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Industrial Automation

Simplot Bathurst N.S.W.

This installation features a basket loader and unloader, a small basket (heavy-unit-load) conveyor system, a can line and a single filer.

The cans of corn from the production line were assembled into layers and loaded into baskets by the basket loader. The basket was then conveyed to the cookers. After cooking the baskets were conveyed to the unloader, from there the cans were unloaded and sent to packaging via the single filer. Meanwhile, the emptied basket was conveyed back to the loader for refilling.

In this instance, the PLC code for the loaders and unloaders was produced in the traditional way, so regular SCADA features were added to the “Movement Controller”to present the status of these machines.

To the right, is shown the mimic of the conveyor system, along with the SCADA presentation of the loader. The loader is located at conveyor position “M19A” (where there is a green bar above a conveyor at the base of the display), while the unloader is located at conveyor “M10A” (where there is a green bar below a conveyor at the top of the display). In the loader mimic, the can-line conveyor is stopped (black), while the loader's conveyor continues to run (green), with its rear photocell clear (the yellow line) and the next two photocells blocked (shown by the representations of the tops of the cans). Between the second and third photocells, is the can clamp, which lowers to hold back further cans from entering the loader once sufficient cans have been accumulated. Then there is the semicircle representing the device that collects these cans. Once sufficient cans have been collected, the device closes, forming a circle, then drags its collection of cans to the left onto a divider within the basket (shown by a full circle). Below all this, to the right, is the representation of the divider dispenser (there is a divider used to support each layer of cans in the basket). Then to the left of that is the representation of the mechanism that lowers the layers of cans into the basket, in preparation for the next layer of cans.

The conveyor system incorporates access gates, basket tippers, pedestrian pressure plates, and simultaneous transfers through the basket loader and unloader stations.

All PLCs are Allen-Bradley.