Tag Archives: controls

Tuff does build lines

build_line

Tuff Automation has made build lines for a few different companies, and we have experience in every part of the process. We specialize in outfitting build lines with custom controls, programming, and pneumatics.

Structure and customization

Build line projects start with the bare bones from a company that supplies modular design solutions. They provide conveyor, lifts, structural components and more. Then we put the lines together to customer specifications and integrate the necessary hardware. Tuff can also provide custom bracketry as necessary, making the final product as suited to customer needs as possible.

Then we make it all work.

Plumbing and controls

Tuff installs all the wiring and pneumatics required to get the machine running and the components functioning.

Tuff also provides controls and programming. We can incorporate torque tools with or without reaction arm feedback, cameras, function testers, FAM units, ovens, pallet lock/unlockers, barcode readers, RF read/write, and reporting to SQL servers for production monitoring. Model year changes are included.

Turnkey solutions

Finally, Tuff will provide complete installation, runoff, and support for our build lines.

If you have further questions, or if you have any other material handling equipment needs, contact us by phone at (616) 735-3939 or email at sales@tuffautomation.com.

Tuff Automation does robots

Robots make complex and delicate processes more efficient and precise. They are widely becoming more popular in material handling processes. Still, many hesitate to incorporate them into their processes because of the investment they require upfront.

We’re here to tell you that the investment pays off in safety and efficiency.

Tuff builds, wires and programs

Tuff Automation integrates robots. We design end-of-arm tooling, program robots and PLCs, wire and install. Does your project call for vision? We do that too. From drawing board to production floor, we’ll see your project through.

Are robots right for you? Let us find out.

Tuff Automation has two robots in house for product testing. Let us determine how compatible your product is for robot implementation while we come up with the best material handling solution.

Check out one of our systems in action:

Quality assurance with photo evidence.

The benefits of quality assurance don’t stop at establishing a good relationships with your customers. Doing everything you can to make sure your product is flawless can also save you thousands of dollars in damages. If a product fails and you have no way to prove the cause of the failure happened after the product was out of your hands, then you’re setting yourself up to pay hefty, undue legal fees.

camera build line quality assurance system

One way our customers have addressed this risk is with our build line QA camera system. The system is custom programmed by Tuff engineers to take a photo, record the necessary information to identify the product, and store the photo with that information. That way, in the event something happens to a product down the line and your customer starts investigating the point of error, you have the proof to keep your reputation clear.

PC camera quality assurance system manufacturing material handling controls

The system operates with a number of cameras attached by USB to a PC. The PC searches for a signal from the build line PLC, which then commands the cameras to take a photo and provides the product information (such as a serial number). Together, that information is sent back to the PC and stored for later reference.

icube camera application plc system pc

Our current software is programmed to work with iCube cameras. It can support up to 4 cameras simultaneously on a single computer, enabling you to get pictures from multiple angles. The file names of the photos can include string data from the PLC and the date, time, and camera name as necessary. The software is compatible with ControlLogix/CompactLogix processors and uses an Ingear.Net software library, so no OPC is required.

The style of lens and the lighting necessary to take good photos will depend on the environment and application. We can work with you to figure out the best configuration of the system for it to work optimally in your environment. Tuff has worked on a variety of build line systems—with our experience you can rest assured that the integration of your camera system will go seamlessly.

View a presentation on the Build Line Camera QA System.

Building a Slat Conveyor

slat conveyor bastian solutions axels material handling

We frequently work with Bastian Solutions to engineer top-quality solutions to whatever they throw at us. One of our recent projects was a slat conveyor that carries hefty axles.

The project

The conveyor is part of an assembly line. It moves multiple axles, the heaviest of which can weigh 1600 pounds, down the line as operators gradually add components. This rugged conveyor is equipped to carry massively heavy loads in an industrial environment. It also comes with a touch screen interface to customize conveyor operation, track units through each production cell, and identify any conveyor faults.

What we did to ensure the best product

As with many of the projects we encounter, Bastian Solutions needed this solution to be of the highest quality and completed under a compressed timeline. During the processes of engineering and construction, we were able to assist Bastian Solutions in making performance-enhancing recommendations. We also facilitated a complete run-off/buy-off on our shop floor. All of this was to make sure Bastian Solutions knew we made them a product they could be confident in to do the work they needed it to do.

The final result

In the end, Bastian Solutions received a top-quality conveyor complete with integrated controls. Want a closer look at the process of construction and see the final product in motion? Check out our video below. Be sure to watch it in high quality!