For a large airport in France, we were in charge of the software implementation for the entire baggage handling system. The project involved the "departures" area of the airport, which includes the entire area from the check-in to the flight preparation bays.
The system therefore covers a very large area with a sufficiently large variety of motors and machines to be integrated:
- Motors with inverters for individual conveyors, including on-board sensors;
- EDS machines for baggage security scanning from different manufacturers (Rapiscan - L3)
- Special machines for flow deviation;
- Sorter machine;
- Multiple operator stations for maintenance and baggage flow control;
- Flight preparation carousels.
In the project it was necessary to intervene on the various existing PLCs including those dedicated to Safety.
In this case, considering the wide scenario of hardware components of different types and producers, it was necessary to identify several key points of the system and carry out continuous measurements of:
- Performance in terms of instantaneous baggage flow;
- Performance in terms of baggage flow over a wider time span (up to the whole day);
- Performance of individual machines.
This has served to keep the most sensitive points of the entire plant under control and, above all, to measure the performance of manual operator stations with the aim of identifying areas for improvement.
In addition, another important factor considered for each engine is the monitoring of:
- Hours of operation;
- Number of starts;
- Number of stops due to anomalies.
These indices provided information on the reliability of the individual machines. The monitoring made it possible to replace the type of machine (for example by upgrading an undersized motor) where the number of stops due to anomalies in relation to the hours of operation was higher, or to understand if a component was faulty.
The implemented solution allows to orchestrate the whole plant in a punctual way, reaching performance levels of absolute relevance with important benefits in terms of significant reduction of manual reconciliations.Read More
Automated warehouse handling systems.
The customer asked Automate Srl for help to intervene on laser-guided AGVs with the aim of reducing maintenance costs but without being able to act on the layout of the warehouse spaces.
The intervention was not limited to the technological adaptation of the machines but extended to the optimization of handling procedures with the aim of increasing the efficiency of flows.
While with the technological refresh we were able to significantly reduce maintenance costs by adapting the electronics and software to the technologies of the market, through the optimization of flows we were able to increase the benefits thanks to a more linear use of the devices so as to significantly reduce the criticality of the mechanical and electrical systems.
We have therefore worked on different aspects to be able to complete the project of renewal and optimization of the automated systems of the warehouse.
In particular, the intervention was based on:
- Reconfiguration of routes;
- Optimization of routes;
- • Replacement (for each AVG) of the connection control electronics (networks to which the door status signals are connected) and the interface (systems for interfacing the AGVs and the access doors to the various rooms via optical messages);
- Redesign of the IT architecture for managing the AGVs and the traffic map;
- Replacement of the navigation system with standard products;
- Mechanical modification of the forks interaxis in order to be able to handle specific Load Units (UDC);
- Development of AGV software and relative NDC navigation system.
While maintaining the same layout and the same machines, the customer has obtained an updated system from a technological point of view, easier and cheaper to maintain, but above all a handling system with high energy and mechanical efficiency able to ensure optimized operating costs.
In order to obtain quality results while respecting one's own needs, the solution is always to rely on true professionals who can give a 360° view of the interventions that can be carried out. Contact Automate now. Contatta Automate adesso.Read More
For an Italian production site of one of the most important pharmaceutical multinationals, we have dealt with the Revamping of a packaging line for product treatment (powders) in the pharmaceutical sector.
In this case we dealt with what can be defined as a Complex Revamping project due to the combination of factors ranging from the obsolescence of many field devices and the need to intervene not only on the technological update but also on the aspects of integration with MES and ERP systems.
In particular, the scenario presented the following characteristics :
- Old generation sensors and PLCs (S5 series 95U)
- Operator control panels (OP series)
- Synchronous motors managed by inverters
- Video control systems for scanning product identification labels.
The main objective was to provide line managers with more control information to ensure accurate measurement of the quantities of packaging elements discarded/not discarded during the process, the creation of automatisms including the recognition of material not in line with packaging specifications and the generation of specific performance indicators on the entire packaging process.
All this is achieved through the provision of
- Adequate supervision and control tools accessible to various organizational levels (from the line operator to the factory supervisor, to the production manager, and on some indicators also to some top roles of the company).
- Integration interfaces with MES and ERP systems able to allow the punctual and immediate alignment between the packaging line and the production needs.
What we have done
The issue was certainly not to rethink the entire line and totally replace the machines or technological equipment present, but to find the right balance that would allow in a short time to make the necessary improvements to allow a line, still able to serve the production, to operate with the performance and efficiency required by the market.
In details we have done the following :
- The redesign of the command and control panels of the entire line
- The adaptation of the PLC software and operator panels for the management of each plant of the line
- The design of the Supervision and Control platform
- The integration of the single machines in the whole line
- Software development and interfaces (HMI, SCADA-MES, PLC-SCADA)
Interventions in some cases even particularly invasive on the plants but that have allowed to enhance the best machines that still today and for a long time can guarantee performances in line with the production needs of the customer.
A particularly important aspect is the implementation phase in the field, since we had to intervene on machines and systems of production lines still in operation and therefore with very limited time windows to allow the intervention.
After the commissioning, we have dealt with the training of personnel and the preparation of the necessary documentation to ensure certifications and validations typical of the pharmaceutical sector.
The customer, thanks to this intervention, has been able to strengthen its processes thanks to a stronger integration of the entire line with the management and sales planning systems, allowing a greater control of the value chain downstream of production and especially the possibility to intervene well in advance in case of performance conditions below expectations.Read More
Technology refresh of machines and plants, better known as revampinghas always had as its main objective to save investments made in the past thanks to interventions to increase their resistance over time, lengthening their life cycle.
lengthening their life cycle. Without disrupting the entire production process, it is possible to transform the tools that companies already have in order to significantly increase their production capacity increasing revenues and margins.
It's definitely a cost-effective approach that can implement efficiencies, and it's also often a way to get important results quickly.
Retrofitting working equipment with the latest technology provides immediate savings in maintenance costs. With the introduction of sensors capable of collecting new data or simply increasing the amount and frequency of data collected, you gain a greater ability to analyze what happens during production cycles and/or material handling. All this offers the opportunity to act to improve performance, reduce machine downtime, make mechanical improvements that can limit the wear and tear of certain components and thus obtain additional economic benefits. act to improve performance
The technological refresh represented by revamping is not a simplereplacement of existing components, but it requires the adaptation and/or the development of software capable of obtaining the maximum in terms of performance as well as a high capacity of reverse engineering not only of the software and of the electrical/electronic architecture of the machine or of the plant, but also and above all of the processes linked to it.
Acting at software level is not only necessary but allows to bring further improvements able to increase the speed of execution of the algorithms and therefore the speed with which a machine, a plant, an entire line is able to work.
But is revamping always the right solution? What are the scenarios in which it is more convenient to implement new solutions?
Obviously the cost/benefit ratio is the first evaluation to make in the choice, provided that the numbers on which we base ourselves are real and verified. However, it is necessary to consider in this report not only the direct costs of the intervention activities, and therefore the benefits in terms of cost optimization and increased capacity, but also the indirect impact that the intervention for technological adaptation will have on all activities.
It is therefore important to analyze various aspects to best support the decision-making process, for example:
- How long can production be stopped to allow for interventions?
- By intervening on a plant to make it more efficient, will I obtain benefits on the whole line or will I have to intervene also on other plants of the same line?
- If the upgrading of a plant requires action to be taken on other machines as well, can I always adopt a revamping logic for each of the machines on which it is necessary to intervene?
- If I have to intervene on the entire line, is the cost/benefit ratio of a revamping solution always higher than that of building a new line?
In short, each situation is specific therefore is important that in each intervention you do not limit yourself to assessing the specific impact but analyze it in the broadest possible company context.
Choosing professionals capable of guiding you in the choice of solutions to address current needs but open to adjustments and evolutions for future needs.Read More
Agreement for the development of the performance analysis and monitoring system of the plants
New challenge for Automate that has been chosen by Callipo for the development of the data acquisition and performance analysis system of its plants.
The Automate solution, will be developed on Wonderware System Platform, responds to the customer's need to manage in a centralized way several plants, distributed over the territory, ensuring the customer the acquisition of data from machines and their presentation via web.
The solution will allow the precise tracking of the process of cutting tuna steaks with the help of RFID technology, with over 5000 tags to be installed and 350 antennas to be placed.
This is an ambitious and innovative project in which the choice of Callipo, rewards the ability of Automate to offer "global" solutions at the state of the art.Read More