An increasing number of processes in production lines require synchronization with conveyor belts. Ensuring the high levels of speed and precision needed to accomplish this previously required highly complex control solutions. Production lines with conveyor belt tracking have an advantage: Since the production process never comes to a stop, they can achieve higher production volumes.
The complexity of these systems is constantly increasing, for example, as robots are added to these systems. One way to reduce the complexity is to use tools inherent in systems like PLCopen. The function blocks in PLCopen can be used for all types of robot kinematics and even allow robots to be synchronized with multiple conveyor belts. The interfaces are also suited for integrating HMI applications for all types of kinematic systems.
The robot can move freely during the synchronization phase, which also enables complex product manipulation. B&R offers a system in which the conveyor belt is fully integrated into the application. An external sensor that supplies information about the current position of the conveyor belt is all that is needed.
The conveyor belt tracking system is hardware-independent, which allows the use of different drive systems with different kinematics. The application can be created quickly and easily upgraded at a later time. The robot can be replaced or the conveyor belts can be upgraded at any time without a significant amount of application engineering work. A large portion of the software can be used as is.
B&R Industrial Automation