Process Line Control Systems
MESH has a large and experienced controls department to handle the necessary line process control from the individual machine or robot to your ERP system interface. We have a wide experience base on your choice of controls and software brands from Rockwell, Siemens, Omron, Wonderware, Ignition, and other platforms.
MESH has pre-engineered solutions on their line of MAC cells for single robot needs, servo gantry systems (1 or multiple servo axes), and auxiliary equipment such as pallet dispensing, automated robotic palletizing, conveyor control, CNC machines, and many other pieces of equipment that could be part of your process line control or warehouse management system integration.
We partner with the largest robot, hardware, and software brands and are familiar with most processes and warehouse management systems.
Benefits of Process Line Control Systems
The fact is that automated machinery and systems will dramatically reduce labor costs, reduce injuries, improve product or package quality, help with seasonal labor shortages and reduce the square footage needed for the same operation done manually.
Well-designed process line controls and warehouse management system integration is only as good as its control system. With high labor turnover and training costs, it is important to build into your automation system an intuitive and user-friendly machine-to-operator interface or HMI. System design needs to be simple so maintenance can be simple and easy to understand. Operator functions to help with order fulfillment, special needs, or fault recovery need to be taken into consideration in addition to an intuitive operator interface or HMI.
Proper WMS integration and line process control component selection are important to the system’s reliability and safety. MESH will specify the correct safety PLC from a major brand such as Rockwell, Siemens or Omron. The communication method and hardware will be modern and typical for well-designed systems. Safety will be designed properly according to the risk assessment done on the equipment and system. Motor drives and power distribution will be correctly sized and the panel layout will be per UL guidelines for space, routing, and labeling.
In other words, MESH has the experience needed for modern automation equipment and it shows in our equipment ruggedness, safety, operational ease and simplicity.
Capabilities of Process Line Control Systems
Modern warehouse management systems and process line control systems are very capable in their ability to accept high-speed inputs from the equipment and controlling the outputs in a flexible and precise manner. Modern HMI or human-machine interfaces have great graphics capability in an assortment of screen sizes. Additionally, these systems are highly capable of retrieving, organizing, storing, and analyzing data that is available from your ERP system and or the equipment. Artificial intelligence in its simplest form is now being used to improve certain machine control.
- Motion control from robots or servo motor-controlled devices have very precise and flexible control options to dial in the accelerations, decelerations, and stopping points. Coordinated control is the norm for multi-axis systems to help with cycle rate and or path-specific needs.
- Vision – Modern control systems can seamlessly integrate and communicate with vision systems used for inspection and robot guidance
- HMI’s can be specified as standalone devices in a multitude of size ranges. Most common are 7”, 9”, 12”, and 15” screen sizes. They can also be part of a PC-based control system when software such as Wonderware or Ignition is required.
- Robots and Cobots – The newer robot controllers and cobot controllers make programming more user-friendly. The major robot brands have added software now for realistic simulations, virtual commissioning, and multiple safety zones.
- Cell controllers or system controllers. Also known as PLCs (programmable logic controllers) these specifically designed machine control computers are significantly more capable than the older versions. Most brands now offer a safety PLC built-in that will monitor all safety contacts and run parallel code to detect issues in the system or how it is being operated. Memory and communication options have greatly increased to allow for control of very large systems at high speed. Remote access for troubleshooting is now a standard on MESH equipment.
- Safety – MESH designs our machine control systems to RIA standards and will complete a risk assessment of the entire system. Our MAC control system uses a safety PLC and high-quality guarding and interlock switches that match the risk assessment’s requirements for modern equipment needs in North America, Asia, or Europe.
Process Line Controls FAQ
Support for spare parts and programming resources are main considerations. Reducing the number of makes and models in your facility will be helpful to your maintenance department as well.
HMI – Size of the HMI screen vs price is the question to answer. The larger the screen the easier it is to portray information to your operator.