PLC adds value to modernised rice filling machine

09 December 2014

When it needed to modernise an outdated rice-filling machine, Impasa Automation also wanted to take the opportunity to create a customised display for its customer.

The company prides itself on its preventive maintenance engineering and wanting to hold true to its commitment to quality and reliability it needed to find a way to reduce the set-up time and build a more flexible system for its customer. 

The timing for the different steps of the filling process was, originally, achieved mechanically via a camshaft with seven cams and seven micro-switches. Impasa Automation wanted to make this process more efficient, while also providing the production department with more information to allow them to track the efficiency of the machine and the operator. 

The company chose the Samba SM35-J-T20, from Unitronics, to help it achieve this goal.

The drum sequencer command and the high-speed encoder inputs of the PLC were key ingredients that helped make automating this machine easy and effective. Originally when the operator changed the type of rice bag to pack a different brand making adjustments required the mechanical and manual adjustments of both the cam ad the micro-switches. Today, with the new PLC controller, the operator is able to simply adjust the machine by entering and changing the degrees of the electronic cam. The 3.5in colour touchscreen and the resolution also allowed them to design great looking displays that were easily understood by operators. The PLC also offers the ability to send reports to the production department to track the efficiency of the filling speed, the number of bags filled, the operating time and a data table showing the start time and any stop time.

Commenting on its ongoing relationship with Unitronics, Ober Yela of Imapsa Automation, said: “With fast delivery times and constantly updated software, Unitronics has always listened to the requests of our customers and has been able to implement them since we decided to start out automation division in 2001. We get great support via the company’s technical support team and the Unitronics Forum.”

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