Filling Line

Slow Flow – No Go?

A paint manufacturer wanted to improve the consistency of the process flow of their filling and packaging lines. These can and carton lines consisted of a number of interrelated steps, with separate controls at most stations.  The integration of multiple PLCs and improved visibility and oversight for management of the overall process were critical objectives of the project.  We were brought in to achieve these objectives.

Stoppages at individual stations did not automatically shut off or slow down product flow upstream.  Stoppage warnings via light tower beacons, horns and local touch screens were often obscured and easy to miss.  


Our Contributions

Controls optimization would allow the manufacturer to stop or slow all work upstream from the stoppage point, preventing bottlenecks and spills, while continuing the packaging process downstream with available product. A large overhead screen would enable operators to pinpoint the problem area immediately.

Primary Systems Inc. Senior System Engineer Tom Palovchak was responsible for programming a new Allen-Bradley CompactLogix PLC and creating a user friendly touch screen on a GE Cimplicity HMI so that there was one control station for the fully optimized line.  In addition, Palovchak programmed the overhead process visualization screen -- a screen which is visible from anywhere on the packaging floor.  This new graphic overhead screen pinpoints the locations of any stoppage, enabling employees to immediately address the problem.  Palovchak configured the database for data logging and reporting; and conducted the final Site Acceptance Test.  



The controls optimization implemented by Palovchak resulted in increased throughput, decreased downtime and increased yield.  After the successful implementation at this processing line, Primary Systems Inc. implemented similar improvements at 7 other processing lines company-wide for this client. 

Has your filling line slowed your flow?  Concerned that your process controls are not optimized?  If so, contact us to discuss your control improvements.