfa Laval obtains simplified installation and maintenance service.

This application success story is from Beijer.
Tri-Phase Automation is a Beijer in Wisconsin
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Wittenstein Moves Master Slave Rack Combinations

Linear applications requiring zero backlash have a new look

Wittenstein offers the ultimate in zero backlash with the master slave combination of the alpha rack.

This setup consists of two pinions running on the same rack. A master pinion drives the mechanism as in a usual setup; meanwhile, a slave pinion can generate torque to apply an opposing force to the teeth that it engages. In this way, inertia and resistance remove backlash, even during load changes; system rigidity also increases and boosts control dynamics.

This is a Wittenstein application solution.
Tri-Phase Automation is a Wittenstein distributor in Wisconsin.
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