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Client
Chesapeake Display & Packaging

Overview
CDP manufacturers advertising displays within their production facilities throughout the country. Their displays in retail markets typically accomodate items like batteries, candy products, cosmetics, etc. They produce these graphic displays after intense market research based on their customers needs and specifications. They use a manual intensive workforce to assemble and prepare these displays, receive and distribute product, load the displays and prepare them for shipment. As with any manual process, the time spent at each workstation dictates the overall efficiency of the entire assembly line. CDP engineers approached Piedmont Automation about controlling multiple pacing conveyors to move components between the respective workstations. By using pacing conveyors, workers have ample time for assembly and the entire line is paced to be more efficient. And because their customers all have different needs, they also required that the pacing conveyor controls be flexible, and mobile so they could configure the lines for each product requirement.

Typically, material handling systems are fixed and centralized. However, CDP has multiple facilities where their conveyors are located and they needed to be configurable. Our team conceived and implemented small individual control systems for each conveyor providing adjustments for conveyor speed and dwell time. Furthermore, we designed each system to act as a master, or slave, which allows it to set the pace of the assembly line, or follow the pace of another conveyor. The modularity and dynamics of this control scheme gave CDP the flexibility they needed to customize their material handling system on an as needed basis.

Now they could group conveyors in any fashion necessary to meet production needs, and what started out as a prototype project turned into nearly 100 systems over an aggressive 8-week timeframe.

    Features/Benefits
  • Simply control philosophy.
  • Configurable & dynamic to meet production needs.
  • Operator settings for speed and dwell time.
  • Pre-wired cables and connectors for quick configuration and mobility.
  • Automation Direct PLC & other discrete controls for simplicity.

    Development Tools
  • Designer PLC Software
  • CADD

Client Comments: "The design team at Piedmont Automation really impressed me with their imagination and ingenuity. Not only did they meet our difficult requirements, but they were also very responsive to our aggressive delivery schedule."

CDP Engineering Manager
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