Project development: An integrated bar code scanner, conveyor controller, and management computer for a petroleum blending facility. The system tracked and controlled the routing of mixed sizes of drums and cans on a single conveyor system. The system managed product production from container storage, to filling/weighing, to product storage, and finally to delivery. The system used both computer terminal interaction as well as drum switch inputs to allow production scheduling from the plant floor. The system also interfaced with the plant management mainframe computer to report production as well as to receive delivery requests.
The monitoring system was based on a COTS Z-80 microcomputer and custom board for the steerable bar code scanner. These components managed the bar code processing and interface with the plant computer. The system manager was linked with an Allen Bradley PLC that controlled operation of the conveyor system, hydraulic drum pushers, and palletizer equipment.
The initial system was developed and tested as a prototype for use in over twenty of the owner's other blending facilities.
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