1.1 End of Line (EOL) Audit Checks

1.1.1 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.

1.1.2 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 the customers WIP or route card information to gather the part number and quantity required for the stillage. The operator then scans 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 is completed, a final Odette label is printed with 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 add-ons, 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.

1.2 RFID Machine Tracking

1.2.1 The Problem

An Agricultural Machinery manufacturer required the location of all components be identified throughout the full cycle of a conveyor driven paint shop process. At varying points within the process, temperatures can reach 180°C. Also, excess overspray is a significant probability and thus renders barcode identification unreliable. Due to the high probability of overspray a more robust identification system was required to prevent misreads that would ultimately slow the process or at worst cause the system to stop.

1.2.2 The Solution

Maxim provided Balluff RFID Sensor Heads with High Temperature High Frequency (HF) RFid tags and holders capable of working in temperatures up to 220°C. Utilising the Balluff RFID Sensor Heads the customer was able to encode unique identifiers in to the tags for identification of the product whilst in the paint shop process. The RFid tags would not be effected by heat, cleaning processes or paint overspray. Connection of the equipment to the customers control system was made with ease by the standardized IO-Link vendor neutral system.

1.3 Poka-yoke / Production Checks

1.3.1 The Problem

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

1.3.2 The Solution

Maxim supplied an End of Line (EOL) control system, utilising Datalogic Matrix 410 Barcode Readers, Zebra Thermal Printers, Keyence inductive and proximity sensors and a custom control panel with HMI, RS232 communications and an IO connection box, all controlled by Maxim’s bespoke Production Control Software. With Keyence sensors located to detect the nest type and the presence of any child parts, and the Datalogic Matrix 410 sensors located outside of the weld machine with a scanning distance of 1.8m, the Maxim Process Control Software confirms: the parts, child parts, nests and previous processes are all “GOOD” 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 PCS to print 2 final part labels. The Process Control Software also records an internal count of completed parts. Once the completed count reaches a pre-set value, a stillage Odette label is automatically printed.
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 of bad parts and checking previous cycles, the Maxim Process Control System is a complete End of Line production control system.

1.5 Automated Printing from PLC or IO

1.5.1 The Problem

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

1.5.2 The Solution

Utilising Printronix T5000r ES printers with integrated GPIO interface, Maxim connected the existing 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 autonomous using only the Printronix T5000, and the printers internal GPIO programme. No other PLC or IO device is required. Maxim programmed the printer to trigger a label print on the pulse of one of the GPIO inputs, along with a custom control panel all integrated within the printer.