Don’t bottle up your design experience

Developers at Central Bottling International have already piloted a project using the `Knowhow’ system to their advantage in the deployment of a machine that shrink wraps multiple packs of various size bottles. Extensive use of the Knowhow system has been developed to handle troubleshooting the packer infeed mechanism. Here, the PLC controlling the machine launches a flow chart interface that can assist with the diagnostic procedure (see below).

From the flow chart, the user quickly determines that the conveyor is controlled by only two devices: the inverter, that adjusts the speed and direction of the conveyor, and the buildback sensor, which is responsible for the stopping and starting of the conveyor.

The user can then select which device he wishes to investigate further. If the sensor is selected, a description of the function of the sensor is provided together with a description of where it is located on the machine.

By checking on highlighted text on screen, the user can then examine a plan view of the machine with all the sensor locations. The user can also view a photograph of the sensor to aid with recognition.

If need be, the sensor data sheet can be examined. What is more the user can also access background material on the sensor in the form of either a short or a long training course that explains the function of the sensor and its role in the machine. There is also an animation describing how to test the sensor.

If the user chooses to investigate the inverter controlling the conveyor, he is presented firstly with an image of the control panel; from this he can receive some basic animated training on checking the performance of the inverter and how to check the correct connections are made.

The benefit is that the user is specifically told that it is only the inverter or the sensor that can cause the problem which resulted in this machine stoppage. This saves investigation time and hence downtime.

By encapsulating all of the knowledge within the Knowhow system, the developers at Central Bottling International hope to make their machine more user friendly and easy to diagnose should any malfunction occur. Albeit simple, the system was developed in less than one day, testifying to the power of the Knowhow system.