Residential / Commercial Appliance Material Handling

//Residential / Commercial Appliance Material Handling


Midwest Engineered Systems compleaded an Upscale Residential Commercial Application Material Handling and Test In Motion Production System.


The Challenge

To design a complete material handling and control system solution that would accommodate the entire production flow and take each product through the rigorous testing process.

  • Design a test system to handle the production rate of one unit every 82 seconds.
  • Minimize the amount of accumulation needed for these tests by utilizing overhead mobile electrification loops to test the refrigerators in motion.
  • Design a wireless production test system for over 300 units testing simultaneously
  • Design a custom data collection server solution to record all test data via wireless communication
  • Incorporate RFID tags into the material handling control solution to track data to specific product serial numbers and product locations in the system.
  • Design a distributed control system to handle over 1200 conveyor zone sections and 8000 points of discrete I/O
  • Minimize noise from over three hundred pallet locations by using chain driven powered roller conveyors.
  • Implement a distributed SCADA system for full process monitoring and control.

The Solution

  • Implemented Testing in motion through the use of mobile electrification which greatly reduced the number of accumulation conveyors required to complete the extensive testing process.
  • Developed a wireless data collection node and server using embedded processor technology
  • Used wireless Zigbee technology to provide the ability to simultaneously test over 300 units.
  • Implemented a distributed I/O architecture (ASI Bus) to effectively and efficiently control over 1200 conveyor zones
  • Incorporated RFID technology to positively track and record production and test data
  • Using powered chain driven live roller conveyors reduced the cost of spare parts and provided zone length flexibility for future product design.
  • Chain transfers provided a means to automatically convey refrigerators to each work station.
  • Three high speed transfer cars eliminated the need for twenty four chain transfers and provided a significant savings.

Impact to the Customer

  • Streamlined the entire testing and production process.
  • Provided the ability to test over 300 units simultaneously while in motion.
  • Reliably tracked and recorded all production and test data by unique product serial number using RFID technology
  • Products flow through the system with minimal operator intervention.
  • System expansion is built into the design for future growth.

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