Conveyor Machines

Conveyors are widely used for material handling and speeding up the production process. Optima has been involved in conveyor controllers upgrade projects on a number of occasions. The diagram below depicts one such project for a paint palletising line.

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The states of diverter bar switches signal the required routes. Once started, all used conveyor sections run.

If a conveyor section or the shrink wrapper on a route goes faulty or a missing lid is detected, the filling machine and all of the conveyor sections upstream of the fault are stopped. Downstream sections continue to feed the palletiser.

If, on a route, no tin is detected at the ‘jam detection’ photocell and there is a fault with the palletiser, tins are transported as far as possible until the first tin reaches the photocell. At this point the conveyor feeding the palletiser stops.

If, on a route, a shrink wrapper is being used and there is a palletiser fault, the in-feed conveyor to the shrink wrapper is stopped and the filling machine continues running until all conveyor sections upstream of the shrink wrapper in-feed are backed up. At this point the filling machine and all conveyor sections on this route stop until the palletiser fault is cleared.

If on a route, a shrink wrapper is not being used and there is a palletiser fault, as soon as a tin is detected at the jam detection photocell, the filling machine and entire route are stopped until the palletiser fault is cleared.

Conveyor section photocells (not shown on the diagram) are used to detect the presence of tins to create a buffering system. These photocells detect the presence of a tin for more than 5 seconds. When this occurs, the motor of the conveyor section on which this photocell is mounted is switched off until the downstream conveyor section is clear.

The conveyors self empty whenever a filling machine has finished production.

When a shrink wrapper is not to be used (i.e. for large tins) automatically actuated diverter bars divert the flow of tins around rather than through the shrink wrapper.


Optima was involved in replacing the main enclosure containing the PLC, associated control equipment, operator HMI and emergency stop controls. For other conveyor projects, AC/DC drives have also been upgraded.

The following control system design stages were within the scope of this project:

Project Specification Control system design Electrical circuit diagrams PLC software Enclosure build Full functional test of both hardware and software elements.

Would you like to know more about other control system projects we have completed on conveyor machines? Please, leave us a short message here and we will send you additional information within 24 hours!

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Cloud-based data dashboards

If you want to see how your machine or process is operating day in day out from anywhere in the world, where do you start? With the increased risk of hacking of industrial devices becoming ever more prevalent Security Week – New Vulnerabilities Can Allow Hackers to Remotely Crash Siemens PLCs it’s not as simple as just hooking your PLC onto your local network.

An increasing number of companies are turning to remote cloud-based solutions for machine monitoring. Optima are pleased to offer the Cloud-based solution which keeps your automation hardware safely behind a secure firewall. Most of our clients prefer a SIM-card based system. The benefits of this system are that the equipment is always live whenever there is cellular reception available. Our range of antenna options mean that reception is possible even in the most remote locations.

The video below shows a basic demonstration dashboard. If you would like to know more then please get in touch – we like to talk!

This video gives a very brief demonstration on how our Remote Access and Cloud Logging System can help you keep track of how your machine is performing. See when the machine is started, stopped, realise production metric data straight to your mobile, desktop or tablet.

We have been trialling our remote machine data dashboards #iot #industry4. These allow real-time data to be visualised from any PLC anywhere in the world to a PC, tablet or mobile ‘phone anywhere in the world! The system can communicate over 4G, Wi-Fi, or a direct Ethernet connection. From Kazakhstan (yes, we do have two units out there!) to Kendal (we haven’t got one there yet…), we have you covered for a very low monthly cost.
Our remote reporting dashboards which can send #production #reports by #email will shortly be ready for release.

For more information, please contact

Mark Lane.

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