The Flexible Manufacturing System 13, "AE-PLC-FMS13" is a modular system composed of thirteen workstations: the "AE-PLC-A" Feeding Workstation for Pieces, the "AE-PLC-CF" Sorting Workstation, the "AE-PLC-M" Mounting Workstation, the "AE-PLC-MR3" Rotary Table Workstation 3, the "AE-PLC-SIP" Pieces Identification Workstation, the "AE-PLC-ALV" Vertical Storage Workstation, the Buffer Workstation, the "AE-CNCT" CNC Turning Workstation, the "AE-CNCF" CNC Milling Workstation, three "AE-BR" Robotic Arm Workstation and the "AE-PLC-T" Linear Transport Workstation.
The objective of the "AE-PLC-FMS13" system is to provide the system with pieces of different colors, heights and materials, and place the pieces on the linear transport workstation. Along the process, the different workstation take the pieces from the linear transport system and perform different processes as mounting additional pieces inside the base pieces, identifying the pieces, storing the pieces in a buffer system, storing the pieces in a vertical storage system, turning and milling the pieces on a CNC machines through a robotic arms and disassembly the pieces with the third robotic arm.
The process of the "AE-PLC-FMS13" is explained in the following lines:
- First, the feeding system provides the pieces of different colors, materials and heights. The feeding system place the pieces on the linear transport system to move the pieces to the following workstation. Then, the sorting workstation classifies the pieces at three different places depending of the pieces characteristics detected.
- The mounting workstation mount the milled and turned pieces, manufactured on the CNC turning and milling machines. The pieces are load and taken from the CNC system with a robotic arm for each machine.
- Then, a buffer storage take the pieces from the linear transport system and hold the pieces till the system require them.
- Finally, there a vertical storing system to store the pieces or is disassembly by a robotic arm workstation.
The "AE-PLC-FMS13" system design by EDIBON allows the users to learn the basic concepts of automation as the operation of an Ethernet network or how to program a PLC and about other areas as pneumatic, electro-pneumatic, etc.
Each workstation is locally commanded by a PLC device and, in turn, a central PLC coordinates all workstations. The communication network between workstations and PC is based on the Ethernet protocol.
The Robotic Arms and the CNC machines included in the "AE-PLC-FMS13" system, contains the control console and the programming software in order to program and operate with them.
The optional "AE-AS" software is design to teach the students how works real automation software. This software allows making 2D and 3D processes simulations, supervising and controlling SCADA systems, programming and communicating PLCs, simulating hydraulic, pneumatic and electronic devices’ operation, etc.