Real-time, PC-based control installed at U.K. plant

Ford Motor Co.'s Halewood Transmission Plant (Merseyside, U.K.) recently launched its iB5 transmission assembly line—a 70-node modular system using Steeplechase Software's Visual Logic Controller (VLC) PC-based control software. Currently in full production, the custom-made line features in-process testing, press force monitoring, and torque control to opera...

08/01/1998


Ford Motor Co.'s Halewood Transmission Plant (Merseyside, U.K.) recently launched its iB5 transmission assembly line—a 70-node modular system using Steeplechase Software's Visual Logic Controller (VLC) PC-based control software. Currently in full production, the custom-made line features in-process testing, press force monitoring, and torque control to operator position pick-up recognition systems. Besides using Steeplechase software for real-time control in a Windows NT environment, the line also incorporates Cutler-Hammer industrial computers and a combination of I/O devices, including DeviceNet for discrete control and Data Logic for RF tag readers. "Integrating VLC in conjunction with Cutler-Hammer's D720 industrial PCs allowed Ford to avoid the proprietary nature of a closed architecture and enabled the maximization of the diagnostic capabilities of fieldbus technology and made real-time communication with higher level information systems cost effective," says Pat McCorry, Halewood's manufacturing and plant engineering manager.





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