Precise newspaper sorting system wins Extreme Machine contest

Tempe, AZ—Tilt-Tray Sortation System and the engineering team that developed it at Automated Control Technologies (ACT) recently won Rockwell Automation's 2004 Extreme Machine of the Year Award after receiving the most votes from subscribers of Control Engineering (CE) and Design News magazines.


Tempe, AZ— Tilt-Tray Sortation System and the engineering team that developed it at Automated Control Technologies (ACT) recently won the 2004 Extreme Machine of the Year Award after receiving the most votes from subscribers of Control Engineering (CE) and Design News magazines. Rockwell Automation sponsored and organized this first annual Extreme Machine Award program in conjunction with the two publications. Nominees for the award were required to have used Rockwell technologies in their applications.

Tilt-Tray is used at the New York Daily News ’ printing facility to help sort and bundle 1.3 million newspapers daily via 18 conveyors with redundant controls. The new system prevents downtime, and has already improved delivery times by 15% and reduced waste by 13,000 papers per day.

Dan Hirsch, Design News ’ publisher, was scheduled to present the award to ACT’s president, Tim Carroll, in a ceremony today, March,

The five candidates for Extreme Machine of the Year were nominated by Rockwell’s engineers, Frank Bartos, CE ’s executive editor; and Karen Field, Design News ’ editor-in-chief. The nominees were selected based on their design originality, creative application of automation technology, and their demonstrated ability to provide breakthrough machine features or capabilities by applying automation.

Tilt-Tray’s networked control system allows the newspaper’s two main conveyor lines to make smaller bundles of 15, 20, or 25 papers, which allow more precise numbers to be sent to the system’s delivery stations. Each of the conveyors has built-in redundancy, which eliminates any one point of failure, and minimizes the impact of press downtime or failures. Delivering the right number of papers allows the Daily News ’ drivers to load faster, and get papers out to sellers and subscribers more quickly.

One controller monitors all of one conveyor’s lines, a second controller handles all of the other conveyor’s lines, and a third controller monitor’s Tilt-Tray’s sorter, which allows wrapping of different-sized bundles. Unplanned shutdowns are eliminated because each controller is backed up. “Even if a backup unit fails, each press still has one operating line that will enable it to continue to move papers out the door,” says Carroll.

Rockwell’s equipment used in the Tilt-Tray system include its ControlLogix system redundancy module 1757-SRM; Bulletin 160 variable frequency drives; 1336 Plus drives, DeviceNet and ControlNet communications network; and 35 PanelView operator interface terminals.

To read more about ACT's winning Tilt-Tray application, visit .

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Additive manufacturing benefits; HMI and sensor tips; System integrator advice; Innovations from the industry
Robotic safety, collaboration, standards; DCS migration tips; IT/OT convergence; 2017 Control Engineering Salary and Career Survey
Integrated mobility; Artificial intelligence; Predictive motion control; Sensors and control system inputs; Asset Management; Cybersecurity
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This article collection contains several articles on how automation and controls are helping human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software advance.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me