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Automotive Assembly System Solutions for Partner Baccanelli

2011/10/17

Project Introduction:
Assembly departments in the automotive sector are usually the least automated processes in the production chain; this means that it’s very difficult to improve parameters such as efficiency, quality alignment and data collection. In order to achieve these objectives our customer, one of the main system integrators in this market, working with the most important automotive manufacturer companies in Italy, needed a modular and flexible system, that was able to communicate simultaneously with old and new equipment to contain costs.

 

System Requirements:
The objective of this system was to modernize the internal working process, by introducing a Human Machine Interface that was able to offer user-friendly job instructions and better characteristics of the specific product being processed, thereby helping users and operators achieve their goals more easily.

Another goal was to optimize the whole process by collecting all parameters and data of the operations in a single file that was linked to the serial numbers of the vehicle. This was also possible, thanks to a software gateway that integrated old and new equipment by using different physical connections: 2 x LAN, 5x RS/232, 1 x RS/485, Bluetooth, 2 x USB and several Digital I/O ports.

Project Implementation:

TPC-651H Customized 5.7" SVGA Touch Panel PC, Atom Z520 1.3 with 2GB CF and Windows XPE
USB-4604B 4-Port RS-232 to USB Converter w/Surge
ADAM-6052 16-Ch Source Type DI/O Module

System Diagram:

System Description:
The system is mounted in a black box beside the assembly lines and, once identified by their badge; users can interact with it via the touch screen. Every other system on the line is connected through software gateways and physical ports, so operators can have complete control of the process. The portable devices then communicate with the central box via Bluetooth and the coordination with the rest of the line is realized by physical I/O.

When in need of maintenance, operator's can interact with the system using a USB dongle or the Intranet.

Conclusion:
Nowadays, having a good interface is not enough to win an HMI contract; the entire solution needs to be even more flexible by offering more expansion capabilities and greater freedom for the client to choose equipment that meets their exact requirements. The key to Advantech winning this contract was the flexibility of the design. With its high performing communication functions as well as the possibility of adding and expanding the types and numbers of COM ports the client felt that they could not only reduce the cost of any future expansion but also recognized that they would have an attractive, flexible and easy to use user interface .

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