Like other manufacturers, machine builders do all they can to optimize the assembly processes in their plants. Industrial technology specialist Rockwell Automation understands this goal, and has developed several products to help companies achieve it. These products include the Allan-Bradley series of Logix controllers, which have helped two large Asian machine builders significantly improve their operations.

China-based Shenzhen Deyu Intelligent Equipment Co. Ltd. (SDIE) manufactures all-in-one winding machines for cylindrical and prismatic lithium batteries. The company’s machines offer precise tension control, so customers can produce more reliable and energy-dense batteries at a lower cost.

SDIE’s latest machine for cylindrical lithium batteries is capable of automatically winding battery cells, as well as welding battery tabs. The Allan-Bradley CompactLogix controller—in conjunction with A-B Kinetix servo drives—enables the machine to perform winding and unwinding with high-precision tension control. Equally important, these features have improved plantwide efficiency and equipment productivity by about 25 percent, compared to earlier machines.

CompactLogix controllers are easy to use and offer small to midrange application control. The controller’s programming software and I/O modules integrate safety, motion, discrete and drive capabilities for machine and safety applications in a plantwide control system. Four series are available: 5069-5380, 5069-5480, 1768 and 1768-L3x.

Rockwell offers three series of A-B Kinetix servo drives. One type connects to Logix controllers, while supporting Integrated Motion on an open EtherNet/IP network. The Indexing and Component series lets end-users standardize on a single communication network for easy commissioning, configuration and startup. Integrated Motion Multi-axis drives support applications with integrated motion control and low- or high-power requirements.

Over in Daegu, South Korea, Sinhyung Engineering used A-B ControlLogix controllers and other Rockwell products in a custom machine it built for Lear Corp., a leading manufacturer of automotive seating headquartered in Southfield, MI. Sinhyung has made automated vehicle-seat assembly machines since 1994, and these machines have produced more than 70 percent of all vehicle seats used in the country.

The main challenge that Sinhyung engineers faced when designing the Lear machine was making sure it works with radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. Lear engineers place an RFID read-write tag on each product so the company can track and document the status of each product throughout the manufacturing process. Operators monitor product status on PCs or PLCs that use an EtherNet/IP interface to connect to the plant’s communication network.

Rockwell controllers and other products helped Sinhyung engineers meet the RFID challenge. Using only one supplier also lowered Sinhyung’s overall part and machine cost by 2 percent, and reduced commissioning time by about 25 percent. Plus, it gave the machine builder faster and easier access to spare parts and technical support.

The Lear machine features Rockwell’s A-B ControlLogix controllers and the A-B 56RF RFID system. ControlLogix controllers come in standard, safety, extreme temperature, and on-machine models suitable for process, motion, discrete and high-availability applications. Part of the A-B Integrated Architecture system, these high-performance controllers use common network protocols for all control disciplines.

The 56RF system is designed to withstand harsh environments, unlike the bar code systems used for similar, less-demanding applications. The system’s tags, transceivers and interfaces are designed to the ISO 15693 open standard for high frequency. The tags are reusable and allow for information and application flexibility.

For more information on controllers and other industrial automation technology, call 414-382-2000 or visit