Zenith Awards 2011: Automotive & Manufacturing Category Finalists
Sponsored by ifm efector
Company: Precision Mechatronics and Beckhoff Automation
Project: Ink cartridge filling
Location: North Ryde, New South Wales
Precision Mechatronics developed an ink cartridge filling machine that fills five 50 ml link cartridges every 20 seconds.
The demanding task required a control system which involves the PC and EtherCAT-based Beckhoff control platform, with integrated Motion Control functionality.
Four Beckhoff AX5203 EtherCAT Servo Drives and eight servomotors of the type AM3024 were installed in the ink cartridge filling machine.
A rotary table design enables a large number of processes to be executed simultaneously in the machine.
The perquisites for this are the large storage capacity and the high processing speed of the EtherCAT – based control components.
The machine can fill five containers simultaneously with different coloured inks. This purpose was served by a mechanism that rotates step-by-step, driven by a Beckhoff servomotor.
The processes are executed in parallel, to maintain the required cycle time of approximately four seconds per container.
After the inks are filled, the containers are sealed and their quality analysis data stored, before they are set down on the discharge conveyor.
The heart of the controller is formed by a compact Beckhoff C6920 control cabinet Industrial PC with TwinCAT PLC NC I automation software.
Company: Robotic Automation and The Dulux Group
Project: Robotic Compositing, Handling & Stocking System
Location: Dandenong South, Victoria
The project explored the potential for an automated solution to preventing harmful dust affecting the employees.
Staff were required to wear hot and uncomfortable respirators, bodysuits and other safety wear whilst at the same time working accurately to measure and mix powder ingredients.
The Dulux Group and Robotic Automation worked together to find a solution, developing the Centralised Make-up Facility.
This project consisted of the Major Materials Robotic Loading System, the Minor Materials Robotic Loading System and a SCADA system to govern the total solution. In addition, it processed each unique batch order via a database management system connected to Dulux Group’s SAP system. The staff operated the system using HMI touch-screens.
The task of the three robotic chefs is to handle, pour, mix or essentially, cook perfect-powder-coating products to order. The robots race back and forth along two 20 metre long tracks.
The system has improved safety by redeploying nine employees from a hazardous and uncomfortable work environment, in addition to eliminating OH&S incidents.
Company: Coca-Cola Amatil Supply Chain and Krones Germany
Project: PET bottle self-manufacture
Location: Northmead, New South Wales
Coca-Cola Amatil Supply Chain in conjunction with Krones Germany has designed, installed and commissioned new production lines at its production facility at Northmead in Sydney.
The two new lines incorporate technology that enables PET bottles to be blown and immediately filled on line.The objective of the project was to make CCA self-sufficient in the manufacture of one of its key packaging requirements.
According to the company, this has eliminated the need to purchase and transport bottles from another facility reducing environmental impact of truck movements as well as increasing the flexibility and responsiveness of the production lines to new product development.
As part of the project, CCA has also conducted an ‘operational readiness’ stream of the project that has meant that existing staff were extensively retrained and supported in learning the new, state of the art equipment.
This project was completed in under 12 months from the placement of orders to the completion of acceptance tests.
Company: Ryan Aerospace
Project: Helimond Helicopter Simulator
Location: Taree, New South Wales
Ryan Aerospace has designed, developed, manufactured and successfully marketed the world’s first low cost, reconfigurable helicopter simulator.
The simulator has been used in various projects including military organisations, emergency services and commercial helicopter training organisations.
After creating a prototype, Managing Director Chris Ryan decided to make a commercial version, for which he then received a very good response: his first order was from the Royal Air Force in England.
The Helimond compromises of the main base unit made up of anti-torque pedals, cyclic (with a force trim function) and seat. To the left of the main unit, it has a simple ‘bolt on’ aircraft specific module.
Ryan taught himself how to use 3D CAD modeling and moved to an advanced stage very quickly. This allowed him to design the whole product and he also discovered a product called Maytec by using the Industry Capability Network (ICN).
This is an aluminum profile building system, which usually is used for making tables, work benches and conveyor stands.
Using the Maytec product significantly reduced the cost of manufacture and allowed flexibility to ‘add’ new components or change existing ones without too much trouble or expense.
According to the company, the Helimond was successful because it presented itself as an ‘off-the-shelf’ system using ‘off-the-shelf’ products.
Sponsored by ifm efector
ifm efector is a German-based manufacturer of high quality and innovative sensors and controls for industrial automation, providing the right combination of German engineering and local service and support. From inductive and flow sensors to pressure and temperature sensors, from an individual sensor to a complete system solution, you will find sensor and control products to suit your requirements.