Good things appear in baby packages. There is conceivably no bigger way to call Edge Automation, a custom apparatus architect and automation solutions provider based in London, Ontario. Though our aggregation is small—employing about 47 able designers, builders and engineers—it is additionally nimble, creating and allotment some of the best technically circuitous automation projects for a advanced array of industries, demography on abounding projects area other, beyond integrators accept said no.
For added than 15 years, Edge Automation has offered complete, angular chip automation solutions, designing and architectonics aggregate from baby CNC operations up to the best circuitous automatic systems. The aggregation serves an abundantly assorted set of markets, with barter acclamation from about all areas of industry, including automotive, chump goods, agronomical accessories and aliment and beverage. Operating as a custom automation provider agency that all the articles congenital by Edge are bent by chump requests. Capable design, machining and accumulation casework on-site accompany chump goals of abstruse advance and accession to life.
“Edge Automation offers a advanced ambit of affiliation options, demography account from antecedent abstraction architectonics through to final affiliation and commissioning,” explains Joel Squire, accepted administrator at Edge Automation. “We are a automatic aggregation of multitaskers from a business standpoint. We don’t agent assignment to abounding altered groups, or alone action to body one area of a apparatus or concept. Our articles are complete turnkey systems, advised and congenital with centralized adeptness (Figure 1).”
Figure 1: The Edge Automation automatic engineering aggregation of multitaskers includes (from left) Jason Hooper, electrician; Travis Thomson, apparatus assembler; Simon Raimbault, apparatus assembler; Luke McKeen, automatic architectonics manager; Gerard Regier, president; and Chris Timmermans, chief controls, 309A electrician.
This array in projects at Edge necessitates an engineering toolbox with a advanced ambit of accouterments and software solutions. This led us to seek out an automation accomplice with a absolute calendar of tools, ultimately arch us to Beckhoff Automation. The business accord has developed steadily, but has risen essentially in the able few years, as Chris Timmermans, chief PLC programmer at Edge Automation explains. “We about conducted amid one and three projects per year with Beckhoff at capricious levels of complexity, basic about 10-15% of our business,” he says. “In the able three years, however, there has been a affecting change. Now, about 60-70% of our business involves Beckhoff accouterments and software—a attestation to the courage of this affiliation and the adeptness and adaptability of Beckhoff technology.”
Therefore, back a healthcare-product architect approached Edge with a difficult accomplishment puzzle, we jumped appropriate in to advance a band-aid automatic by Beckhoff.
Approximately six years ago, the healthcare-product architect commissioned a apparatus from Edge to accumulate artificial genitalia for a health-product-dispensing system. As sales grew, the accepted arrangement bound able its limit. “At the time, the chump was alive about the alarm to accumulate up with appeal for the artefact but was accepting a adamantine time befitting abundant agents on-site to accomplish the adapted throughput,” explains Timmermans. Alike with these difficulties, appeal affiliated to abound and the aggregation bare to calibration alike higher. “Two years ago, the chump approached us to body a second-generation apparatus to advice accumulate the action and accommodated growing demand,” he adds.
The new apparatus consists of two accumulation beef dubbed “PUC” and “PAC.” The PUC, or capital accumulation cell, assembles a alternation of artificial and elastic genitalia to actualize the dispensing system. The PAC, or subassembly cell, food the PUC with genitalia and pre-installs several elastic apparatus afore affective apparatus downstream. A third added subcell was added to acquiesce on-site accumulation of yet accession artefact acidity for the healthcare line, and this integrates anon into the aboriginal two-piece arrangement seamlessly.
We additionally developed a custom agriculture band-aid for the application. The administration of the elastic apparatus is a point of pride for Edge, as two added integrators angry bottomward the activity because they could not accretion a applicable band-aid to augment the genitalia into the system. “We knew it would be a challenge, but our accumulation sat bottomward and dissected the issues the antecedent two competitors encountered, and we were able to body a custom band-aid that works fantastically,” says Timmermans, who jokes that added vendors still ask us how in the apple we fabricated the band-aid work.
“Essentially the acumen our competitors fell abbreviate of a reliable band-aid was vision, area they imposed limitations as to how the assignment was to be accomplished, basically alive central the box,” explains Timmermans. “Our accumulation threw the box abroad altogether and reinvented the way these types of genitalia are fed.”
The ambitious ascendancy requirements of the three accumulation beef are handled by a Beckhoff CX2040 Anchored PC, which offers a quad-core 2.1 GHz Intel Bulk i7 processor and 4 GB DDR3 RAM (Figure 2). This able accessory controls the absolute machine, including HMI and motion ascendancy functions.
Figure 2: Central the cabinet, the anchored PC provides abounding arrangement ascendancy in a compact, DIN-rail mountable format. The able-bodied anchored PC helped Edge to cut PLC browse times in half.
“Assembly action aeon times of 1.8 abnormal formed the baseline we capital to accomplish with the accumulation machinery,” says Timmermans. “By amalgam the CX2040 as our controls centerpiece, we accommodated and alike beat these goals; plus, we abate costs with a centralized ascendancy solution.”
Providing HMI abettor interfaces about the apparatus are three 12-inch CP2912 multi-touch ascendancy panels active third-party HMI software, which seamlessly integrates with TwinCAT via ADS advice (Figure 3). In addition, a CP2712 multi-touch console PC is affiliated to the capital corpuscle and provides the affectation for the CX2040, active a third-party HMI software solution.
Figure 3: The multi-touch ascendancy console displays the custom HMI developed by Edge, giving apparatus operators a feature-filled, avant-garde apparatus interface.
“The four multi-touch panels all affectation the exact aforementioned HMI software,” explains Timmermans. “In this manner, all operators accept admission to the affluent HMI advice via an automatic multi-touch awning anywhere about the machine. From a architectonics standpoint, this was our goal, to advance an HMI interface one time but arrange it beyond the absolute machine. Back the added corpuscle was added, we were able to accompany up an added HMI interface in account with the Beckhoff system.”
TwinCAT 3 automation software belvedere from Beckhoff serves as the CX2040 runtime and programming ambiance for all automation tasks. TwinCAT has been a huge benefaction for abundant aggregation projects, addendum Timmermans. “On the aboriginal machine, we had two abstracted systems aloof for the PLC and HMI,” he explains. “This was added continued with standalone motion controllers and valve banks acute bureaucracy and configuration. TwinCAT, commutual with EtherCAT as its advice backbone, enabled us to accompany aggregate into a distinct development ambiance (Figure 4). We alone about all of the device-specific bureaucracy and configuration, accumulation our appropriate allotment toolset bottomward substantially. This acutely bigger the accessibility of this accessories over the aboriginal design.”
Figure 4: Machine-mounted modules move abstracts accretion afterpiece to the apparatus processes, extenuative cabling costs. The EtherCAT apparatus advice courage streamlines cabling and accession processes.
Features such as core-isolation to intelligently accredit abstracted ascendancy tasks to specific cores in multicore processors accompany bottomward all-embracing CPU appliance and access apparatus performance, says Timmermans.
System advice alfresco of electrical cabinets is handled by a accumulating of EP Alternation EtherCAT Box modules (Figure 5). This I/O accouterments provides a cogent advancement over antecedent systems, removing cartography limitations in agreement of advice arrangement architectonics and wiring.
Figure 5: Edge engineers created a custom advice cartography to accommodated chump needs.
“From a apparatus blueprint standpoint, the EP3174 analog ascribe modules board different advantages as anniversary ascribe can be parameterized,” says Timmermans. In this way, we were able to board assorted voltages (-10… 10 V, 0/4…20 mA and 0…10 V) by configuring anniversary ascribe separately.
Previous systems were bound in agreement of accountability localization and troubleshooting, explains Timmermans. “The way the EtherCAT Box modules accommodate into TwinCAT software offers a bright advantage for us, decidedly with attention to service,” he notes. “It is abundant easier now to actuate the exact area of any band or arresting interruptions to bound antidote the situation.”
We advance a alternation of TwinSafe I/O modules for ascendancy of accepted assurance devices, including bouncer doors and e-stops. “The accomplished assurance arrangement is apprenticed by the EL6900 TwinSafe argumentation terminal installed anon into the accepted I/O rack,” explains Timmermans. “Up to 128 access to added TwinSafe accessories can be accustomed with the EL6900, and it comes at a actual aggressive bulk point.”
Safety functions are calmly chip via the aggregate of TwinSafe I/O terminals, EtherCAT and TwinCAT automation software. “We were admiring with the artlessness of assurance chip into the absolute EtherCAT system,” says Timmermans. “The abridgement in safety-related base was a abundant benefit.”
In accession to safety, the accumulation accouterment requires a able-bodied motion ascendancy solution, and the Beckhoff AX5000 alternation servo drives fit the bill. We maintained bendability in assurance technology by accouterment the AX5000 drives with AX5805 TwinSafe drive advantage cards. The AX5805 permits the accessible accession of motion-specific functions for safe stop, speed, position, dispatch and rotation.
The AX5000 alternation accouterments brought some decidedly benign appearance with attention to the modular accession system. “This activity appropriate a forever-forward motion agreement for the punch indexing system,” explains Timmermans (Figure 6). “We accomplished the adapted after-effects in a bulk of minutes, area on antecedent systems it took us weeks to get it alive correctly.”
Figure 6: The forever-forward motion contour enabled by the drives and servo motors helped Edge to affected a cogent obstacle in the accumulation process.
A accumulating of AM8000 alternation servo motors are affiliated to the AX5000 drives, alms simple affiliation through TwinCAT software. The AM8000 alternation represents a sleek, cost-effective motion solution, abbreviation the all-important cabling and connectors by as abundant as 50% through the accepted One Cable Technology (OCT) begin in the motors, addendum Timmermans.
The Beckhoff arrangement helped Edge to access achievement for the healthcare-product architect after abacus costs, all while abbreviation the all-embracing admeasurement of the ascendancy chiffonier and apparatus footprint. “From a console standpoint, I almost that we accept at atomic 33% college ambassador functionality in this system,” addendum Timmermans. “However, the ascendancy chiffonier is absolutely smaller—largely due to the bunched I/O solutions, including the TwinSafe system. The cabling reductions from the OCT-enabled servo arrangement and the accomplishing of the 12-mm-wide EL7211-0010 servo terminals artlessly fabricated cogent contributions, as able-bodied (Figure 7).”
Figure 7: Utilizing 12 mm-wide servo terminals for abounding of the abate motion requirements accompanying with ancillary servo motors for bunched drive technology decidedly bigger apparatus adequacy while abbreviation console amplitude requirements.
TwinCAT 3, and accurately the arrangement manager, has added bulk to the Edge toolbox. The adeptness to bound and calmly add new accessories to the ascendancy arrangement was game-changing. TwinCAT additionally allows us to reclaim cipher on approaching projects, extenuative a cogent programming time and effort. We begin the greatest account from the Beckhoff arrangement back it came to programming the motion system, abbreviation the all-important time to accomplish the motion goals from a few weeks to bristles account or less.
The software licensing anatomy offered by TwinCAT was additionally acutely ambrosial to us. “The chargeless engineering and development licenses accept been abundant accoutrement to advice us account and abutment our equipment,” says Timmermans. “Simply not accepting to pay bags of dollars in licensing fees to affix to end-user accessories is a above consideration. Some of our barter additionally acknowledge the adaptability to accouter their account techs with the chargeless engineering software and abstain big-ticket bench licenses.”
Perhaps best importantly, we were able to cut our PLC browse times significantly, bottomward to 1 millisecond static, bottomward from 30 to 50 milliseconds. “There are absolutely three key tasks that are appointed to assassinate every millisecond, one for anniversary of the three cells,” explains Timmermans. “This ensures that a beginning EtherCAT anatomy is pulled in with adapted abstracts of the accepted apparatus accompaniment above-mentioned to active the apparatus logic. This is in accession to the motion-control assignment appointed every 500 microseconds, which is managing the 10 servos on the system.”
In addition, through the bulk abreast functions offered in TwinCAT 3, we were able to abstract PLC tasks of the activity abroad from Windows to a committed core, utilizing alone about 18% of the bulk processing capacity.
“There are still two absolutely unutilized cores accessible to us for approaching amplification on the CX2040,” comments Timmermans. “This is a far cry from antecedent systems, area we about maxed out the controller. By affective to the added able-bodied Beckhoff ascendancy platform, we accept abundant added breadth with apparatus architectonics and a ample bulk of allowance to add new functions.”
Figure 8: Chris Timmermans, chief PLC programmer at Edge Automation, runs the new accumulation apparatus through its paces.
As Edge continues to advance the boundaries of engineering for projects of all sizes, we now accept the accoutrement in abode to accommodated the growing demands of our customers. “PC-based ascendancy and EtherCAT board a adjustable toolbox that can be acclimated in all accountable approaching projects,” addendum Timmermans (Figure 8). “The abilities to bound and calmly accommodate new accessories in account and to reclaim apparatus cipher advice us to abide proving that no custom activity is impossible.”
5 Benefits Of Hardware For Kitchen Cabinets That May Change Your Perspective | Hardware For Kitchen Cabinets – hardware for kitchen cabinets
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