Emulation, beyond simulation, for motion control

Get to market in half the time using emulation, even with highly complex motion control installations.

03/08/2013


Polytron emulation helped with an overhaul of 4 miles of conveyors, with 95% debugging before onsite installation, 11 new tie-in points, four new PLCs, and modified programming in three existing PLCs. Courtesy: PolytronYou need to increase capacity, so you’re adding a new line. Maybe you want to bring outsourcing inside, gear up for a new product launch, or rearrange your geographical footprint to lower distribution costs. Either way, every day without that new line is another day of lost revenue. What do you do?

Testing a new controls system off-site using emulation can get a new line up and running at capacity in half the time, for half the cost, with half the effort. System integrator Polytron achieved such results in a highly complex consumer products installation. The plant needed another line that would lead to a new high-speed palletizer, including:

• A maze of conveyors 4 miles long that would need to be overhauled with 11 new tie-in points.

• Multiple decision points, along with integration with some systems that were three years old and others that were nearly 30 years old.

• Four new programmable logic controllers (PLCs), plus modifications to three existing PLCs.

The line had to be at capacity as soon as possible, since the customer already had demand for everything it could make. Until the new line reached capacity, vital revenue was missing.

Cut start-up time in half

Polytron designed, programmed, and debugged the new controls system off-site using its emulation tools. Unlike traditional systems with field debugging, these control programs were 95% debugged on day one, leading to much faster start-up and lower costs. On-site time was reduced by 10 weeks to half the time it would’ve taken to perform a traditional start-up. After three days of start-up, the new line ran at 80% of capacity.

Simulation just checks code inside the PLC. Emulation requires the controls system to operate a computer model of the installed system in real time, just as if it were running the new system on the plant floor, which allows 95% debugging and verification before site installation. Running a computer model of the system is more powerful than running the system in the field because emulation can address more variables and yield more useful data in less time. It lets an engineer run different scenarios without impacting real production.

Emulation allows test running a new bottle size, or package format, and finding out how the line will operate, without losing production time on the running line. Imagine testing 10 years of forecasted production on a finished goods handling system. Emulation makes that possible.

- Brent Stromwall is vice president, Polytron. Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering, mhoske(at)cfemedia.com.

www.polytron.com 

More details from Polytron about:

- Using emulation 

- Instant project start-ups 

Select an integrator from the Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
The true cost of lubrication: Three keys to consider when evaluating oils; Plant Engineering Lubrication Guide; 11 ways to protect bearing assets; Is lubrication part of your KPIs?
Contract maintenance: 5 ways to keep things humming while keeping an eye on costs; Pneumatic systems; Energy monitoring; The sixth 'S' is safety
Transport your data: Supply chain information critical to operational excellence; High-voltage faults; Portable cooling; Safety automation isn't automatic
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Synchronizing industrial Ethernet networks; Selecting protocol conversion gateways; Integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs
Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.