The project: in 2007 the Royal Australian Mint, Canberra (RAM) began a modernisation program for their circulating coin production facility.
RAM sought to upgrade its circulating coin blank handling and finished coin ware- housing with a state of the art system incorporating leading edge technology.
RAM required an organisation that could provide innovative engineering design and also undertake the manufacture and installation of the materials handling and warehousing system (MHWS).
Required project outcomes included: increased product security; improved OHS; improved materials flow; providing high levels of process automation and process management; and increasing the Mint's appeal as a Canberra tourist destination.
As the successful tender, Australis Engineering's design solution provided the following benefits: world's first coin Vision Counting System (VCS), a Manufacture Execution System (MES) to manage the entire coin production process; use of robotics to minimise manual handling and increase production output, fully integrated materials handling and warehousing solution, inclusive of special purpose roller conveyors.
Beneficial outcomes of the Australis Engineering design include: whole of system integration using automation and best practice materials handling applications; total system output of over 2.2 million coins/ day with peak rates in excess of 8,600 coins/ minute; VCS capable of counting coins at rates exceeding 22,000 coins/ minute and accuracies over 99.9 per cent; AGVs to reduce manual lifting, improve throughput and OHS; industrial robotics to lift and decant large drums of coins and improve OHS; and design, manufacture and installation of belt conveyors, labellers, warehousing and bucket elevators.
A key element has been the design, testing, manufacture and installation of a world's first, Vision Counting System (VCS) for coins. The VCS is a high-speed coin counter in a mass flow situation, allowing for elevated speeds and high throughput counting of up to 22,000 coins per minute. The system is designed to be virtually touch free so there is little chance of jams or blockages, resulting in a highly reliable system achieving over 99.9 per cent accuracy in production (depending on denomination).
The VCS has potential in other coin handling environments and for the pharmaceutical industry for tablet production facilities.