Solutions in Sensing, Heating, Filtration and Automation Saves Manufacturing Company Significant Hours in Troubleshooting, Downtime, and Rework
A major supplier of engineered dowel baskets for transferring vehicle loads across concrete roadway joints recently enjoyed a substantial growth period due to government based infrastructure rebuilding programs. Their production demands followed this growth and the need for continually bigger and faster machines went into overdrive. When Valin® audited their control and automation program, they identified a critical control point limitation with their Bar Stock Cutter machine. The Bar Stock Cutter has a pick and place head that couldn’t reliably identify when a bar was misplaced and often resulted in the head crashing into the misplaced bar. With the risk of damaging the machine, the operators turned off the pick and place head and added a costly operator to stack product by hand.
With a completed process control assessment in hand, Valin® approached the supplier with a proposal and PowerPoint presentation depicting their Bar Stock Cutter machine with Valin® sensing solutions. The issue with their Bar Stock Cutter machine was easily resolved, but during these first few presentations, the supplier recognized that Valin®’s core process expertise offered more than a single solution. In addition, Valin® demonstrated how a custom heating solution (working with its Salt Lake Knowledge Center) for heating Tectyl Wax can be used as corrosion protection on their finished product. Furthermore, Valin® demonstrated how its filter replacement program could save the supplier inventory cost and reduced downtime in their powder coating operation. Focusing on their critical process pain points gave Valin® the credibility to address the large automation opportunity among their growing welding machine operations. Valin® took this opportunity to present Omron’s newest emerging product lines; the NJ5 Machine Automation Controller and EtherCAT communication for motion networking. These motion networking products and their simplicity of wiring, programming, and troubleshooting of large axes of motion, demonstrated to the customer that their 17 axis welding machines could greatly benefit from these integrated products. The advantages of the NJ5 and EtherCat led to the customer modifying their equipment.