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General Automation

New Beveller Plant – Coventry


For the above project UCS Automation designed and manufactured a control panel to provide independent control of the Bevelling systems and associated handling equipment on a floor covering product. The system was designed to fully integrate with the existing Press PLC via Ethernet communication network.

The PLC and Drives was Allen Bradley manufacture, utilising a Compact Logix PLC with Kinetix Servo’s and PowerFlex inverters all connected via an Ethernet network.

The plant comprised of the following elements:

  • Servo controlled belt driven product transfer from the end of the Press conveyor;
  • Inverter controlled chain driven Cross conveyor to transport the products through the short edge Beveller;
  • Inverter controlled belt driven Cross conveyor (2) to transport the products to the Long edge beveller lines;
  • Servo controlled belt driven product transfer from the Cross conveyor to the Long edge Beveller line 1 Preload station;
  • Servo driven Kicker electric cylinder at the Long edge beveller 1 Preload station;
  • Servo driven Kicker electric cylinder at the Long edge beveller 2 on the Cross conveyor 2;
  • 4 x Inverter controlled Nip rollers;
  • 1 x inverter controlled Preload station conveyor;
  • 4 x Beveller product transport conveyors;
  • 2 x Servo controlled Turnover devices;
  • 2 x inverter controlled Turnover Out-feed conveyors;
  • 2 x inverter controlled Inspection conveyors;
  • 2 x inverter controlled Packing conveyors;
  • 3 x High speed Bevelling Drives (drives free issued).

The panel consisted of an MCC section containing all the Servo drives and inverters. Bayed to the MCC enclosure was a separate PLC enclosure containing the PLC, safety relays and general low voltage control equipment complete with a 19” colour touch screen industrial PC operator interface mounted in the control panel door.

What was developed?

UCS developed a control system, utilising servo motors, used in the bevelling of a surface edge, during the manufacture of floor covering.

What previously existed in this field?

The previous equipment used standard inverter control and did not employ servo motors.

What is the advance / appreciable improvement?

The accuracy of control was greatly improved and losses due to quality control were greatly reduced.

What were the technological uncertainties?

The utilisation of servo motors on this type of mechanical design was unproven.

How to detect a 3mm thick tile on a black background was a problem.

Making sure the manufacturing speed was attained with many mechanical frailties to overcome.

How and when were the uncertainties resolved?

Software for the servo motors was developed and trialled in the workshop before reaching as close a solution to allow further tests to be performed during the final commissioning.

Investigation into the market for a sensor capable of the 3mm tile detection was carried out and once the chosen sensor was trialled UCS amended the software to accommodate the sensors’ intermittent failures.

This was achieved over 5 weeks between August – November 2014.  

Testing of the software I/O control and HMI was performed in the workshop environment before being installed and fully commissioned at the client’s site. All further developments were made during the 5 days spent commissioning the system, these consisted mainly of enhancements to the software to increase the speed of production.

No limitations were encountered and the system has proved to be a success, with the client preparing to place orders for similar work on other plants.


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