Residential/Commercial Appliance Material Handling - Midwest Engineered Systems

The Challenge

To design a complete material handling and control system solution that would accommodate the entire production flow and take each product through the rigorous testing process.  The following metrics had to be met:

  • assembly lineDesign a test system to handle the production rate of one unit every 82 seconds
  • Minimize the amount of accumulation needed for these tests by utilizing overhead mobile electrification loops to test the refrigerators in motion
  • Design a wireless production test system for over 300 units testing simultaneously
  • Design a custom data collection server solution to record all test data via wireless communication
  • Incorporate RFID tags into the material handling control solution to track data to specific product serial numbers and product locations in the system
  • Design a distributed control system to handle over 1200 conveyor zone sections and 8000 points of discrete I/O
  • Minimize the noise from over three hundred pallet locations by using chain-driven powered roller conveyors
  • Implement a distributed SCADA system for full process monitoring and control

The Solution

MWES provided this firm with the following system:

  • Implemented Testing in motion through the use of mobile electrification which greatly reduced the number of accumulation conveyors required to complete the extensive testing process
  • Developed a wireless data collection node and server using embedded processor technology
  • Used wireless Zigbee technology to provide the ability to simultaneously test over 300 units
  • Implemented a distributed I/O architecture (ASI Bus) to effectively and efficiently control over 1200 conveyor zones
  • Incorporated RFID technology to positively track and record production and test data
  • Using powered chain driven live roller conveyors reduced the cost of spare parts and provided zone length flexibility for future product design
  • Chain transfers provided a means to automatically convey refrigerators to each workstation
  • Three high-speed transfer cars eliminated the need for twenty-four chain transfers and provided significant savings

Impact to the Customer

The solution that MWES provided this firm achieved these goals:

  • Streamlined the entire testing and production process
  • Provided the ability to test over 300 units simultaneously while in motion
  • Reliably tracked and recorded all production and test data by unique product serial number using RFID technology
  • Products flow through the system with minimal operator intervention
  • System expansion is built into the design for future growth

Midwest Engineered Systems has a wide range of experience in building material handling lines. If you’re looking to improve your manufacturing throughput, we have the knowledge and experience to make the project a success.

Contact us to learn about how Midwest Engineered Systems can automate even your most complex and challenging operations today!