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Project Highlights: Innovative Cost-Saving Solutions

Click the industry categories to see the range of applications and requirements we can successfully address. Each project involves various areas of specialization to provide a comprehensive, innovative, cost-saving solution.

  • Bottling Lines

    Programmed and started up packaging machinery for high-speed bottling lines.

  • Product-Bagger Rebuild

    Upgraded processors and servo system on product baggers. PLC-5 processors were replaced by ControlNet communication module and new controls use ControlLogix and Kinetix 6000 servos.

  • Freezer-Pack Capper

    Upgraded an unreliable freezer-pack capper with a 2-axis servo system. Designed and built the control system and integrated the new controls with the existing machine.

  • Wrapping Equipment

    Upgraded high-speed wrappers.

  • Toy Packaging

    Designed and built a control system for a machine to put a toy into a plastic egg. Design included an indexing servo, two frequency drives and category 3 safety. Programmed a sequence of operations based on customer requirements.

  • Product Positioner Retrofit

    Retrofitted a 2-conveyor product-position corrector that feeds a packaging machine. The new systems uses two servos and a master encoder to time the product entering the machine so that it meets the flights in perfect position. The servos are geared to the master encoder and track the flights using a flight detection prox. When a product is detected on one of the correction conveyors the servo uses a registration move to correct the alignment.

  • Tray Former Programming

    Created code for a retrofit system to feed jars into a tray former. The system includes four sets of pins on two chain-sets that cradle and advance the correct number of jars. Each chain-set is operated by a servo. As the lead set of pins drops from in front of the jars their position has to be corrected to become the back pins of the next set.

  • Packaging In-Feed

    System that electronically gears product in-feed line to packaging machine so that the desired product count is placed in each bucket.

  • Case Sealer

    System to automatically read product and adjust machine parameters for a 6-axis case sealer.

  • Plastic Bag Forming

    4-axis system for automatic forming of plastic bags. System automatically aligns product based on registration, cuts bags to length, removes from machine and stacks.

  • Palletizing Robot

    Provided support for integration of a palletizing robot from multiple feed lines to a single outfeed conveyor.

  • Packaging and Warehouse Lines

    Provided support for packaging and warehouse lines with palletizers, wrappers and stackers at plants throughout the United States, including capturing production data for supervisory systems and downstream use.

  • Funnel Cake Production

    Created a 2-axis servo system to make funnel cakes.

  • Dough Folder Retrofit

    Retrofitted a hydraulic system to fold dough with servos. The existing hydraulic system was prone to breakdowns and was a potential source of contamination in a food production environment. The servos use significantly less electricity than the hydraulic compressor and allowed for simplified mechanics. The retrofit drastically reduced maintenance time and production costs while improving product quality.

  • Cookie Production Line

    Upgraded the conveyor system, icing production system and stacking system for a cookie production line. Project scope included designing and building four control panels, developing new automated controls for the mixing and transfer of icing, upgrading the controls for the cookie handling system and designing new operator interfaces. Engineered demolition of obsolete electrical panels without affecting needed controls. Designed electrical layout of all new controls, including electrical conduit layout and wiring layout. Determined where to obtain power for these enclosures from the plant and worked directly with company electricians to ensure control panels, conduit and wiring were installed per design. Worked with company operators and engineers to design operator interfaces, recipe control and security. Integrated the controls of the icing heat exchanger system with the overall line controls. Generated a complete set of electrical and layout drawings for entire system and revised drawings for heat exchanger system for requested changes.

  • Snack Food Drive System

    Designed and Installed an AC frequency drive system on snack-food production lines.

  • Product Forming

    Created a 3-axis system to manipulate the shape of band steel as it is driven into the machine. Created a mathematical model of the finished part based on several user-defined inputs. The model was then fed into several motion position cam instructions. Two manipulation servos automatically moved based on the position feedback of the feed servo, creating the part in one smooth motion.

  • Extruder Retrofit

    Upgraded outdated technology on a 3-head extrusion machine.

  • Wastewater Process Control

    Completely automated a wastewater handling system for a cosmetics manufacturing company. Designed, built and programmed the wastewater controls. Controls included recipe control, valve sequencing, waste pumping, waste pH adjustment, waste filtration and data collection.

  • Paper Goods Manufacturing

    Programmed and started up a napkins production line. Outfeed conveyor system uses motion camming routines to distribute a single lane of product to two lanes.

  • Label Printer

    Designed and built a control system for a machine that prints labels onto the outside of markers. Per the customer request, the controls were changed from Emerson to Rockwell Automation. Implemented improvements to the previous design, including category 3 safety.

  • Glass Processing

    Servo control system on stud loading machines for glass processing. Replaced physical cam with electronic cam to significantly reduce product changeover time and improve performance.

  • Tracking Glass Panel Production

    Designed and installed product tracking software for an existing glass panel production line.

  • Foundry Controls Upgrades

    Supported foundry controls upgrades and ethernet supervisory integration. Projects included multiple PLC conversions and program updates, and producing production data for distribution and display in several management areas.

  • Industrial Presses

    Replaced systems using outdated Siemens Series One PLCs and HMIs with Allen Bradley CompactLogix PLCs and PanelView Plus HMIs. Process code was written from scratch.

  • Industrial Tumbler Automation

    Automated recipe control, security control and data collection for eight industrial tumblers. Machines were previously controlled manually by individual push button stations. Replaced all eight push button stations with a single Allen Bradley PanelView Plus HMI with a proximity card reader for security. Set up a SQL Server database for recipe, security and process data. Created custom Visual Basic application to allow an administrator to add/edit recipes and security credentials, and to view process data. Edited existing PLC code to run machines with recipe control and collect data via FactoryTalk Transaction Manager.

  • Pharmaceutical Batch Production

    Installation and start-up of pharmaceutical batch production line using RSBatch.

  • Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

    Startup and optimization of PLC control systems for pharmaceutical product lines.

  • Pharmaceutical HMI Skid Software

    Updated a standalone PC-based pharmaceutical HMI skid running Intellution FIX32 7.0 and Windows NT 4.0 to Intellution iFIX 4.5 w/Desktop option and Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2.

  • Test Rig

    Developed a test rig to determine the elasticity characteristics of a production item and print out a graphical report of the data with defining points highlighted and calculation results. Used Compactlogix with a stepper and load cell to apply pressure on the product and record the pressure as it translated through the product based on position. Created several data analysis routines to determine the defining points and give a definitive pass/fail for QC purposes.

  • Production Control

    Created a production system that allows the operator to enter the amount of product required for each machine during a production run and distribute it based on the equipment available.

  • Line Support

    Provided line support at a large production facility for three months. In addition to troubleshooting the production lines, other projects including creating motion code on a new prototype line, setting up power monitors, and RSenergy Metrix data collection.

  • Product Positioning

    Wrote code for a 2-servo system that moves a gable around an oval perpendicular to the surface. The gable is driven from both sides, with a positive tooth-and-channel drive system on the inside and a friction wheel with an external positive position encoder on the outside. Servo gearing is adjusted to compensate for the changing diameter of the oval. To correct slippage of the outside friction drive, a correction routine was created based on the external feedback which is always true.

  • Tooling Alignment System

    Designed, built and coded a high-speed tooling alignment system. The delicate product could not be moved around on the conveyor to align it with the tooling. Instead it was necessary to position the tooling to the product. The system uses a laser range finder, servo and linear actuator to reposition the tooling up to a 0.5 inches in 0.1 seconds, with over 125 corrections per minute.

  • Conveyor Speed Matching

    5-axis system to replace mechanical clutches for product conveyor speed matching. The system eliminated the need to replace clutches every two weeks.

  • Heating Treating Facility

    Design, installation and start-up of batch and continuous heat treating facility. Implemented analog, pulse-fired and regenerative burner control systems and SCR heater elements.

  • Cryogenic Air Separation

    Design, installation and start-up of cryogenic air separation plants.

  • Automatic Detection and Recording

    Implemented automatic machine/line downtime detection and historical record system.

  • Production Line Retrofits

    Converted two production lines to Rockwell PLC processors with integrated 1394 motion controllers.

  • Water Control and Usage Reporting

    Set up a control system to control, monitor and report water usage from the Susquehanna River to four tanker stations. Pumps and valves are controlled by an Allen Bradley CompactLogix processor. Each tanker station has an Allen Bradley PanelView Plus with proximity card reader. A central computer runs a SQL Server database and FactoryTalk Transaction Manager and a custom Visual Basic application. The database holds water usage data, and driver and truck information for security. The VB application lets an administrator add/edit driver and truck information and assign trucks to drivers via a badge ID. The application also generates and emails a daily water usage report.

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