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Robotics Case Studies

JMP Makes the Case for Faster Packing

JMP Solutions, Automation and Robotics Division

The Customer’s Challenge
A leading Canadian food products company relied heavily on high-speed production lines to support the lower production costs that were key to their competitive pricing strategy. Their aging Pyramid case packer, rated for 5000 cases per eight-hour shift, was experiencing frequent breakdowns. Output per shift had slipped to 3500 cases. This production shortfall represented a serious business threat and the client elected to undertake a complete electrical rebuild of the critical case packer.

The JMP Approach
Once selected for the project, JMP engineers moved quickly to analyze and isolate the key points of weakness in the machinery and its support systems. JMP engineers partnered with a local electrical contractor to replace the custom TTL-logic controller with an SLC-5/05 and installed a new PanelView600-based operator station to provide diagnostics and complete manual control. New sensors improved equipment monitoring and new controls to eliminate product jams were integrated into the SLC. Predictive diagnostics were added and coupled with complete manual control to enable operators to easily recover from fault conditions without having to call maintenance.

JMP’s Unique Value
JMP’s own programming methodology supports decision-making on equipment status in real time instead of blindly sequencing equipment. Downtime due to equipment failure was virtually eliminated and cycle time was reduced to less than the OEM rating. In addition, JMP created a complete set of electrical schematics for the client – something that did not exist when the project was initiated.

The Customer Payoff
The case packer is no longer a production bottleneck. By reducing the machine’s cycle time, the capacity is now above originally rated capacity and production output per shift is nearly 5000 cases. What’s more, the client’s maintenance staff reported that they, “never get called to the Pyramid anymore.” And plant management, who saw their entire project cost recovered in one year, claimed, “it was the best (money) we ever spent.”

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