"I started with a vertical packager equipped with an auger filler and Omron controls with proprietary software. I built a 2 lane net weigh filler to replace the auger filler and control the whole works with an Fx1616-BA."
The load cells for the scales are connected to the analog input through signal conditioners. The feeders are connected to the analog output for variable control. The thermocouples for the heaters are connected with a separate input module and linked to the PLC via RS485. I'm using all 16 digital outputs. An MT8050iE 4.3" screen is used for the interface. I added screens for each feature to be adjusted and turned off/on to avoid having to reload updated programs to the PLC.
I installed the conversion over one weekend and had the machine back online for Mondays production. It's been running for nearly 2 years now with no problems. The operators really enjoy using it especially knowing how it used to be. I estimate that with the new filler and controls we save up to 10 minutes per batch in set up and operating efficiency.
I had no experience programming with PLCs before this project. The software is easy to use and simple yet not lacking in features and it's well supported.