AIUT DC40 laboratory test stand designed for research purposes was composed from typical end-point pneumatic components: three pneumatic actuators that are used for pneumatic transport in both directions, an air preparation device with a main valve and oil separator, an elastic sucker and a blow device with elastic hoses and connectors. The compressed air flow meter is the only component that is not a component of actual industrial stands. The measurement of cumulative air consumption and PLC output signals are the main information sources for the research on green control algorithms.
The control part of the DC40 stand is composed of parts that are typically used in the automotive industry: The PLC system is based on Siemens CPU-317 2DP, I/O modules – Siemens ET200 series and an industrial Ethernet communication coprocessor. Automatic control was supported by a Human Machine Interface based on a Siemens Simatic Operator panel, and the emergency stop button and operator buttons (station enable, station in hand mode, station in automatic mode) are supported with a few indicator lamps.
The control algorithms are implemented in the PLC’s CPU and are developed for the purpose of testing pneumatic energy saving facilities that have all of the properties of a real station (in respect to all of the mechanical construction regulations, large actuators, the sucker and blow device – which provides a large air consumption ratio). Components to create artificial leaks for some pneumatic circuits are used for test purposes.
A Single cycle of the station is composed of six phases:
- At the beginning of the cycle, the items in the feeder are separated by one special actuator with two ends that operate alternately.
- Then the test parts fall into a socket mounted on a horizontal cylinder.
- The index raises the part under the sucker and after turning on the suction drops down.
- The sucker is mounted on the end of a vertical actuator, which moves the test part into the drop position above a plastic container.
- At this position, the suction is turned off and blowing is turned on.
- After few seconds the blowing is turned off and the cycle ends.