Integrated Teaching and Research Platform – Flexible Assembly Line

Integrated Teaching and Research Platform – Flexible Assembly Line

The FLEXIBLE ASSEMBLY LINE is a versatile platform for a broad range of manufacturing processes: pallet transport systems, warehouse stations, assembly stations, testing stations.
It is an open architecture equipment designed for laboratory use with a modular control concept with Profibus, Profinet, IO-Link and CANopen controllers, drive components such as frequency converters and brush/ brushless/asynchronous/synchronous motors.
The platform comes with RFID equipped workpieces and controllers, great variety of sensors and transducers, latest SIEMENS PLCs and HMIs and also with step-by-step training manual that introduces each of the subsystems and their interfaces.

The FLEXIBLE ASSEMBLY LINE comprises of four conveyor belts linked together
precisely at the same height to ensure a smooth path for the pallets that will flow through. A fully automated pneumatic warehouse station with a 12 workpiece capacity provides rigorous PLC controlled horizontal linear positioning of the workpieces with feedback ensured by two sensors (capacitive and inductive). Each of the conveyors are powered by different types of electric motors: AC or DC motors, synchronous or asynchronous motors, brush or brushless motor. For rigorous positioning, encoder disks with counters monitor the direction and speed of each conveyor providing valuable feedback to the PLC controller unit. 

With FLEXIBLE ASSEMBLY LINE it is possible to
do many experiments, such as:

-Plot and interpret the characteristic for starting, acceleration and deceleration of various types of motors;
-Learn to choose the right communication protocol to meet the communication needs thus obtaining an easy-to-use process control through hardware and software;
-Develop and optimize a mathematical model of the manufacturing process using
traditional methods such as Petri Networks and State Machines;
-Design various sequential control structures with time-dependent individual steps that are processed in a predetermined order;
-Experiment with wireless communication between a Siemens S7-1500 fitted with a wireless module and various RFID transceivers or other Siemens wireless modules;
-Monitoring the system, identifying when a fault has occurred and pinpointing the type of fault and its location;
-Design and implement WinCC applications and interfaces for a remote supervisory an control station with an operational philosophy based on coded signals via industrial communication channels.