Overview

Car Sound Exhaust Systems is the world leader in the manufacturing of automotive catalytic converters and MagnaFlow Performance Exhaust products. Their 280,0002ft distribution facility has a multi-level conveyor system consisting of about 350 I/O and 2 barcode scanners.

In addition to the normal conveyor controls, the Conveyor Control System (CCS) interacts with Car Sound’s HighJump based Warehouse Management System (WMS) via TCP sockets. The CCS reads and writes data from/to the WMS, such as route data and arrival data.

Solution

Enterprise Automation had three major design considerations. The first was general conveyor controls. Flostor Engineering worked closely with Enterprise Automation when designing the controls, and supplied Car Sound and FloStor with a complete design specification. Once all parties were satisfied with the control strategy, programming began.

The second major design consideration was the Think and Do HMI for general system status and troubleshooting purposes. The HMI system provided visualization of the conveyor arrangement and status, as well as alarm and IO debug pages for maintenance personnel.

The third key aspect of this project was the TCP sockets communications. Enterprise Automation developed a protocol specification so that all parties involved could program to a common standard.

Technology

Think and Do’s ability to handle large amounts of I/O, and various communications in a deterministic manner made it a very effective all-in-one control and data management solution.

The use of subcharts for transfer control, serial port decoding, TCP sockets communications, and alarming, allowed for global changes and rapid deployment of the control system. Automation Direct’s Ethernet-based Terminator I/O was an excellent cost effective choice for achieving fast I/O updates and flexibility during design and installation.