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Prototype and low volume manufacturing

Published: 05.03.2020

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Benestad Solutions builds highly fexible manufacturing cell for research and prototypes
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Customer

Benestad is a manufacturer of customized glass/ceramics-to-metal sealed products. They deliver Penetrators, Connectors and Sensors to the oil and gas industry and high precision Ignitors to the defence industry. 

Application

Benestad did research on a new product technology, involving precise controlling of lasers for material heating. As this was initially laboratory trials, they required a prototype manufacturing cell supporting easy adjustment of manufacturing parameters and data acquisition for documentation of each produced unit. The control system developed should also support an easy evolution to a low volume manufacturing and be further expanded to multi-cell volume production.

 

 

Solution

The control system was built using a standard office computer connected to a Wago remote I/O, interfacing control lines, temperature sensors, contactors, and control switches. The process was set up and logged on a customised GUI on the computer, allowing for fine-tuned control of the temperature cycles.

CDP Studio

The solution was a good example of how CDP Studio can be used for fast prototyping and implementation of new systems. The GUI Designer in CDP Studio demonstrated its value with premade graphical elements and the tight integration with the control application, as a complex and flexible operator panel was required in the R&D phase.  The system should evolve into a production system, so the ability to move applications to more industrial hardware later was also essential. The extreme modularity of CDP Studio applications also allows for easy replacement of attached equipment and protocols, as such changes had little impact on the functional core application. 

CDP Technologies consultants worked tight with the customer to create the software components and the initial application with GUI. The system could now be tuned and modified by the research engineers, having a deep knowledge of the physical process, but limited software competence. This separation of software development and system configuration in CDP Studio lowers the threshold to implement flexible software-based control systems.

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