Conveyor Control System

Hampton Products International

Customer Background

Hampton Products operates out of Lake Forest CA and is a manufacturer and supplier of hardware, lighting, and security products. They serve key clients such as Walmart at a large scale and need to be able to respond quickly and accurately to large order placements.

Project Background

In 2007, EA upgraded Hampton’s original conveyor control system which consisted of one PLC and three PCs with a simplified and redundant PC-based control system that leveraged remote IO and barcode readers.

Ten years later, the system continued to run reliably with little downtime but the control system vendor had discontinued the software and would be ending support. Additionally, Hampton was migrating to a new Warehouse Management System. In lieu of mobilizing an in-house support team to support the obsolete Think & Do and integrate it with the new WMS, Hampton contracted EA to upgrade the entire conveyor control system to a modern platform.

EA Solutions

EA presented a solution to replace the Think & Do PC-based system with a Modicon M340 PLC with Citect as the HMI. The biggest challenge the project presented was to design a hardware and software platform that could handle a high-volume of high-speed SQL transactions, rotary encoder input, and be compatible with the existing remote I/O.

First, EA executed a design project and tested several solutions. A combination of M340 PLC, Schneider’s OFS server, and Ignition SQL Bridge Module provided the most robust solution.

The system was designed, configured, and tested on Hampton’s offline test platform before implementation on-site to reduce startup risk. The system is now running at full capacity and provides a flexible and easy to support solution.

Key Insights

  • Integration between Citect SCADA, M340 PLC, remote IO, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Database
  • High-volume SQL transactions into a PLC

Key Technologies:

  • Citect SCADA
  • Modicon M340 PLC
  • Ignition SQL Bridge Module
  • Schneider OFS module

Project Metrics:

  • EA’s Services Value: $300k
  • Project Length: 6 months 
Download PDF