Material Handling

Case Studies Tags: ,

PROJECT

Engine Delivery System Upgrade

CUSTOMER

GM Lansing Delta Engine Plant

Objectives

  • Determine the root causes of conveyor downtime and malfunctions, particularly with problems related to misreads of barcodes and miscounts.
  • Reduce the required maintenance on the system.
  • Improve the maintainability of the system .

Description

Engines exit the final assembly line and are transferred to a power and free delivery conveyor. The engines are hung from the power and free carriers using chains. The existing optical barcode reader had difficulty reading the engine barcodes due to differences in product size and the swaying motion of the engines. As a result, engines were often routed improperly.

Design Systems, Inc. identified the problems and developed concept solutions and budget estimates for client review. GM was impressed with the concepts and approved the program. Design Systems worked with the plant to implement the new concepts as follows:

Replace the optical barcode reader system with a Radio Frequency-based system. RF tags were mounted to the stable carrier, rather than the swaying engines.

Remove all of the tracking software from the Modicon processor. This dramatically reduced the size of the PLC program, and made it easier to understand and maintain.

Improve the existing Modicon PLC Logic to enhance reliability.
Develop a “User-Friendly” operator graphics interface to improve maintainability and system visibility.
Combine the functions of the operator graphics interface and the RF tracking system into a single computer.

“Bottom Line” Results

  • The project was completed on time, and on budget.
  • I The power and free conveyor performs very well with a dramatic reduction In falkns.
  • I The system Is more user-friendly and maintainable.