control system upgrade

Control System Upgrade

A leading manufacturer of corrugated packaging had a carton folder on a critical production line that was under-performing. Product quality and throughput were suffering due to challenges with the obsolete controls hardware maintaining proper timing. Attempting to correct these issues was a weekly task for the maintenance staff, taking them away from other areas of need in the plant. In addition, replacement components were scarce and cost prohibitive which resulted in significant loss of production and negatively impacted the overall maintenance budget.


This manufacturer was faced with significant problems regarding production of their products. These issues were costing the company money, efficiencies and work environment issues:

• Downtime
• Throughput
• Quality
• Safety


Engineering Specialists were tasked with the following objectives:

• Reduce downtime/lost production
• Increase overall daily throughput
• Reduce waste (out of spec product)
• Reduce annual maintenance cost


Engineering Specialists proposed a redesign of the existing control system from the ground up utilizing Allen-Bradley hardware including a CompactLogix PLC, Kinetix servo motors, and a PanelView HMI. In conjunction with a new master line encoder, the proposed solution aimed to address the timing issues by utilizing faster, more accurate hardware. The newer hardware was also current and readily available, so should any unplanned hardware issues arise, replacement hard-ware was available locally same day. Lastly, the control system was designed with both operator safety and ease of maintenance, with all high voltage components separated from low voltage components in their own sections of the modular enclosure.


• Waste reduced significantly
• Overall daily throughput increased
• Zero unplanned downtime since installation
• Zero maintenance cost since installation