On the track, the workpieces were moved on pallets. The track had to served

  • the processing machines/robots
  • the engraving machines
  • the measuring machines

Controlled track elements

  • track drives – for moving a palette in two directions
  • timers – stop palette
  • uplifter – lift a palette off the track
  • lifts – for handover between tracks above each other
  • manipulators – removing and replacing a workpiece on pallets
  • servo drives – for moving tracks and elevators
  • RFID technology – to identify pallets
  • safety components – for stopping the track
  • local and central display terminals – to display and modify palette, path and workpiece parameters

Communication interfaces managed by the track controller

  • with voltage-free binary signals – processing machines, robots and measuring machines
  • with voltage-free binary signals + RS232 interface – engraver
  • Ethernet interface – to receive IDs and test results from the central database
Figure 1: Pallet conveyor system controlled by 3i Ltd.