UPM Conveyors have completed a £500k project ahead of schedule for an International Confectioner operating 24/7.
The project was based on automatically transferring product from 10 process machines through to filling and assembly, over a conveying distance of 150m per line for 6 lines.
The system resulted in a total of 900m of conveyors involving the interfacing via Ethernet I/P protocol of all equipment used in production to a central control with the ability to connect to the factory main control system. This allowed product to be diverted to any of the 6 stations when required, as dictated by level sensors located throughout the system, catering for 1.5 million containers per day. The completion of the project has improved efficiency and production lead times.
The PLC / HMI software was developed in-house by UPM utilising two off Allen Bradley 5380 Compact Logix Systems with 15 inch colour touch screens, with a total of 34 Powerflex 525 VSD drives. The two controls were centrally located with slave HMI as “read-only” display installed for convenience to the operators in various production areas with simple navigation steps, active alarms and historical alarm pages provided.
All of the high rise conveyors were suspended from the ceiling, maximising the production floor area and providing an aesthetically pleasing installation.
Roy Fowler, UPM Director, states, “Our team were pleased to deliver the system ahead of time for the confectioner to start benefitting from the bespoke automation processes we installed.
We have invested circa £50k in 3D mechanical solid modelling design software for creating 3D digital prototypes using the design visualisation and simulation of products.
The international confectioner and other clients will be able to visualise the proposed solution for the product handling application as the image can be rotated through 360 degrees so eliminating any risk of the system not interfacing to existing equipment and being accommodated within the allocated production area.”
The new software also includes assembly stress analysis allowing UPM Conveyors to input driving loads; friction characteristics and dynamic components then to run dynamic simulation tests to see how a product would work under real world conditions.