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Ethercat Machine Automation

Supplier: Australian Innovative Engineering
13 February, 2013

04/2/2013 – AIE upgrades Wadkin Mortice and Tenon Machine with new Ethercat based PAC

Pentland Furniture recently acquired a 25 year old Wadkin Mortice and Tenoning machine for the rapid manufacture of wooden window frames. Mechanically the machine was in very good condition however as the controller was not repairable AIE was contracted to install a replacement controller.

The controller was required to, accurately position the Docking saw, 1st Tenon and 2nd Profiling Spindle based on a window frame recipe prior to batch running to within 0.1mm, provide a HMI interface for operator recipe setup, and frame selection for running, use the HMI for alarms and machine mimic and provide high speed machine timing and sequence control.

AIE installed an Ethercat system for the I/O with a Beckhoff 6909 series HMI/twincat PAC controller. The point I/O structure of the Beckhoff Ethercat I/O enabled modules specific to the various functions to be easily combined to meet the variable voltage interface requirements. The 6909 HMI based controller provided sufficient memory for the window frame recipes, and a fast processor to guarantee optimum performance.

AIE took full advantage of the various language subsets within IEC61131-3 when writing the application program. ST (structured text) was used to develop function blocks for – encoder based position control, alarm queuing across tasks, and overall order of code execution for each task. SFC’s (sequential function charts) were used for the Feedworks conveyor, and Profiling and Tenoning control, whilst FBD’s (function block diagrams) were used for general control and logic functions.

The rapid manufacture of wooden window frames for double and triple glazed windows made possible by the upgraded Wadkin machine will give Pentland Furniture a significant competitive advantage. AIE is pleased to be able to assist an Australian manufacturer to remain competitive by implementing advanced automation techniques.