Flexible Manufacturing Solutions: The Key to Boosting ...

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Flexible Manufacturing Solutions: The Key to Boosting Your Productivity How Electric Automation Reduces Changeover for Increased Efficiency

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Flexible Manufacturing Solutions: The Key to Boosting Your Productivity How Electric Automation Reduces Changeover for Increased Efficiency

Table of Contents 03. Flexible Management of Variants 05. Modular Handling System 07. Fast Filling 09. Automatic Tool Changer 11. Vacuum Tooling Reduces Changeover Time 13. Kellogg’s Quest for Manufacturing Innovation 15. Improving Sustainability with Automation and Controls 16. Will 2015 Be The Year Of The Robot? 18. Mondelez Embraces the Future with Integrated Control Solution 21. Flexible Manufacturing at Chrysler 23. Pneumatic Valve Terminal 25. Automotive: Handling with Care 29. Lab Innovation Based on Toy and Material Handling 31. Additional References

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Flexible management of variants matics and proportional technology from Festo. Maximum flexibility is the name of the game for BDG when building customer-specific systems. Their test and production systems consist of individual modules, so that end users can easily respond to market changes by re-configuring the systems and increasing capacity. “Only in this way can we be true to our motto ‘The future belongs to the flexible’,” says Lars Brenner, Head of Organization and Administration at BDG. The best example of this is the new BDG assembly and test machine for the production of pipe plugs for valves. The machine is so flexible that it can be used to produce many variants of pipe plugs. On a single machine, the upper and lower parts of the pipe plugs are brought together, pressed, laser welded and finally tested to see that the welds are free of leaks. The process steps take place so quickly that the finished pipe plugs leave the machine within a short cycle time. Separate assembly lines and job changeovers on-the-fly are somewhat unusual for a 50-person company. But not for the special machine builder BDG in southern Germany, who combines modern management methods with efficient servopneu-

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Job changeovers on-the-fly “For our customers, this machine represents a huge productivity gain”, says Brenner. “Up to now, they may have used several semi-automated machines for different variants, which are not

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capable of handling all the diameters and lengths involved.” In the new machine, two spiral drum conveyors now allow a job changeover on-the-fly. Another reason for the flexibility of the machine is the pneumatic automation technology from Festo with which it is equipped. Already in the first station, the position controller CMAX drives two axes DGCI. These servopneumatic axes travel to different positions, depending on the pipe plug type and the required cycle time. Grippers HGPT in conjunction with a sensor SOEC place the lower pipe plug parts on workpiece carriers, and a conveyor system transports them to two gantries.

Sophisticated servopneumatics The gantries, which are supplied ready for installation in the system and consist of spindle axes EGC and standards-based cylinders DNCE, place the upper parts on the lower pipe plug parts. The following station then presses the two parts together and laser-welds them. The test station is full of evidence of Festo’s servopneumatic know-how. Groups of four times four axes DGCI with intermediate position modules and Soft- Stop CMPX for two end positions

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Modular Handling System



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and intermediate positions are the perfect answer to the user’s needs. Thanks to servopneumatics in the form of the proportional valve VPWP, pneumatic axes are able to provide similar properties to electric axes – but at a much lower cost.

Ready-to-install pneumatics Complete mounting plates equipped with 18 individual valves CPE and service units from the MS6 series provider the safety functions required for the proportional valve VPWP. “The ready-to-install handling gantries and the mounting plates have helped us to focus on our core competence, testing combined with automation. We were able to complete the machine in the allotted time of nine months,” reports Brenner. n

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Modular Handling System



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Modular Handling Platform Integrated laboratory automation system in just one desktop unit: motion, PLC and vision Festo has developed a scalable compact handling platform with predefined modules, which significantly reduces the engineering costs of small-component handling units. World-wide Festo standards for compact systems – this is Festo’s objective as a means of gaining further market share in laboratory automation. We are accordingly working on a scalable modular handling platform with predefined and standardized modules. The creation of a selection table for various sub-systems makes it possible for our partners and customers to configure tailormade handling systems with a desktop format at minimal engineering cost. This prevents over-engineering and

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allows the development cost of smallcomponent handling systems to be significantly reduced. This future-oriented concept for flexibility to order is based on a standard system with three development levels, matched in each case to customers’ requirements.

Overview of the three development levels of the handling platform

• Level 1: basic handling system on a mounting plate with modules which can be combined flexibly and are perfectly matched together, including basic software functions • Level 2: handling cell, derived from the basic handling system, with a housing, control cabinet and additional software functionality • Level 3: handling cell with customer-

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specific adaptation of the hardware and software

Laboratory automation made easy This modular system, which allows the flexible combination of modules, offers our customers and partners predefined spaces in which they can configure processes freely for their specific applications. The cells will be available in scalable sizes. Depending on the application concerned, the control cabinets can be mounted at the side, at the rear or separately. The workpiece carriers can be transported both within the handling cell and also outside – with a choice of either manual or automated workpiece handling. It will be easy to integrate the handling platform into existing processes and to link together several units using defined interfaces.

Solution installed on a mounting plate or …

…integrated into a handling cell with clear interior and exterior system limits with regard to mechanical and electrical components and software.

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Fast Filling





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The basic handling system consists of:

• Kinematic system

Flexible configuration of the handling solution for small workplaces.

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Mini slides EGSI, EGSK or the linear gantry EXCM-10/30 can be combined flexibly with one another or installed individually in order to transport sample carriers or tools within the working area. • Motor and controller package A combination of servo motors and the new high-performance controller CECC-X for movements and program sequences allow dynamic and precise positioning. Overview of controller performance: 2x 866 MHz, 512 MB DDDR-1066 RAM, 22 digital inputs, 16 digital outputs, 4 analogue inputs and 4 direct motor controller connections; 2x CAN, 2x gigabit EtherNet (TCP/IP and EtherCAT), 2x USB 3.0,

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IO-Link, RS232/485 • Basic software functions These allow easy commissioning of the integrated hardware components using simple travel commands, teach-in functions or error handling on the basis of CodeSys V3.

Today a concept, in the future a worldwide standard This modular handling platform emphasizes Festo’s product and process knowledge which allows us again and again to set new standards for our customers with regard to efficiency, flexibility and productivity. We seek out partners to work with us on future development, allowing us to create the standard solutions of tomorrow. n

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Fast Filling

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Flexible Manufacturing Solutions: The Key to Boosting Your Productivity How Electric Automation Reduces Changeover for Increased Efficiency

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Fast filling In the fast-moving world of specialty salads and convenience meals, the machines built by Robot Food Tech ensure that the results taste good. These machines fill, seal and pack culinary specialties into various containers. Festo automation in the form of servopneumatic components, sensors and process drives, sets the pace.

different sizes. It is due in no small measure to these short changeover times that this machine builder is regarded as among the world’s leaders in specialty food processing. With pride, the company promotes the slogan “Liedership in Packaging”, reflecting the fact that Robot Food Tech has for years sold and serviced traditional filling and packaging systems worldwide under the “Lieder” brand name. The RCF robotic filling machine is distinguished by its short setup times.

Serving with high positioning accuracy

What requires hours with other filling and packaging lines during format changes, takes us just a few minutes”, declares Harald Grüne, Managing Director of Robot Food Tech. Grüne is speaking of the set-up times to change the filling modules over to work with

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The best example of the high speed delivered by Robot Food Tech from its factory in northern Germany is the RCF robotic filling machine. This achieves output rates of up to 800 fillings per minute. For the RCF filling machine, it is an easy task to fill products such as salads, jams, butter, or sauerkraut to precise weight specifications. The containers are hermetically sealed after filling. This is the only way the quoted “Best before” date can be achieved. A gasification station feeds nitrogen through ducts to the filled containers. This reduces the residual oxygen to a safe 0.1% of the original volume. The nitrogen supply is regulated by a DLP, a pneumatic linear drive

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Automatic Tool Changer

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Flexible Manufacturing Solutions: The Key to Boosting Your Productivity How Electric Automation Reduces Changeover for Increased Efficiency

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for process automation applications, while pressure sensors control the correct pressure for the nitrogen. The welding of sealing film is the last step in the filling and packaging process.

Servopneumatic portioning Servopneumatics is responsible for the precision of the filling operation. A Festo controller CMAX is used here for the fine regulation of the position and force of the pneumatic drives. “Thanks to this technology, our systems are able to benefit from the state of the art in automation technology,” says the young entrepreneur. Servopneumatic drives are better than electric drives for this application. Electric drives have great difficulty in meeting the criteria for the protection class IP65 required in the food industry.

Worldwide presence In addition to Festo’s ability to supply servopneumatic components, there is another reason why Robot Food Tech has chosen to

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work with this supplier. “We export 80% of the machines we sell. We therefore need automation technology suppliers whose components and systems are available in every corner of the world in just the same way as our filling machines for convenience meals and specialty salads are,” says industry ex- pert Grüne. n

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Automatic Tool Changer



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Automatic tool changer The first machine of its kind changes robot tools for packaging machines fully automatically at Gerhard Schubert GmbH. With Festo’s valve range VUVG as one of their central components the TLM packaging machines, made in Crailsheim, southern Germany, achieve a hitherto unattained level of efficiency. Small, large, round, square, aluminum, plastics, cardboard and composites – food packaging has never been as diverse as it is today. This is not just because of the increase in hygiene requirements but also because packaging is used as the brand identity for products and companies. This development also has an impact on the manufacturers of high quality packaging machines. They must be ever faster, increasingly flexible, more and more compact. And so the “hand” of Schubert’s TLM P3 robot has become more and more complex over the years. Apart from the core task, holding the tool, the robot hand must also fulfill many addition-

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al requirements. These include, for example, transferring energy and data for the sensors and valves on the tool. It also transfers the relevant codes to the tool. But the more complex robots and tools become, the more difficult the tool change turns out to be. Gerhard Schubert GmbH realized it was time for a fully automatic format conversion process using an automatic tool changer.

a toothed pinion. The energy and data are transferred inductively. The transmodule delivers the tools to their destination with a positioning accuracy of up to ±0.1mm. Acceleration of up to 0.5 g ensures it gets there fast. The tool is removed and transported in about 40 seconds. Immediately after that the packaging machine starts the new format.

Transport in seconds

Progress with a tiny footprint

The principle of the automatic changing process is simple. With the new tool changer the TLM P3 robot takes the suitable format tool for the relevant product from a tool cupboard specifically designed to basic europallet dimensions and transfers it to a TLM transmodule. As the first transrobot in the world the transmodule can move freely on the track system of a packaging machine. It is driven by a servo motor that engages into a gear rack by means of

The central interface of the automatic tool changer is the valve range VUVG. It transfers energy and control pulses quickly and reliably. And its design is extremely compact. Its tiny footprint fits in well with the compact design of the automatic

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tool changer and means it can be fitted directly on the cylinder. A flow of up to twice that of traditional valves ensures high energy density with a pressure power of up to 10 bar. The high level of modularity of the valve range was also advantageous for the development of Schubert’s automatic tool changer. By moving the packing glands, the base plate can be easily

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Vacuum Tooling Reduces Changeover Time



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Interview: Trends in Automation Reiner Weldmann, Sales Director at Gerhard Schubert GambH As a manufacturer of packaging machines, how do you deal with the trend towards always having to supply them more cheaply? Reiner Weidmann: With highly flexible packaging machines that customers can also use for other products. With easy expansion and conversion options. That is one of the fundamental differences between low-cost and high-end machines. It’s not only the low purchase price of a packaging machine that is critical for a company’s success. It’s also its availability, quality and service, i.e., what is called the life cycle cost, that need to be considered. Do components also play a critical role? Weidmann: Definitely. In principle, we can use any product, any valve on the market. However, if you want to achieve sustainability with appropriate life cycle costs, you must use high quality components. Factors such as the technical quality of the product, the market leadership of the manufacturer and the reliability of the supplier also carry weight.

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How important is the size of a packaging machine today and how can the dimensions be reduced still further? Weidmann: The size of a packaging machine is very important. Space is money. The more space a machine takes up, the more expensive it is for the customer. Dimensions can be reduced by using standardized components that are designed to be small. Add to this the important role played by state-of-the-art technologies. Machines that were once rigidly synchronized using chains are now being replaced with intelligent machines that move products flexibly. In the food industry, how long do people expect packaging machines to last? Weidmann: Our machines can be operated for 10, 15 and 20 years. The problem is, however, that companies want to spread the risk over two, perhaps three or, at the most, four years.

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converted and adapted to the required functions. On the front individual valves can be replaced by dummy plates by undoing two screws and doing them up again. This is how Schubert makes up to 30 variations based on three components.

Low consumption, high availability In this simple but intelligent way, the world market leader in top loading packaging machines is constantly increasing the flexibility of its equipment. Short tool changeover times, low energy consumption and continuous availability of the high-end machines gives this company with its 40-year old success story a decisive competitive edge on the world market for food packaging machines. n

Gerhard Schubert GmbH www.gerhard-schubert.de Area of activity: Flexible packaging solutions, TLM packaging machines, systems and robots

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Vacuum Tooling Reduces Changeover Time



Flexible Manufacturing Solutions: The Key to Boosting Your Productivity How Electric Automation Reduces Changeover for Increased Efficiency

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Vacuum Tooling Reduces Changeover Time By Pat Reynolds, VP Editor, Packaging World AMF Bakery Systems, the world’s leading manufacturer of high speed bakery equipment, makes robotic systems that commercial bakeries use to transfer freshly baked buns and other products from primary packaging lines to bread trays bound for distribution centers. The company saw a need in the market for a flexible, lightweight, end-of-arm robotic tooling with a dense population of vacuum cups. AMF envisioned that each cup could be independently turned on and off, allowing the same tooling to pick and pack different patterns of products. Existing solutions required the tooling to be changed out for each different loading pattern or product size. This extended changeover times, and in some cases it required maintenance engineers to perform the changeovers instead of the line operators. The existing methods also required the sub-elements of the pick patterns to be isolated as the tooling would pick up whichever product was underneath it in the pick area. In other words, if the pick pattern were two packages of buns, for example, only two packages could be sent down the conveyor to the robot at a time. On some production lines, buns had to be packed into trays by

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hand because the tooling in use could not do the required pick and place. This situation, of course, required substantial labor. Festo helped AMF Bakery Systems design a programmable dense-cup-population tooling that solved these problems on the packaging line. The new system quickly became part of AMF Bakery Systems standard offering and remains so today. The tool design and the design for supplying vacuum, a path for both electrical and control cables to the tool, proved unique enough to have patented. “Weight limitations of the robot were a primary concern, as was size,” said Roy A. Miller, Senior Sales Engineer, Festo. “So Festo began the design process by identifying a small, lightweight, single-acting pneumatic cylinder with return spring—the Festo EFK—that would be used to turn on and off each vacuum cup.” Dave Thomas, Senior Applications Engineer at Festo, adds this. “To control the cylinders, Festo included a CPV10 valve manifold. This was also a lightweight and small solution— engineered for tight spaces. AMF’s engineers

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put eight different manifolds on the end-of-arm tool, bringing the manifolds as close as possible to the EFK cylinders. Each CPV10 manifold had 16 valves. This was sufficient to control all 128 vacuum cups.” Only one airline was needed to bring air to the end-of-arm tooling. At the end-of-arm tool the air was split into eight lines,

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Kellogg’s Quest for Manufacturing Innovation



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one for each manifold. Also on the end-of-arm tool was an Ethernet/IP gateway. This limited the number of communication cables that had to be run down the robot arm. The CPV10 manifold integrated to the Festo CPX control platform. With this arrangement, all 128 vacuum cups can be controlled individually. AMF chose a pneumatic solution over others as it met functionality, weight, and control needs. The physical size worked well with the size of the tooling and the available area on it for mounting the valve controls. The simplicity of the valve control also met AMF Bakery Systems expectations for keeping the complexity level low to ease mainte-

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nance interactions with the valve controls. “AMF Baking Systems realized its vision for a better packaging line,” said John J. Keane III, Executive Product Manager Packaging and Automation, AMF Bakery Systems. “The new system has eliminated changeover time and increased production rates. “Customers around the world rely on AMF’s expertise in the high speed bread, bun, and soft roll baking market. The programmable densecup-population tooling is an example of how the company works diligently to produce solutions that represent industry leading quality, innovation, and value.” n

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Kellogg’s Quest for Manufacturing Innovation



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Kellogg’s Quest for Manufacturing Innovation By Stephanie Neil, Senior Editor Implementing a steady stream of manufacturing innovation can feel like an impossible task, especially when you’re a company like Kellogg, the maker of such iconic brands as Special K, Rice Krispies, Pop Tarts and Pringles, which has 33,000 employees in over 60 plants across 20 countries. Each of the company’s brands has its own operating model using different technology and go-to-market strategies, says Bob Reed, Kellogg’s vice president of global engineering. And, that, he says translates into a complex supply chain that requires high performance and efficiency to deliver on Kellogg’s vision to “enrich and delight the world through foods and brands that matter.” That’s an engineering challenge, he says. For example, a high performance manufacturing line developed in the U.S. won’t perform the same way in an emerging market, as there will

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be different metrics and scale related to brand equity in different places. With that in mind, the company set out to create a repeatable process that can be used in any plant and that ensures continuous improvement in operations while engaging cross-functional partners. Now, Kellogg is in the midst of developing a methodology the company calls Integrated Project Delivery (IPD, a system designed to achieve continuous process improvement in both developed and emerging markets. IPD is divided into four areas: People, alignment, technology, and process. First, all stakeholders need to understand what is to be delivered for the business, and specifically, the definition of the project deliverables. You want to avoid “that shocking moment when the project is finished and I’m proud of what I did, but someone else didn’t think that’s what I was going to do,” Reed says. “It’s important to deliver the project success criteria.”

It’s also always important to keep money in mind. “You won’t achieve the business objective if you don’t have a cost-effective line,” he says, so scope management is essential. To that

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end, instead of adjusting the previous year’s spending, start each department’s budget from scratch – a method known as zero-based budgeting which forces cost justification. “This

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Improving Sustainability with Automation and Controls



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allows us to take on a lot of new projects that we might not have taken forward in the past due to cost,” Reed says. Part of the cost comes in the form of technology and defining technology requirements for each project--- because you can have the best technology in the world, but if it doesn’t fit the application, it doesn’t matter.

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Knowledge management also becomes critical to the advancement of technology. Every line we build has to be better than the last one, says Reed, and that means building flexibility into the process. “The word ‘flexibility’ pops up in everything we do, from packing innovation to product innovation, and the ability to develop technology in a master program gets us to deliver on that.”

Finally, the process. Work has to be done in an organized fashion to make it repeatable and able to be improved upon based on a wide range of project criteria across the globe. The key elements of that process include capital management, workflow, and governance. But the area of startup management, which is about keeping the team engaged from the early stages of

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conceptual engineering throughout the project journey, is essential to success. “For us it has become a more formal way for how we approach a project from the start, and the way we define equipment capabilities and people capabilities at every stage along the way. Start early and often on planning in order to keep people on track,” Reed says. n

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Improving Sustainability with Automation and Controls



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Improving Sustainability with Automation and Controls By Rod Emery, Vice President, RedViking

It’s easy to think of going green in terms of facility improvements such as better lighting, reduced water consumption and treated chemical run-off. We don’t usually think about the impact that automation and controls can have in conserving energy and natural resources. But if we consider the way the U.S. Depart-

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ment of Commerce (DOC) defines sustainable manufacturing, we’ll see that those of us who design and build automation and controls can have a big impact. The DOC defines sustainable manufacturing as production using processes that: 1. Minimize negative environmental impacts; 2. Conserve energy and natural resources; 3. Are safe for employees, communities and consumers; and 4. Are economically sound Each component of a machine consumes natural resources in its creation and most require energy to operate. When automation and controls are designed to include fewer components, the environment benefits. Flexible systems are key to this strategy. For example, single-function exhaust leak testers each have their own PLCs, pin stampers, bar

code readers, printers and energy consumption. But when these automated systems are designed to work with a docking station, multiple leak testers can move in and out of a dock that includes a single PLC, pin stamper and bar code interface. The leak test system is mounted on a wheeled base and hooks up to the docking station with quick-connects. Natural resource and energy consumption is considerably lower than with multiple single-use systems. Capacity utilization can be optimized through the use of flexible systems, reducing floor space and power requirements. We design our assembly line fixtures and automation to work the same way. Our battery-free AGVs are designed to accommodate virtually any part with a quick fixture change-out. The controls that power the AGVs can also be quickly changed to reflect changes

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to part, process or line path. Motion control can be another way to conserve energy and resources. While traditional braking systems can lose 100 percent of their power in wasted heat, dynamic testing systems with electrical and mechanical regeneration recapture up to 80 percent of their power to be reused in testing. Automation and controls engineers don’t often think of themselves as agents for sustainability, but we are. By designing flexible, consolidated, energy regenerating machines, we can play a significant role in moving our companies to become greener. Rod Emery is vice president of integrated assembly systems at RedViking Engineering, a member of the Control System Integrators Association. Visit RedViking’s profile on The Industrial Exchange. n

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Will 2015 Be The Year Of The Robot?



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Will 2015 Be The Year Of The Robot? By David Greenfield, Director of Content In the world of automation technology, the past few years have been dominated by system and device communications and interoperability—from industrial Ethernet and wireless to mobility and the Internet of Things. Considering the significant advances that have been made in this area in both greenfield and brownfield manufacturing facilities, along with the growing rate of adoption, I don’t see any reduction in interest in these technologies in the near term. However, over the past year or so, I’ve noticed an increasing amount of news coming out of the robotics sector. Most recently, I learned of a major investment in Rethink Robotics by GE Ventures, Goldman Sachs, Bezos Expeditions and a host of other investment firms. Those firms have allotted $26.6 million in financing to Rethink Robotics, bringing the company’s total funding to more than $100 million since 2008. “Our new and existing investors recognize the enormous market potential for smart, collaborative robots in manufacturing,” says Scott Eckert, president and CEO of Rethink Robotics. Industry factors behind these new investments, Eckert says,

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are being driven by the fact that more “manufacturers are rapidly changing the way they do business, prioritizing flexibility and the ability to turn on a dime when demand or direction changes. Smart, collaborative robots that can move between tasks seamlessly and have the ability to operate in a variable manufacturing environment are critical tools enabling our customers to create the factories of the future.” Backing up Eckert’s comments, George Lee, co-chairman of the global technology, media and telecom group and CIO for the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs, notes that “the business of manufacturing is changing more rapidly today than at any time in recent history [and] smart, collaborative robotics have proven to be a significant and disruptive technology.”A recent example of a collaborative robot deployment is Schneider Electric’s

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use of Rethink Robotics’ Baxter robot at its plant in Columbia, Mo. The investments being made in robotics technology are supported by recent research from PMMI (parent company of Automation World). In its 2014 Trends in Robotics Market Assessment report, PMMI pointed out that, in its 2008 robotics report, 1 in 5 manufacturing locations used robots and manufacturers

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Mondelez Embraces the Future with Integrated Control Solution



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and OEMs predicted that robotic usage would nearly double by 2013. Calculating industry data over that time period showed that actual results outpaced industry predictions, with the use of robotics on processing and packaging lines, for example, having more than tripled between 2008 and 2013. In PMMI’s 2014 report, 1 in 5 of the manufacturing locations

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surveyed say they do not plan to use robotic technology in their facilities in the next 12 months. However, 82 percent of manufacturing locations predict that they will be operating robots on the plant floor in the next 5 years. This segment encompasses current users (72 percent) and first-time purchasers (10 percent). The reasons behind the recent uptick in robotic deployments in manufacturing, according to the PMMI report, include advancements in vision, programming, software and end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) technology that allow robots to be more flexible and capable of moving heavy objects (such as kegs of beer) as well as handling delicate products and packaging materials (such as snack food bags). One of the most significant robot-related trends in the food industry is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of washdown robots and EOAT for use in direct food contact.

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According to the PMMI report, “a washable robot has smooth surfaces that prevent food particles from gathering on the surface and an EOAT that can be chemically sanitized to make it aseptically clean. With the approval of washdown robots for food handling, robots are poised to quickly move upstream to processing and primary packaging operations.” Many of the reasons cited in the PMMI report for the increased interest in robotics are addressed by Rethink Robotics’ Baxter which, with its various EOAT options, can be used in kitting, packaging, loading/unloading, machine tending and materials handling applications. Click here to see a promotional video from Rethink Robotics that highlights how Baxter is being used in collaborative robot/human operations at Praxis Packaging. n

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Mondelez Embraces the Future with Integrated Control Solution



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Mondelez Embraces the Future with Integrated Control Solution By Jim Parsons, Contributing Editor and Pat Reynolds, VP Editor of Packaging World Ask any packaging system owner to come up with a “wish list” of things that would help improve the quality of their operations, and it’s likely that information will rank near the top. And no wonder. Information, after all, is the cornerstone of 21st Century productivity and profitability. It’s what helps system owners identify, plan, and validate system improvements and changes; benchmark performance against overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and other goals; and spot opportunities to eliminate inefficiencies, even the most minor of which can undercut a well thought-out continuous improvement initiative. Today’s controls systems and associated infrastructure can provide packagers with all that information—and more—on virtually any aspect of system performance imaginable, from the individual machine to across the entire enterprise. To get it, all a packager needs to do is “ask.” Access to all that quality information—and more—is at the heart

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of the plans for Mondelez International to completely re-engineer its packaging lines, part of the Deerfield, IL-based snack food manufacturer’s global transformation of its manufacturing platforms. Having adopted the Integrated Lean Six Sigma approach to process improvement company-wide, Mondelez International relies on information to ensure that new equipment and technologies that will be integrated into new processes—part of an ongoing project called the “Line of the Future—will fulfill their intended objective of driving out waste and inefficiency while also bolstering the quality and productivity necessary to increase their gross margin and foster further growth. Werner Badtke, Program Manager for Automation and Manufacturing Systems at Mondelez International, uses the streamlining of the company’s process for baking the popular Oreo cookies as an example of one way the company is reinventing its global supply chain. “Recipe and process changes enable us to eliminate major components, such as a 60-meter long cooling tunnel,” Badtke explains. “That results in a machine with a smaller footprint, and a more flexible set-up.”

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Opportunities and constraints The company’s ambitious objectives for its Line of the Future program are not unlike those of other CPG companies seeking to optimize the OEE of new and existing lines. Not surprisingly, it also shares some of the same implementation challenges when integrating smart machines into a smart manufacturing environment. One of the biggest challenges revolves around performance management integration with and among the Line of the Future’s machine elements. Each major component of a packaging line has its own performance “story to tell,” which is defined in part by the packager’s line-, facility-, and/or enterprise-specific OEE data requirements, and the control technology being used. Timing benefitted Mondelez International, as planning for the Line of the Future coincided with the emergence of PackML,

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Flexible Manufacturing at Chrysler



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enabling the company to match its requirements against the capabilities of the open-source control programming standard. Despite PackML’s programming efficiencies, however, sequencing a line’s operation and inter-machine control to meet these requirements nevertheless requires custom coding during the integration process. While integrators can reuse bits and pieces of code, and utilize repeatable engineering tools to help expedite the line integration process, it’s still necessary to understand how machines have been programmed and then configure how the line needs to run, as well as determine the best way to collect and process OEE data. While PackML closes the gap, it doesn’t give you OEE. All of this, of course, requires an investment of time and effort— a factor that didn’t exactly fit with the vision Mondelez International has for an expedited worldwide roll-out of new, highly flexible packaging lines in a connected-enterprise environment. Indeed, while the company has relied on standard designs for its lines, product- and facility-driven deviations that incorporate singular characteristics caused delays in startup and drove up costs. To ensure the Line of the Future avoided those shortcomings, the company needed a cost-effective solution that provided per-

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formance management and line control in a standard yet flexible solution from the outset. “We wanted vertical start-up support for new lines that could be implemented using a ‘copy/paste’ approach,” Badtke says, one where a copy of an existing system could be implemented quickly and easily by “pasting” it into a partially installed or configured system, making the implementation process easier and less prone to mistakes with each new addition. “And we needed full support for what would be a global implementation,” Badtke adds.

Expediting a transformation That may sound like a tall order for any solution to fulfill, which is why Mondelez’s search for a suitable answer spanned a wide range of OEE reporting software packages, including those already in use and others that had appeared on the market. The platform it selected uses a common equipment interface based on PackML/ISA-88 standards, which enables users to configure, control, and analyze line performance from a standard operator station, thereby reducing the total cost and time of deploying and optimizing packaging lines. What’s more, its built-in OEE reporting capability eliminated the need to incorporate ad-

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ditional reporting software after the line is set up. It represents a major departure from the traditional approach of integrating the line control first and the performance management later. The platform didn’t supersede or eliminate the integration process, but it provided a faster, easier way to integrate projector user-specific specifications. With enhancements specified by Mondelez International, the platform was adopted as the company’s global line integration standard for the Line of the Future. “It’s not only a software package, it’s a full concept that is able to vastly simplify and standardize line integration,” says Badtke. “You have a supervisory system that consists of a server, a client view, and a performance view, which means you have all the information necessary to collect into reports. “There’s no need for a programming tool. It’s completely plug and play.” Rather than going through the process of writing new PLC code to establish machine-to-machine communication for each line, the software allows the end user to set up each line’s supervisory control structure via an HMI, automatically incorporating the appropriate PLC code for selected data block definitions and applications, such as line balancing, equipment recipes, changeover coordination, or energy management.

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Flexible Manufacturing at Chrysler



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“It’s more of a configuration exercise with check boxes than integration, which eliminates a lot of custom PLC modification work,” says Badtke. “The machine is there or it’s not. You type in its properties and what you want it to do for each product it runs, and the PLC is coded accordingly.” Badtke adds that users also can perform dynamic event configuration for each PackML status for a machine, and how it affects others in the line. “For example,” he says, “you can define what one machine should do if the downstream machine is faulted—stop immediately or after a few minutes.” Then, of course, there’s collecting and managing that allimportant performance information. Because RAPID facilitates the collection of vast amounts of PackML status data, Mondelez International can compare OEE for a particular product on multiple machines across multiple days and/or locations, providing a more comprehensive analysis of machine and line performance over a specified period of time—status changes and durations, fault causes, and other function-critical statistics. Badtke cites a software-generated pareto chart of down times as being especially helpful to the 80/20 approach that is central to the Six Sigma initiative at Mondelez International.

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“This information helps us more easily identify and focus on resolving the faults representing 80 percent of the downtime, which are considered more critical than the minor faults that account for only 20 percent,” Badtke explains. Similar to providing a standard approach to line integration, the software provides a standard set of production management capabilities that makes it easier for the line to exchange data with and take orders from a new or existing management execution system (MES) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. “Scheduling functions, such as the order of products or downtime for cleaning, can be issued without having to make any changes to the line control because it’s all modeled,” Badtke. “The lines can receive a packaging order to produce a specific amount of a specific product during a specific period. The software does the rest.” Badtke says the company is currently considering other enhancements to the system to deploy new Lines of the Future. “We want a system that will provide the best complement for our ‘cut and paste’ approach to deploying new lines,” he says.

Building momentum Mondelez International plans to implement its Line of the Future

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concept for a variety of product types at both existing and new facilities. The lines are already in operation in a number of cities. Badtke notes that while this approach offers great value to the Line of the Future, it doesn’t require an all-or-nothing commitment for the company’s long-term growth strategy. Because there are always exceptions when it comes to facilities and products and packaging equipment, the company plans to keep its options open when considering controls technologies for new projects. “Where there are specialized requirements involved, the project leaders or the plant can decide whether to use a different standard.” That approach gives Mondelez International the best chance at realizing another common, coveted attribute on every packager’s wish-list: flexibility to meet the demands of an ever-changing, highly competitive marketplace. “It’s all part of a continuous cycle, whereby leveraging a common, simple technology platform will help us save money, which can then be reinvested in growth to help us focus on our ‘power brands and priority markets,’” Badtke says. “We’re confident this approach will be instrumental in helping us achieve our business, operational, and quality goals.” n

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Flexible Manufacturing at Chrysler



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Flexible Manufacturing at Chrysler Flexible manufacturing is, in its essence, the capability of making different vehicles on the same assembly line without long delays to change tooling. In practice, it is now possible to make completely different vehicles on the same line with no delays to change between vehicles. The way this works is by extensive use of robots and computers; the robots have tooling or spot welders on the end of their “arms” and when a new vehicle comes down the line,

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they can quickly swap to different tooling or welders, and apply their arms in different ways. This also works in the paint shops, where robot arms are programmed to act differently depending on the vehicle that shows up. This requires more flexible robots with computerized programming and networked communications, which is one reason why flex manufacturing was not practiced much in the 1990s (when cars were assembled almost

entirely by hand, flex manufacturing was also possible and was moderately common, but it could easily lead to quality gaffes, where the wrong parts were applied — e.g. Dodge labels to Plymouth cars or mismatched right and left side mirrors). In addition to network communication, barcodes or RFID (radio frequency identification) tags can be used to tell the machines what model is coming down the line. The primary requirement for using flexible manufacturing is the ability for different vehicles to use the same carriers (or having multiple carrier types. There are usually four points where the carriers carry the body until tires are installed, and the vehicles is put onto a flat track. If these points are carried over from body style to body style and there is enough clearance in the carrier (or in the case of welding, you have the jigs and end tooling for the part) you can produce many different models and styles.

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Platforms are defined as common dimensions between various “top hats” and “architectures” (collections of hard parts), so that various completely different vehicles can be built within the same physical space allotted to the vehicle carriers. You have to see a flexible body shop in operation to truly appreciate the advantage over the old style body shop. You do away with those large fixtures or jigs that could only assemble one part/vehicle each. With flex manufacturing a robot can be programmed to assemble and or weld say a Caliber quarter panel followed immediately by a Compass quarter panel, then a Patriot quarter panel. One robot can hold the part while a second welds the piece even if the part is in motion. You can build completely different vehicles sharing the same architecture, one after another, with just a programming change. Robots are strong enough now to handle an entire body at full reach.

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Pneumatic Valve Terminal



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When the new model changes, the software is simulated and then downloaded to the plant-floor robots with no need for expensive fixture rework or replacement. Chrysler employees can do robot motion simulation without ever seeing the actual part/vehicle in the flesh. The CAD files are used to assemble the vehicle on your computer and run the simulation at your desk. Some of the advantages: • Competition has greatly increased, and while

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100,000 units are still needed to recoup engineering expenses, it’s harder to sell that much of a single vehicle. Creating multiple models lets more designs/vehicles can carry the load (and reduces the risk of a single bad styling decision bankrupting the company). So as long as the numerous vehicles on that platform can total 100,000 units in sales in a year, the goal (and costs) are met. • Flex can allow vehicles that aren’t completely similar (differing wheelbases, num-

ber of doors, etc.) to be built on the same line without stopping production to change out tooling - the tooling accommodates the vehicle instead. • Once a vehicle is design to take advantage of the flex system, the time it takes to get that vehicle to market is reduced. • Should one flex vehicle “take off” in sales, the number of those vehicles produced can be adjusted on-the-fly. • If one vehicle really takes off, that vehicle

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can be built in another plant that supports that flex. For example, lets say the Avenger becomes incredibly popular. They could build more of them at the Caliber/Compass/Patriot plant, because the flex systems are similar. The investment in flex was started long ago; this isn’t just some new-fangled thing. We are just now seeing the fruits of those investments coming to light. n

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Pneumatic Valve Terminal



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Pneumatic Valve Terminal The compact, low-cost VTUG pneumatic valve terminal from Festo offers flexibility in the choice of control options, including simplified field bus connectivity, and many other performance benefits for machine builders and end users in high-volume industries. The VTUG is designed for food, beverage, packaging, electronics, semiconductor, and light assembly industries where low cost and assured performance (high flow rate, small footprint, and long cycle life) is essential. Compact, lightweight VTUG aluminum manifold and valve housings can be mounted in cabinets, on machines, and on robotic end effectors. The VTUG valve terminal is also ideal for compact pilot valve applications when using an available dual 3/2-way function valve to accommodate from 4 to 48 solenoids. The VTUG is said to be ideal for the machine builder that wants to standardize on one valve terminal and offer customers control options from conventional multi-pin up to fieldbus. The original VUVG design, introduced in early 2011, included the “E-Box” approach for electrical connectivity, allowing users to stock one valve body and choose from many designs to match application needs. Each E-Box uses a different electrical connector (such as Festo connectors, standard M8 connector, and other choices). Flexible design philosophy allows the user to select a desired

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communication preference for the VTUG valve terminal and modify it in the future. The VTUG valve terminal can be controlled through a multi-pin connector, one cable IO-link interface to a master controller, or through Festo’s new CTEU fieldbus module to DeviceNet, EtherCAT, CANopen, Profibus, and several other protocols. Multi-pin and I/O link modules are available as spare parts to easily convert existing valve terminal configurations, ensuring flexible communications. VTUG is Festo’s most cost-effective and simplest to apply universal valve manifold. The company reduced costs by using the latest technology, design concepts, and production techniques from existing valve series, such as the VUVG. Each valve body shares similar internal VUVG designs so the same tooling can be used to produce both valve types. The valves also share the same cartridge seal design, common to many Festo valves. Finally, solenoids used were taken from Festo’s existing VTOC valve line, all adding to greater economies of scale. Cartridge seal design allows for reversible operation, twopressure operation in one valve—one valve can produce a vacuum and positive pressure for greater flexibility. Cartridge seal’s design, proven in other products, has demonstrated a long service life.

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Terminal design simplifies modifications, replacing faulty valves or exchanging existing valves for those with other functions. Using a captive screw design and defined gasket compression makes the exchange of valves simple and low risk. Unique, self-locking plugs can be set in the manifold to enable on-the-go pressure zone modification. These valves are suitable for low- and high-pressure operation, up to 10 bar. High pressure minimizes the size of actuation

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Automotive: Handling with Care



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cylinders. Smaller cylinders reduce overall cost and improve compressed airflow, increasing machine performance. Festo’s integrated “current reduction” technology lowers overall energy consumption and enables 100% duty cycle performance by decreasing current draw after the first few milliseconds the solenoid is energized. Another benefit of reduced current draw is that less heat is generated within the valve, to extend service life.

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An air spring return system (instead of mechanical spring) provides for a more balanced overall switching time within the valve and decreases production costs by eliminating the need for wearing parts. Festo claims the new VTUG from Festo proves to be one of the most economic and reliable solutions for high-volume applications where performance is required, but cost effectiveness is key. n

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Automotive: Handling with Care

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Automotive: Handling with Care New materials and the drive for greater flexibility in production have created new challenges in handling

• Improved capability • Lightweight trend • Focus on flexibility • Multi-model lines • Long-term view

spot. Equally clear to see are the tensions and trade-offs that exist between them. The inexorable march of automation, for instance, drives productivity upwards and unit vehicle costs downwards, but in plants striving for flexibility and mixed-model manufacture, ill-considered automation imposes constraints that make such objectives more difficult to attain.  Similarly, the push towards lightweighting sees manufacturers adopting newer, lighter materials. The downside being that, more easily damaged, such materials require careful handling which can drive up equipment costs while acting as a drag on cycle time reduction.

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from the equipment they buy – faster cycle times, faster set-up times, higher throughput, greater flexibility and shorter delivery times,” says Martin Sahlman, product manager for automation systems at press and automation specialist AP&T. “For us, that means modular construction, fewer components and a requirement to produce and deliver the equipment quickly.” Suppliers engaged in materials handling are tasked with quickly and efficiently bringing parts together at the applicable station in the shortest possible cycle time, then just as efficiently moving them on to the next stage in the assembly process. So what trends are automotive materials handling companies seeing, and how are they responding?

Improved capability

Walk through almost any modern automotive assembly plant and the major trends in automotive assembly aren’t difficult to

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Talk to the companies that serve as the automotive industry’s equipment suppliers and these tensions and trade-offs are evident. At the forefront of designing, building and delivering the machinery that turns aspiration into factory floor reality, they typically supply the equipment that actually touches the vehicle or its major components; gripping systems, robots, conveyor systems, and automation and control systems. “All the automotive OEMs are demanding greater capabilities

Lightweight trend As materials handling insiders make clear, the industry’s longstanding drive for improved productivity and lightweighting is still throwing up new twists. Craig Kenhart, industry segment manager for automotive belting system manufacturer Habasit, for instance, points to the enhanced use of ‘people-mover’ conveyors in assembly plants, allowing workers to travel with vehicles as they are being assem-

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Lab Innovation Based on Toy and Material Handling



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bled. Such systems, notes Kenhart, have been shown to increase productivity, reduce worker injury and decrease rework.  Forget people-movers constructed from traditional heavy rubber conveyor belts containing steel cord members, he stresses. Today, it is modular or fabric-based people mover belts that are finding favor. Pointing to advantages such as low energy consumption, due to the low coefficient friction of the reverse side; a belt-edge ‘safety signal’ (belt edges can be equipped with yellow colored modules); and non-slip belt surface profiles, Kenhart says that Habasit works closely with automotive OEMs and conveyors systems suppliers to advance what is possible. “Belting to address the different load levels that can be found with people-movers is available, as well as belts with specific material features such as anti-static, electrically conductive and flame retardant,” adds Kenhart. “We’re seeing increased demand for people-mover installations in the traditional automotive production locations, as well as in the growing markets of China, Russia, South East Asia and South America.” Lightweighting, too, is throwing up new considerations. As well as the materials traditionally used as steel substitutes – plastics and plastic-based composites – aluminum is finding

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favor, says AP&T’s Sahlman. “While lighter than steel, it’s a lot softer, which has a bigger impact on the associated material handling equipment,” he points out. “Not only does that mean you have to have handling equipment that doesn’t cause scratches, it also means that you need a cleaner, more hygienic environment, avoiding production debris.”

Focus on flexibility Even so, the big story is flexibility, with automotive OEMs replacing single-model factories with assembly plants, which can

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handle multiple models, changing the mix of production based on sales and customer demand. Moreover, ambitions are high. Ford, for instance, has not only moved the majority of its plants to multi-model manufacture, but has stretched the envelope of what multimodel can encompass. Its Flat Rock, Michigan plant has recently been re-tooled for the 2013 Ford Fusion mid-sized sedan alongside Ford Mustang production – two models that could hardly be more different. “The overarching trend in automotive assembly is the flexibilization of assembly lines, which calls for equal flexibilization of the associated materials handling technology,” says Werner Reichelt, head of the automotive industry segment at gripping, clamping and drive specialist Festo. “We’re seeing other requirements – such as advances in energy efficiency and safety technology – but flexibilization is the major one.” The drive for flexible manufacturing is probably the biggest trend in the industry right now: building multiple models in plants that might not have done that before. It’s driving a lot of process change in vehicle assembly plants, as well as posing space utilization challenges. It’s one thing being multi-model, and quite another being multi-model within the same footprint.

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Lab Innovation Based on Toy and Material Handling



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The same picture is seen at vacuum handling specialist J. Schmalz, adds Jochen Gunkel, head of the company’s automotive industry group. “German and Japanese manufacturers are concentrating on creating flexible platforms on which they can build as many vehicle models as possible,” he notes. “For us, that means developing flexible and universal gripping systems, capable of delivering parts at a high rate of production, and with suction cups that can grip even at high rates of speed and acceleration.”

Multi-model lines At Festo, meanwhile, the push for flexibility has seen the business move out of its core niche as a pneumatics supplier. “Originally, we were a pneumatics supplier, but increasingly we have moved into electro-mechanical devices and actuators, as well as a turnkey design and build service,” says Reichelt. “This helps our automotive partners and automotive machinery manufacturers achieve their flexibilization goals, and produce more vehicles on the same line.” For every pneumatic cylinder in Festo’s range, he explains, today there is almost always an electro-mechanical direct equivalent, driven by a servo motor. “If you need very, very precise positioning, it’s difficult to achieve that with pneumatics – com-

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pressed air has an element of ‘springiness’ to it,” explains Reichelt. “For real precision, you have pneumatics on the Z-axis, because it’s lighter and cheaper, and electro-server electro-mechanical devices on the X- and Y-axes, where you need the precision, in order to precisely grip the parts in question. In other words, you need both technologies to get an efficient, flexible solution.” The automotive industry is recognizing this, Reichelt adds. Already specified as the standard sole supplier at BMW, and the predominant supplier at Daimler, Festo is seeing other automotive OEMs’ pushes into flexible multi-model manufacturing play to its strengths.  “We’re growing our market share at Ford and GM, where our capabilities have now been added to these manufacturers’ internal engineering specifications,” says Reichelt. “Traditionally, the engineers specifying pneumatics have been different from the engineers specifying electromechanical equipment – now they are coming together, which helps us.” A similar message comes from overhead conveyor system specialist OCS Overhead Conveyor Systems, with the drive for multimodel flexibility making itself felt in demand for a new generation of overhead carriers, says area sales manager Jan Erik Karlsson.

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“The goal is not only to develop a product carrier to deliver the best ergonomic solution, but also enable customers to get as many functions as possible in the same carrier,” he says. “This avoids bottlenecks in the assembly line and means that the product can stay in the same carrier from the start position

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Lab Innovation Based on Toy and Material Handling



Flexible Manufacturing Solutions: The Key to Boosting Your Productivity How Electric Automation Reduces Changeover for Increased Efficiency

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through kitting, assembly and testing, and will finally reach the unloading point at an exact and controlled cycle.”

Long-term view That said, while the push for multi-model flexibility is the overarching trend, materials handling suppliers are also seeing a similar demand for flexibility in how they actually deliver the solutions that they offer in response. “Automotive OEMs have moved from a payback mindset seen in terms of individual projects, to a longer-term view of their requirements, and acquiring functionality which they will be able to use over that longer term,” says AP&T’s Sahlman.

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There are also shifts in both the size of equipment and the underlying philosophy of equipment control. Instead of one big controller controlling multiple stations, automotive OEMs want distributed control and smaller and more flexible controllers. This gives them the flexibility to move work around, and re-balance the line dynamically. From a software perspective, there’s a much tighter integration between the plant floor manufacturing execution system, the business system and the individual controllers. The software has to be far more flexible, and capable of handling more functions. Back at Schmalz, Gunkel doesn’t hesitate to point out the reliability implications of equipment that is more complex as well as smaller, more distributed and more flexible than previous

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generations – as well as capable of producing at higher output levels. “For us, that means adding predictive maintenance and condition-monitoring technologies to our existing vacuum pump and vacuum handling solutions, which means that the product includes more electronics,” he explains. Gunkel continues: “The idea is to be able to predict failure that would cause downtime, and alert the operator in advance – and to do so, what’s more, without requiring the operator to enter the robotic cell – doing it through SCADA and PLC systems.” In short, the requirements in automotive assembly are changing rapidly, and the good news for manufacturers is that so too is the materials handling industry that is supporting that change. n

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Lab Innovation Based on Toy and Material Handling



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Lab Innovation Based on Toy and Material Handling By Sam Stoney, Senior Project Engineer, Life Sciences, Festo

Every square foot in a laboratory costs money. Lab automation OEMs take this into account by designing their equipment to handle smaller sample sizes, increasing the functionality of each piece of equipment, and by reducing the overall footprint of their products as much as possible. When Zinsser Analytical GmbH began developing a new sample handler for collecting fractions (very small chemical samples prepared for liquid chromatogra-

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phy), the company sought out automation design advice to see how small things could be. The issue Zinsser was looking to address was a need to transfer very small quantities of liquids into 96 or 384 well microplates in a minimum amount of time. To reduce the potential for cross contamination in this process, the platform holding the microplates would be positioned under a non-moving liquid dispense system. This idea differs from the more common industry practice of moving liquid handling arms over the sample plates. To meet optimum design criteria for this idea, as much of the unit as possible had to be easily accessed from above. In addition, the system needed to occupy a minimum footprint. As for operation specifics, the equipment also needed to process up to 10 plates automatically. This spec required that a plate stacking system be integrated into the design. The answer to this new laboratory automation design came from the flat-panel TV handling market. Engineers at Festo, the automation company Zinsser Analytical collaborated with on this design, drew upon a two-axis gantry concept used in a product Festo originally designed for flat-panel TV handling. The x-y gantry utilizes a single belt driven by two motors in series to control

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both axes, thereby reducing both size and moving mass. The end result is a product known as the µFRACS. Functionally, the design concept used in the µFRACS has been around since at least before the Etch-a-Sketch, but Festo took the single belt x-y control design and turned it into a standard automation product. Mounting the belt to a single point on the stage and driving it via pulleys on the two motors results in the same kinematics as the Etch-a-Sketch toy - when both motors move in the same direction, the slide moves in the x axis; when they rotate against each other, the table moves in the y direction. The design allows both motors to be stationary, thereby simplifying wiring runs, reducing size and mass, and lowering the total number of components needed in the system. By scaling the unit down to a single extruded plate and designing the motors and controller to fit beneath the extrusion, Festo created a full 4 x 6 inch working area in a package slightly larger than 9 x 10 inch and only 4 inch thick. The compact design of this “Mini H Gantry” allows supply lines for fluids, pressure or vacuum to be made shorter. Motors in the system work in series; doubling their torque output to achieve fast acceleration/

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Additional References



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deceleration for optimum positioning time while maintaining a positioning accuracy of ±.004 inch. With the H Gantry as the core of the design, there was plenty of room for the mechanics of the stacking and de-stacking systems using a combination of standard Festo electric and pneumatic actuators under the table.

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The design also has promise for other areas of lab automation, as well as in other applications requiring fast, precise x-y control in a small area. Festo has since taken this concept and is developing a full product range of two-axis positioners with working areas of up to 12 x 24 inch, higher precision versions, and with servo or stepper control options. n

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Additional References



Integration simplifies machine safety

How new safety standards and technologies can make workers safer and plants more productive

Additional Flexibility References Siemens and Festo win Optima as a pilot customer for innovative transport system

• http://www.siemens.com/press/pool/de/pressemitteilungen/2015/digitalfactory/PR2015030168DFEN.pdf • http://www.drivesncontrols.com/news/fullstory.php/aid/4770/Linear_motors_power_flexible_machinery_transport_system.html

Flexible Manufacturing Systems

• http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/management/Ex-Gov/Flexible-Manufacturing.html

Packaging World – Flexible Packaging Playbook

• http://www.packworld.com/playbooks/flexible-packaging-playbook

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