Background & Problem
Ultra Tech Machinery is a leading automation machines provider that owns and operates two facilities in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Ultra Tech Machinery provides their customers with Robotic Automation and custom PLC development. One of their customers contracted them to build a Robot Automation System for building industrial sized doors. This system would involve multiple robotic arms, CNC plasma cutters, conveyor belts, and buffer shelves. Ultra Tech has PLC experience for controlling all of this, but did not have the technical means for obtaining part information from their customer’s SQL Server database, tracking parts as they worked their way through the system, and applying workflow for when enough parts were buffered to complete a finished unit. Thankfully, for them, they already knew of a company that did have the means…us.
Solution & Results
The Provato team designed a system architecture that would allow for the PLC to communicate messages through network protocols, and in turn, develop a workflow system to track parts as they worked their way through the system, as well as track the entire system to determine when parts were completed to send to an out-feed conveyor. The other technologies leveraged to do this were as follows:
● Windows Services
● SQL Server
● ASP.NET MVC
Provato worked with blueprints and Ultra Tech employees to develop a series of workflows that described how a single part makes its way from start to finish, and how a single unit can be completed and sent out for physical completion.
Through numerous onsite tests with Ultra Tech, Provato delivered a Windows Service that handled all messaging requests from the PLC that met the needs of their customers. Additionally, Provato delivered a web application that is leveraged on touch screens around the system to allow for users to see where parts are actively located. In this way, Provato enabled Ultra Tech to deliver a complete and comprehensive automation and workflow solution to its customer.