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Developing a packaging machine based on Arduino hardware

Developing a packaging machine based on Arduino hardware

Abstract

Packaging machines are used to enclose and protect products for distribution, sale, and use. They are very popular in industry because they are safe, reliable, and usually integrated into the process line. They guarantee a big productivity.

In this project, Opiron Electronics will develop a basic packaging machine based on the Open Source Hardware PLC´s from IndustrialShields. Ardbox RelaySystem

Our packaging machine will have three basic control functions: HMI( the Human Machine Interface), PLC (the logic part of the control), and the Motion Control functionality. The main idea of the Project is to develop a reliable and flexible machine. We will make use of an Ardbox Relay as the main processor of the system, but, as packaging machines need to be integrated into more complex systems, as we saw in the Feeding a packaging machine with a frequency driver  post,  we will make use of an M-Duino PLC, which has Ethernet connectivity which can send data to an SCADA. The detailed hardware can be found at IndustrialShields the website.

packaging_machine_industrial_shields

 

Hardware and Operation

In this newsletter we are going to show just a part of the packing machine. This is a feeder and the lifter. The feeder consists of a piston, when a product is in front of the feeder, the feeder moves forward and the lifter downs a level. When the lifter is at the lower level, the entire product can be sent to the packaging part. PLC Programming Packing Machine_industrial_shields   The hardware components will be:

  1. Five mechanical switches (Reverse, forward, upper switch, middle switch and lower switch).
  2. 4 relays which are based in Arduino. 2 of them for the feeder (forward and reverse movement) and 2 more for the lifter (up and down movement).

Software and coding

As described above, the system works in six steps. Furthermore, the code has an additional but interesting feature: the capability to receive commands from another PLC (M-Duino), if an operator wants to stop the process remotely. Download the Arduino source code in the link below:   2014111_arduino_code    

Key benefits

  • Remotely control from another PLC capability.
  • Open Source hardware based, which it means reliable, cheap and expandable.
  • Easy to be installed.
Feeding a packaging machine with a frequency driver with Arduino

Feeding a packaging machine with a frequency driver with Arduino

filling system v1
Feeding a packaging machine with a frequency driver

In the dairy industry, packaging machines are used to package food in containers such as yogurt, milk, etc. They are usually integrated into more complex systems, and they are fed by a tank that contains the product (usually milk). In this project we will design a system composed of a tank with milk, a packaging machine, a valve to open and close the way to the machine, and a PID formed by a flow meter and a pump controlled by a frequency driver. In addition, the system has a buzzer to alert to operators of the plant in case of alarms. The system is as shown below:    

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