Accumulator-type conveyor systems can be difficult to control and often have problems that are hard to diagnose.
A modular approach developed at Humphrey Products Inc., Kalamazoo, Mich. (www.humphrey-products.com), simplifies control and troubleshooting, plus it uses plug-and-play technology for flexibility and quick assembly. It runs a variety of control and input/output devices and uses 18-gage wire. Therefore, if users install low-current solenoid valves, the system will use less power compared to other pneumatic control options.
The basic Gen2 System uses factory-programmed modules with quick disconnects for basic conveyor control. Adding a master controller lets users configure an infinite number of conveyor modules, according to the company. Switches on the controller initiate sleep and slug modes and adjust the jam alert, which can shut down the conveyor. Hooking up several controllers lets users optimize product flow.
For total control, users install an Interpreter module and gateway rather than a master controller. This integrates the conveyor into company wide networks. It lets users control entire zones, or modules within a zone, using a PC, laptop, or PDA.