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PACE Zenith Awards 2012: Finalists for Automotive & Manufacturing

Robotic Automation and Amcor Cartons
Robotic end-of-line solution
Robotic Automation and Amcor Cartons: Robotic end-of-line solutionAt Amcor Cartons, high-speed printing, folding, gluing and packing machines were suddenly "bottle-necked" by manual staff handling the boxed product in a labour-intensive process.

Amcor sought a solution that would address these concerns as well as filling in the gaps between the "islands" of high-speed production and boost overall productivity.

Production was averaging 170 pallet-loads of product per day. Amcor Cartons chose to partner with Robotic Automation to develop this more holistic end-of-line solution which saw an increase to over 400 pallets a day.

The Robotic End-of-Line Solution consists of three main component technologies: Robotic Palletising, Automatic Guided Vehicles and Automatic Pallet Wrapping.

The design and integration, including R&D, manufacture, build, testing and final on-site installation and commissioning was performed by Robotic Automation. The outcome has meant more ongoing savings, productivity gains, reduced damage to product and a fast return on investment which meant the cost did not need to be passed on to customers.

Each robot performs at the equivalent rate of two manual staff per shift, in up to three shifts per day, without need for break times or shift changeover time.

IS Systems
Tomago Aluminium Boosted Suction system
IS Systems: Tomago Aluminium Boosted Suction systemIS Systems wished to reduce fugitive emissions by boosting the suction pressure to any pot that requires access, thus forcing the emissions via ducting towards the Gas Treatment Centres (GTCs).

In theory all that was needed was the installation of a controllable orifice valve per Pot, wire it to the Pot’s local microcontroller and add overall control logic to handle its activation.

One S7 PLC was installed for each of the three potlines which interfaced with ALPSYS via a Modbus on TCP/IP link. The S7 is the “brain” and ALPSYS became its “backbone” through which Events were issued, valve actuation executed and open and close feedbacks statuses received.

I S Systems Engineers quickly realised that exception handling proved to be the rule in the S7 control system logic and that thorough logic testing was required. Bearing in mind that each PLC managed 280 Pots, required ALPSYS and Citect interfacing as well as communication links between Potline 1 & 2, the only solution was to develop a simple, yet elegant and powerful APLSYS Emulator.

ABB Australia
SynRM Synchronous reluctance motor
ABB Australia: SynRM Synchronous reluctance motorABB designed new motors based on an innovative rotor design, offering high efficiency and high power output. It uses synchronous reluctance technology and comes in a complete package together with a frequency converter and dedicated software.

The rotor design makes it possible to make motors that are much more efficient and smaller than conventional induction motors. Designed without windings the new rotor has basically no losses at all, which keeps it uniquely cool.

This temperature advantage has been converted into super premium efficiency or high power density and extended bearing lifetime.

The motor and drive package is available in two configurations, one that maximises efficiency, the other maximising output. Because the motor and drive package is designed specifically for variable-speed drive operation it leads to further energy savings.

These savings create a pay-back time which in many cases can be less than two years. Typical applications for the motor drive packages are fans, pumps, compressors, conveyors, hydraulics, cranes, extruders for industries like pulp and paper, metals, ventilation, power plants, water and wastewater, food and beverage, mining and OEMs.

Air Warfare Destroyer Project
Konecranes: Air Warfare Destroyer ProjectCrane supplier Konecranes has installed 23 overhead cranes at BAE Systems over the past two years, helping the company fulfil its contract to build Air Warfare Destroyers for the Royal Australian Navy.

The project has strategic importance, with the three versatile destroyers involved not only dedicated to the defence of naval forces and assets ashore from aircraft and missile attack, but also able to operate in anti-surface, anti-submarine and naval gunfire support roles.

The project involves many variants of overhead cranes, including double girder types as well as chain hoists, some with special safety and efficiency features such as magnet systems and sway control. The latest of the ongoing series of Konecranes was installed near the end of 2011.

The Double Girder cranes also employ fast and accurate load positioning with True Lift as standard. The large rope drum diameter and short drum length of the cranes means that horizontal travel of the hook is minimal, with the hook moving only 5mm during a one-metre lift. 

Access Pack
CASWA: Access PackAccess Pack is an access control system that ensures equipment can only be used by authorised personnel.

It can be fitted to any type of electrically powered device including mobile, remote and battery operated equipment. Machines work only when the user swipes with a valid card.

Access Pack requires users to have current and appropriate ‘tickets’ including qualifications, accreditation, training and inductions in order to operate the equipment. People with an expired ticket or those without the appropriate ticket are ‘locked out’. 

Access Pack increases accountability, which leads to changes in operator behaviour thereby reducing the amount of downtime and breakdowns as well as equipment abuse.

CASWA engineers recognised that the hardware would only be accepted if it was non-obtrusive and easy to use by non-IT literate personnel. Consequently, a management system was developed that: allowed control of all the products features; was web based and was easy for non-system literate, time poor people to use.

Access Pack was developed in response to multiple requests from various customers in the resource sector to help them improve productivity, reduce worksite accidents and reduce operational costs associated with inappropriate use of high risk equipment. The key challenge was making a system that was applicable to all types of equipment as customers were not looking for another ‘point solution’ to access control problems.

Matrix Composites and Engineering
Hydrostatic Pressure Testing Facility
Matrix Composites and Engineering: Hydrostatic Pressure Testing FacilityMatrix manufactures and supplies subsea buoyancy systems to around 45% of the international market. It is also the only major manufacturer and exporter of oil and gas equipment in Australia.

Matrix is leading the field in composites and syntactic foam technology for use in advanced engineered products. It opened a new manufacturing facility in 2011 which is the world’s largest and most technically advanced composites syntactic plant.

Matrix also houses a hydrostatic pressure testing facility which is capable of qualifying and testing buoyancy systems to a depth of 17,500 feet. This has been advantageous due to the structural trend towards deeper sea drilling which requires superior buoyancy modules.

The new changes have increased its ability to manufacture other composite materials and expand its marketplace. Increased automation has shortened production timeframes – automated chemical processing; moving work cells and production lines; robotics used in the paint and finishing process; and Scada based control systems.

When designing the new plant, Matrix drew from the latest automotive manufacturing concepts, in particular, the Toyota Production System (TPS) and notably one piece flow as opposed to batch processing. Increased automation has shortened production timeframes, reduced labour costs and wastage as well as reduced plant downtime and costs due to improved OHS standards and procedures.

ifm efector offers products that highlight early detection of damagePACE Zenith Awards 2012: Automotive & Manufacturing category is proudly sponsored by ifm efector
ifm efector
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