Automotive


End of Line (EOL Audit Checks)
The Problem

Almost all automotive suppliers have been caught with compliance fines and our customers were experiencing these fines for common problems such as part mislabelling, incomplete shipments, damaged parts and mixed part stillage’s. In addition to this the lack of traceability for each process meant that our customer was unable to accurately find the source of the problem or track operator errors.


The Solution

Maxim supplied 24 x Motorola MC3190G devices running Windows CE operating system installed with Maxim’s bespoke EOL Traceability application. Maxim’s traceability application scans our customers WIP or route card information to gather the part number and quantity required for the stillage. The operator is then presented to scan the required number of parts, with each barcode encoded with a unique serial number to ensure that the correct number of parts are scanned with no duplicates. Once the correct number of scans has been completed a final Odette label is printed with the correct information, and also a unique serial number which is logged on an SQL database with the date, time and operator name. In addition to the core application, Maxim traceability application has a number of addons, including the option to scan locking bars in the stillage to confirm that the parts have been loaded correctly. Each locking bar is labelled with a unique barcode which is only accessible when the bars have been locked in place.


RFID Machine Tracking
The Problem

For traceability our customer requires all machines to be recorded during a paint shop process, which can reach temperatures of 180°C, with excess paint being a high probability on to any of the machines and identification pieces. Due to the high probability of paint in the area, the use of barcodes as an identification method may cause misreads and ultimately slow the process with incomplete or machine breakdowns.


The Solution

Maxim provided Balluff RFID Sensor Heads with High Temperature High Frequency (HF) tags and holders capable of temperatures up to 220°C. Utilising the Balluff RFID Sensor Heads the customer was able to encode unique identifiers in to the tags for use on the machinery and as the machine processed through the paint shop the tag would be read, with the excess paint not interfering with the Read. Connection of the equipment to the customers control system was made with ease by the standardized IO-Link vendor neutral system.


Poka-yoke / Production Checks
The Problem

A new production line was to be introduced to manufacture several variants of dashboards with one weld machine, which contains 2 changeable nests, to be used at the end of the line. The weld machine must be loaded with 2 complete dashboards which must be OK, with the parts being completed at the previous stages of production and also any of the required extra ‘child’ components fitted ready for the weld. The correct nest must also be loaded to ensure the weld machine welds correctly for the dashboard loaded. Automated printing of part and Odette labels is also required to ensure the parts are not mislabelled.

The Solution

Maxim supplied an End of Line (EOL) control system, utilising Datalogic Matrix 410 Barcode Readers, Zebra Thermal Printers, Keyence inductive and presence sensors and a custom control panel with HMI, RS232 communications and an IO connection box all controlled by Maxim bespoke control software. With Keyence sensors located to detect the nest type and the presence of any child parts, and Datalogic Matrix 410 sensors located outside of the weld machine with a scanning distance of 1.8m the Maxim control software confirms the parts, child parts, nests and previous process are all OK before sending a signal to the weld machine PLC to trigger the weld. Once the weld is complete the Weld Machine PLC will send a signal to the Maxim control system to print 2 final part labels with the control system also keeping an internal count of completed parts. Once the completed count reaches a set value, an Odette label will automatically print for the stillage. With Administrator features for testing sensors, nests, parts, child parts, barcode reading, PLC I/O and an easy to use GUI for Odette count overrides, scrapping parts and checking previous cycles the Maxim control system is a complete End of Line production control system.


Automated Printing from PLC or IO
The Problem

Our customer wishes to add barcode printing on an existing production line but is unable to change the configuration of the line, PLC program or printing features.


The Solution

Utilising Printronix T5000r ES printers with integrated GPIO interface Maxim connected the customers PLC utilising existing PLC outputs. The Printronix GPIO interface contains 8 opto-isolated inputs, 8 opto-isolated outputs and 4 SPDT relays and is fully operating using only the Printronix printer, no extra PLC or IO device is required. Maxim programmed the printer to trigger a label print on the pulse of 1 of the GPIO inputs, along with a custom control panel all integrated within the printer.