Process Automation

Implementing Control Systems

We will work with you in any of the following ways:

–  Design and implement controls for a new process or process extension

–  Design upgrades and implement them for your existing process

–  Provide maintainenance service to your existing process

  • Tell us what your need and your budget is and let us help you come with optimal solutions for the design and implementation of your new control systems for your processes, plant, laboratory, or machinery 
  • Show us your existing systems and let’s discuss control strategies that can deliver your expected improvements, for example save energy, or improve quality
  • If you have dated equipment and you would like to upgrade to new controllers with minimum disruption and pain, we can help
  • If your machinery requires modern drives and controllers, we can also help with that
  • Consider us your in-house department for all your control engineering challenges
  • We offer solutions for controlling heat exchangers, pumps. fans, vibration, pressure, flow, dosing and mixing 

Robotics & Automation

Cobots or Robots? We can help!

Cobots have opened up new opportunities to transform workflows in production environments and laboratories. 

Today, it is possible to create workflows that allow ready cooperation between humans and machines using cobots. Therefore workers can concentrate on high-value-added tasks and trust some of the less important tasks to cobots. Traditional robots perform repetitive jobs such as welding, sorting and packing quickly and well, but investment in such work stations is only justified if there is sufficient volume and continuity for performing the tasks. Often, if the job ends, a sizable investment in new software, tooling and fixtures is required to redeploy the station and perform new tasks. More often than not, the robots end up in the surplus equipment list and are auctioned off. The opposite is true for cobots. They are easy to redeploy, but by virtue of the necessity to be safe to collaborate with humans, they are also slow. Also, cobots can not work with the heavy loads that their counterparts can, however, they can be mobile and carry out tasks that are spread out geographically in a production environment. Programming cobots is relatively straight-forward and they don’t need special safety features and guards, that their robot counterparts need. Therefore cobots are very well suited for short term jobs and moving them from place to place is easy when the job ends. Sometimes, differentiating between whether to invest in cobots or robots becomes hairy because each have their advantages.

We can assist in analyzing the requirements, the options, and the ROI. We can also help you ensure that your investment in cobots/robots is effective to meet your present goals and the future possibilities. Furthermore we can take your project from start to finish and implement it in timely and efficient manner.

Precision Fixture Design & Automation

Precision Fixture Design & Automation

We have delivered many projects where design elements come together to create a custom measurement & inspection machine that is integrated with a new or existing production cell. The machines are customized to the requirements of the production process performing procedures that will ascertain KPI for the parts being built in the process. Every piece of machinery that operates in industrial environments must be safe, needs friendly and intuitive operator interfaces, requires connection to factory data management system which may include such as batch and serial number identifiers, production date and so on.

Furthermore, in many production scenarios, a production cell must cater for a family of related products. Therefore designing precision fixtures which adapt well to production change-overs, provide good and clear ergonomics for operators, maintenance personnel, are key features of a successful machinery. Customers can rely on us to not only supply them with state of the art custom equipment, but also to act as their consultants in many aspects of the design which will impact productivity and ease of use in their factory. We are confident that our previous experience in building automated test and inspection machinery will add considerable value to the design and operation of the custom work stations.

Custom Automated Machinery

Design and Manufacturing Services including:

  • Design of machine Architecture
  • Definition of modes of operation and system states
  • Mechanical Design with full 3D and 2D Drawings
  • Electrical Schematic Design
  • Electrical and Control Panel Design
  • Software Development using C/C++/Python and C# programming languages
  • Safety systems design and interaction with machine operators
  • Safety risk assessment
  • Working with sub-suppliers and sub-contractors to build machine components
  • Integrating drive systems, PLCs, measurement instruments, and machine vision systems together to perform specific tasks
  • Oriented to test, inspection of modules, and/or assembly of parts
  • Upgrading vintage equipment with  new controllers
  • Modernizing drives and servosystems, instrumentation and controllers
  • Also solutions for controlling process elements such as heat exchangers, pumps. fans and blowers, pressure and flow,
  • Measurement of vibration, pressure, flow
  • Control of dosing and mixing units

Optical Inspection

Automatic Inspection

Our automatic inspection systems are made from a combination of the following components to a complete system to cater for the requirements of the specific application is comprised of the following building blocks.

1. Optics including lighting and lenses – we can configure the optical system from a diverse variety of lenses including fixed and variable focus lenses, telecentric lenses, and zoom lenses. Telecentric lenses are particularly suitable for a variety of applications where measurement of critical dimensions of the target is required. We combine the lens system with a variety of lighting options including backlighting, front lighting, and through the lens lighting. In our labs, we develop the optimal optical solutions for an inspection task first and then integrated the optical system with cameras, and where required, robotic or gantry units. We work with a number of suppliers to obtain the lens and lighting systems which include Sill Optics and CCS America.

2. As for cameras we rely on our partners Dalsa, Sony  and Basler. Therefore, you can rest assured that the components that we use in our machine vision and automatic inspection systems are of the highest quality and are supported by a first-class worldwide network.

3. We use OpenCV and Halcon software from Mvtec as our primary supplier of vision software and algorithms for developing inspection solutions. Both systems provide a very powerful suite of algorithms for various tasks in machine vision.

4. Our engineers document the requirements of your inspection system in a statement of work. We then propose one or more options at the conceptual level to ensure that all requirements are met and constraints of the project are foreseen. After your approval, we will build the inspection system, develop the software, and integrate with the robotic or gantry system based on the requirements. We maintain full documents of the system for a period of 5 years after the delivery of the first system, and we will deliver exact copies of the first system as your production grows.

5. As part of the software development, we will also work with your factory team to integrate system operation and the acquired inspection data for day to day operation and  future reference.

Industry 4.0 and IIoT

If your factory, plant, laboratory, or machinery is equipped with control room style systems using sensors, SCADA based visualization, or if it is equipped with PLCs each controlling a portion of your machinery or process, and if you would like to connect disparate sensors, controls, and networks together to exploit the advantages of pooling data that will enhance your operational effectiveness and converge your IT/OT systems, you can count on us to assist you in your projects. We can help you connect disparate and disconnected parts of your systems together so meaningful data from all parts of your systems including the outlying edges can be made available for analysis, learning, and intelligent decision making.

 

IIoT projects are collaborative in nature and every customer’s needs are unique. As system integrators, we work closely with our customers to develop a clear understanding of their needs and wishes. Starting from the discovery phase, we follow procedures that formalize customer requirements thus allowing us to address a broad scope of new operational specifications. From role definition to management of historical data, data security, and tailored data representation, we work closely with stake-holders to implement the new systems. In our experience, seamless organizational boundaries allows feature rich projects to be executed within budget and on time.

We also have partnerships with major suppliers of software components that allow us to use as much off-the-shelf software as possible. Off-the-shelf components reduce cost and accelerate development. However, when needed, we also have a team of developers who can create customized solutions and “glue” software to provide smoothly integrated solutions. From definition to delivery, we rely and thrive on customer involvement in all phases of each project.

 

OPC is the way!

OPC is an established standard that is managed by OPC Foundation. OPC foundation has developed well-established certification processes for the standards it supports, and as a result, while different suppliers of OPC software provide their own implementation, the functionalities provided by the software obey all the core requirements. This in turn allows OPC servers and clients to operate seamlessly together, even if they are supplied by different suppliers. The latest version of OPC standard is called OPC UA which is continuously enhanced and in addition to client/server architecture, is not also supporting publisher/subscriber models for acquisition and distribution of data from industrial system edge components such as sensors and controllers and delivery to other industrial system components such as HMIs, or for supplying data to enterprise ERP and MES systems.

Drivers for Sensors and Controllers

In order to connect to sensors and controllers in the field, OPC servers use drivers that are tailor-made to interface with the hardware. The drivers often address a family of controllers from the same manufacturer. For legacy systems where drivers may not be available, it is necessary to implement upgrades to the system. If older versions of OPC, namely OPC Classic, has been previously implemented, we can create solutions that allow OPC UA and OPC Classic to coexist in order to meet budgetary constraints. We have experience with the products of leading suppliers software and after a thorough analysis of the present state of your plant, we will select the most suitable suite of software components that will meet your requirements. 

Alarms and Events Processing

Alarms and Events management is key for safe operation of process industries. In addition, it allows process and control engineers to implement upgrades and improvements that will improve stablity, safety, and quality, increase through-put, reduce energy use, or return some other benefit. Also, alarm reports prepared to ISA-18.2 or IEC 62682 are often necessary due to legal or other compliance requirements. There are OPC based tools that facilitate pooling alarm sources together. For example, not only sources of alarms and events from safety sensors for leaking gases, fire, operator safety, criticial process variables, authority violation, and emergency response teams can all be pooled together and managed according to a predesigned plan, but also, alarms can be set up to bring focus to low-low, low, high, high-high events that take place within parts of the process that will drive future improvements. 

Security

There are multiple aspects to data security. The basic feature for modern networks is data encryption so data remains secure from source to destination through out the transmision process.

But it is also possible to install security gateways that can  control who can browse, add, read and/or write to a tag on a per-user-per tag basis. In addition, security gateways can help protect older parts of the network where no data encryption algorithms have been implemented.