Automatic Fault-alarm System for Conveyor Belts

  • January 25, 2007
  • Case Study
Many factories and distribution plants use conveyor belts to either transport items from one work-station to the next, or as part of a complicated sorting system that uses bar codes and scanners to filter items to the correct destination. However, since no system is 100% perfect (particularly if human beings are involved), system designers often incorporate a checking mechanism to help ensure that items are not misrouted. A programmable terminal and microcontroller are used to control various types of machinery and equipment, such as barcode readers, image processors, and conveyor belts. A built-in PLC can be set up to stop a conveyor belt if a mismatched barcode is discovered. By connecting the microcontroller to the wireless NPort, when an error is detected during production not only will the conveyor stop, but the microcontroller will also send an error code to the PC via the wireless device server. When an error code is received, the PC searches its database to retrieve the error description that corresponds to that particular error code, and then uses a TTS (Text-To-Speech) system or recording to broadcast the message over a loud speaker. In some cases, the system will also broadcast instructions on how to remedy the situation, such as "take package P from conveyor belt 1 to conveyor belt 10." Since microcontrollers typically use RS-232 as the sole communication interface, the wireless NPort device server is used to turn the microcontroller into a wireless host. Learn More

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