Unlike PCs for general use, PLCs (Programmable Logic Controller) are designed with increased temperature range, electrical noise suppression and vibration and impact resistance. For this reason, it is used in many industries and units. Such an industry as the automotive industry, where shortening product cycles, increasing the complexity of products, and large-scale automation of operations are key factors.
Kicz & Co. Ltd. has been hired by a company which specializes in building production lines to automate some of the stations of their steering-gear production line. The production line also includes a station for installing the spacer pads, for which I have described the steps of the automation in my thesis.
In the introduction of my dissertation, I present the general information about the steering systems, the PLC programming, the IEC-61131 standard, and the operation of the station and its tools. The thesis focuses on the steps of automation and their generic solutions which make the programming of any other station in any other production line that uses Siemens PLCs easy. Such solutions are the state machine master blocks, and integration structure.
Due to the complexity of the task, at the time of the thesis, although the tools described in the dissertation and the presented automation structure have been tested, the entire production line we are testing is still in progress. So, in the chapter "Development Opportunities" of my dissertation, I will present future plans for the project.