Powder Coat Carrier Tracking

The purpose of this project was to upgrade the existing a Power and Free Overhead Conveyor System that transports forklift mast components through a powder coat painting process. The upgrade modifications were to add carrier tracking capabilities in order to speed up the system. Datamatrix barcodes cut from stainless steel plate with a water jet were added to each carrier. The system used “off the shelf” Cognex Barcode Readers with Power Over Ethernet. The barcode readers were added in 7 locations, one of which was outside looking through a window into a dark oven. With the upgrade, operators can now see all carrier locations and the product loaded on each carrier. In addition, each product has it owns recipe (up to 100 recipes) for time setpoints needed through each area in the finishing process. The system has started to run longer product that what it was designed for such that empty carriers must be sent in front and behind the loaded carrier to prevent product from hitting. With the upgrades, the empty carriers can now process through finishing areas without having to wait for the set times to pass. The hardware was installed over weekends. The program was implemented during the production where old/new logic could be toggle on/off with the flip of switch. Once testing was complete, the program changes were made permanent. With this process, there was zero downtime.

Key notes about the system and Programming

  1. ControlLogix L61 Processor, V20 
  2. ControlLogix Ethernet I/O 
  3. Cognex 262X Power of Ethernet Readers 
  4. (1) Panelview Plus HMI 
  5. Unmanaged Ethernet 

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