One of a small group of companies involved in this project (called ANDRES), SaBre-Innovation was tasked with the shop-floor operator push-button input and associated alert sounders section of the installation, known as “RedCard”. When implementing the “Andon” manufacturing process, a sub-system of the ANDRES project, one of the requirements is the provision of an operator controlled alert system. The original specification to “hardwire” operator push-buttons into the production area proved too disruptive and expensive, therefore wireless communication became the preferred solution.
“As a result proprietary “high-end” 433 MHz transmitter/receiver units from a well known supplier were initially purchased.” Says Paul Bresser from SaBre-Innovation. “The first problem was that we found they had to be mounted at least five meters from the floor to provide reliable communication in the electrically noisy, shop-floor environment. Then, when trying to expand the system into other areas of the factory, communication became intermittent or failed completely. At this stage LPRS were contacted, since they appeared to offer superior performance 433 MHz transmitter/receiver modules.”
Bresser continues, “LPRS responded positively to the challenge. They took time to understand the issues and proved that their transmitter and receiver modules performed faultlessly in all the identified industrial problem areas. SaBre-Innovation, with the assistance of the LPRS Engineering Department developed a simplified and highly reliable wireless communication solution.” The completed transmitter and receiver units are enclosed in rugged die-cast enclosures, and have since successfully achieved “CE” marking status.
The reliability and range of the Circuit Design transmitter/receiver modules has enabled the end user to choose from three design options. Option one allows the die-cast transmitter unit to be vertically mounted at high-level, using an access platform and has a push-button with associated label mounted at operator height. The second option features an “integrated” transmitter, where the die-cast unit is mounted inside an ABS enclosure, with push-button and label on the outside. And the final option features an “integrated” transmitter, as in option two but has a shorter, helical aerial.
The customer’s manufacturing facility in Filton, near Bristol, has an ANDRES system in use at its production facility which includes 24 transmitters, of the integrated option two design. Further ANDRES installations are being planned in Broughton, near Chester, as well as the replacement of the earlier prototype system.
Peter Cubbage, Sales Director of LPRS comments,” This is an excellent application of short range wireless devices and we have been very pleased to work with SaBre-Innovation to complete this sophisticated production line and management information system. It, once again, demonstrates the reliability and performance of the CDP wireless modules and the value our engineering team offers to clients by designing solutions that meet their business needs. We have more than 20 years experience of supplying short range modules for unregulated wireless applications and we are happy to share our expertise with our customers to ensure they get the best solution to their wireless needs and the shortest time to market for their projects.”