The goal of my final project was to develop a PLC program of a packaging station for Robert Bosch Kft., which can replace the currently used PC based solution of the company in some cases. A packaging station is usually the last station on an assembly line that registers the manufactured workpieces, and redirects the gathered production information to a higher-level logistics system to ensure the traceability of the product.
The need for an industrial controller based application arose from the observation that a packaging station commonly has to deal with other automation tasks, besides managing the network communication. With the current, conventional PC solution, the developers cannot use the familiar hardware and software ecosystem for the expansion of the equipment. By implementing the features of the application into a PLC environment, the same workflow can be used as in the case of the other stations on the production line.
My paper begins with a brief description of the applied guides, rules and standards. The basics of a Programmable Logic Controller is also discussed. I introduce the reader to the standard choice of PLCs and HMI devices that are currently used in the plants of the company, and I select a suitable hardware configuration for the development.
I compare the current PC based solution, and the planned features of the PLC based one. I also describe the event based communication protocol that is used between the client and the production controller server.
In the main section, I present the graphical user interface I designed for the operator of the equipment. This is followed by the detailed discussion of the underlying logic of the program.
Finally, I conclude the results of the development and testing, and present a few development ideas for the future.