Fully-Automated Paper Box Assembly Machine

Project Scope:

Fully-Automated Paper Box Assembly Machine

This project was presented to SDC to replace existing vision-guided box spotting mechanism which utilized obsolete electronics and mechanical hardware.  In addition, the existing machines required a complete control hardware upgrade.  The objective was to upgrade existing machinery with state-of-the-art controls and mechanical hardware to increase reliability, repeatability, adjustability and serviceability.

Programmable logic controller


4-axis SCARA robot

Machine vision inspection system

Robust machine controls

The Solution:

SDC chose to remove existing controls from the machinery.  The original drive motors were left on the machines.  Since the machines were basically three separate machines linked by limit switch signals, a similar approach was taken. The synchronizing signals would be contained in a programmable logic controller (plc).  The PLC would operate any mechanism or motors on the machines.   It would also synchronize the machines so that they would run as a system.  A human machine interface (HMI) would be connected to the PLC and allow access to process and machine parameters.  The HMI also allows for manual debug of devices and systems.  Trouble-shooting the system was also made easier by displaying fault messages if they would occur.

Previously the folded boxes were transferred and spotted on the glued paper by a vision-guided stepper motor system with linear slides.  Now the folded boxes would be transferred by a vision-guided SCARA robot.  The camera and robot were commercially available components.  Adding new product types to the system was made easy by a simplified teach procedure.

The result of the upgrades increased uptime significantly.  Serviceability of the machines was attained allowing the machine to be run more consistently with less downtime.  Since the machines ran more consistently then the previous machines, lees machines were required to run the same amount of production.  This also resulted in labor savings since fewer operators were required to run the machines

Machine Rate: 48 parts per minute