MechChem Africa October 2017

⎪ Automation, process control and instrumentation ⎪

Track and trace system debuts in SA tyre plants SICK Automation recently supplied two turnkey track and trace systems for multinational tyre manufacturers Bridgestone and Sumitomo Rubber at their South African plants, marking the first installationsworldwide of the sensor specialist’s latest image-based code readers, the Tire Lector Array (TLA), in the tyremanufacturing industry.

By tracking and tracing barcoded tyres across themanufacturing and internal handling cycle, the TLAplays a critical role inmanaging and controlling the ‘just in time’ production processes of the plants, as well as automated batch and distribution management. “A successful technological solution for this application ensures that,nomattertheheight,diameterororientationandpositionofthe tyre on the conveyor belt, every unit is reliably identified,” explains PrishanChain, key accountmanager for SICKAutomation Southern Africa. “The features of high-resolution Lector65x sensors with intelligent technology, which include dynamic focus and adaptive illumination, provide the capabilities required for Japanese process quality specifications.” Ten systems were supplied to the Bridgestone plant in Pretoria in 2016, while the Sumitomo Rubber plant in Ladysmith has a total of four systems. Both plants manufacture the full range of standard and low profile tyres for on-road vehicles, from 13 to 20-inch. “In each case, SICK Automation worked closely with the manu- facturers in designing and supplying the systems,” Chain continues. Each TLA consists of three Lector65x sensors, positioned both above and below the conveyor. The modular structure housing the sensors is easily customised according to any customer width and height requirement. “As a turnkey solution, SICK Automation product engineers in Germany trialled and tested the optimum TLA solution according to themanufacturers’ exact process and automation requirements.

The engineering, integration, commissioning and service capabili- ties of SICKAutomation SouthernAfrica provided the local level of expertise required for executing and supporting this capital project successfully.” With full engineering, distribution and support of the company’s range of over 40 000 sensors, SICK Automation is enabling local plants to achieve the highest global standards of factory, plant and process automation. q Left: The modular TLA design is easily customised to the conveyor belt width to ensure accurate tyre ID, regardless of tyre size, position and alignment of bar codes on the conveyor. Above: The TLA’s high-resolution sensors and intelligent technology features, including dynamic focus and adaptive illumination, enable precise track-and-trace of tyres across manufacturing plants.

October 2017 • MechChem Africa ¦ 27

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