System Integration & Control Systems Design


Improved production capacity and efficiency

May 2020 System Integration & Control Systems Design

BOLÇİ Bolu Chocolate (Bolci) was formed in 1992. It now has over 300 employees and produces over 800 different products. The company produces over 200 tons of chocolate items each month in a factory that covers an area of 20 000 square metres, half of which is the production area, warehouses and various other departments.

In order to meet its growth targets, Bolci needed to improve its production efficiency and quality control. Omron and Innovas joined forces to commission a line of three Omron robots in the packaging section of the factory’s production line, with the aim of enhancing production quality.

The challenge

Bolci currently exports to 13 countries, but wants to increase this number each year. It also wants to build its production capacity and efficiency, minimise production errors, and improve its infrastructure. Prior to introducing the Omron robots, the chocolates were placed manually into dividers in the packaging area. However, the company faces seasonal variations in demand and at special occasions in the year. As a result, sales could increase on a daily basis and the production needs to be adjusted accordingly.

Innovas was employed as the system integrator for the project. Before the robots were commissioned, Innovas performed an analysis of the filling time for the different dividers that would be used when the line of robots was being commissioned. It also carried out feasibility studies on issues such as whether robots would be a suitable solution for picking and placing the chocolates. Innovas looked at the production capacity required and the range of products to be used. Based on the results, the company developed the robot application in conjunction with Omron.

Choosing a solution

Innovas looked for a compact solution for this project and wanted to be able to supply everything from a single channel. It had used Omron products for many different applications over the years, and knew they would meet the needs of this very special project. Omron also has considerable experience in pick and place applications for chocolate and food products.

When Omron was asked to recommend a suitable robot, it first made an assessment of the needs. The type of products on the production line could vary very quickly and Bolci needed different types to be arranged rapidly in the same style of box. Omron suggested the four-arm Quattro robot, which is compact and has a unique kinematic structure. Innovas selected the robot because of its speed and flexibility as well as its ability to cope with the variety of products in the box. Omron also recommended its PackXpert program, which uses a wizard-based user interface and meets the needs of applications in the packaging sector.

Innovas installed three Omron Quattro robots for Bolci. These are now used to pick and place the chocolates into the dividers, which has saved time considerably. The three robots work in sync with each other as part of an integrated system that includes visual inspection, safety and the robotic systems. Because chocolate is a delicate material, it is important that its shape doesn’t deteriorate during the process. This requires accurate positioning and a very precise handling of the product.

The solution in practice

One person places the dividers on the conveyor and the other feeds chocolates through the 12 feed channels. There is also a final visual check on the output of chocolates before they are sent to packaging.

The chocolates are brought to the robots by conveyors. They can be at different angles, but the camera systems check them and the robots capture the products with a vacuum system, based on the position and product information determined by the camera. In the packaging area, the three robots place the chocolates into boxes and dividers. Bolci has about 40 boxes of different sizes and types. On a screen, the operator chooses the boxes to be filled and the appropriate mechanical adjustments are made. The system has four different chocolate feeding entry points for each robot. Up to 12 different chocolates can be stacked in four boxes at the same time.

The new robots have resulted in a 40% increase in production capacity. They have also enabled Bolci to give shorter deadlines to its customers. The robots have helped to reach the required production quality standards by minimising production errors and by enabling the company to provide quality products to its customers.


Credit(s)



Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Barcode reader suited for wide fields of view
Omron Electronics Data Acquisition & Telemetry
Omron’s new MicroHAWK V440-F is ideal for reading multiple codes in a wide area, as well as for applications over longer distances and with minuscule barcodes.

Read more...
Case History 183: Bad valve split-ranging causing problems
Michael Brown Control Engineering Editor's Choice System Integration & Control Systems Design
Pressure control is one of the processes that can be self-regulating or integrating, and it is sometimes very difficult to determine which type it is.

Read more...
Optimised, PC-based food production
Beckhoff Automation Editor's Choice System Integration & Control Systems Design
Foodjet’s MDL food printers can portion and deposit toppings with maximum precision, whether coating pizza dough with a perfect layer of tomato sauce, or icing doughnuts with seasonal decorations.

Read more...
Loop Signatures 13: Digital controllers – Part 5: The D term
Michael Brown Control Engineering Editor's Choice System Integration & Control Systems Design
The objective of the derivative term is to speed up the control response in very slow processes, as often encountered in some temperature controls.

Read more...
Fuel for the future
Omron Electronics Editor's Choice Electrical Power & Protection
In the coming years, hydrogen propulsion systems will be found in many different application scenarios, such as transport, heating and power generation.

Read more...
Security certified IIoT edge gateway
Omron Electronics IT in Manufacturing
The DIN-mountable device can be installed in machine control panels to provide remote access for on-demand, real-time servicing of industrial equipment.

Read more...
Loop Signatures 12: Digital controllers – Part 4: The I term
Michael Brown Control Engineering Editor's Choice System Integration & Control Systems Design
Generally, as PLCs sometimes do not handle PIDs well, I always do some tests on them to check on the operation of their control loops.

Read more...
Risk assessments accelerate Booyco PDS adoption
Editor's Choice System Integration & Control Systems Design
As mines systematically assess the risks related to their trackless mining machinery, they increasingly see the value in proximity detection systems.

Read more...
Control loop: Case History 182 - A temperature cascade control loop that didn’t work
Michael Brown Control Engineering Editor's Choice System Integration & Control Systems Design
The problems encountered in a heater outlet temperature control in a petrochemical refinery were causing considerable difficulties for the operators. Here is another wonderful example of the power of cascade control, even with a really bad control element.

Read more...
The role of ‘green’ packaging in sustainable manufacturing
Omron Electronics System Integration & Control Systems Design
Sustainability in the packaging industry is one of the key aspects in fighting the plastic waste issue and, ultimately, climate change.

Read more...