WHAT WE DO.
Bespoke control systems and factory automation
PLASTIC CONTAINER HANDLING.
ALS Controls manufacture a large and varied range of fully automatic, semi-automatic and manual bagging and debagging machines, state of the art conveying, palletizers, stackers and trolley loaders – suitable for a wide array of HDPE, PET and PP container types, styles and sizes.
All ALS Controls’ machinery is built to globally recognised safety standards specifications using the latest technology from Allen Bradley or Siemens depending on customer preference.
Key features and benefits across our range:
- HDPE, PET and PP containers management
- Small footprint compared to industry standard
- Can be fully flexible to run multiple products with simple changeovers
- Fully compliant with latest safety standards
- Built using modern parts, readily available worldwide
- Highly intuitive fault finding displays, down to sensor level
- Built in web-cams and remote control-system-access
- Options to suit all budget and requirements – from high speed production through to support for low outputs
Our vast control systems capabilities range from small single drive control boxes to large scale plant control / SCADA systems – we can even engineer to enable control and performance updates to your mobile device and enable even greater control and flexibility of your operations. For example, machinery can run start-up procedures ahead of staff being onsite.
ALS Controls are an Allen Bradley Systems Integrator as well as having in-depth experience with Siemens and B&R (now part of ABB). All our control design is carried out using Eplan Electric P8. We are equally happy control panel building against customers’ existing drawings as we are designing brand new control systems and providing control system updates, thus ensuring further years of life from your existing machine assets.
ALS Controls have developed and delivered control systems for a company making food-waste unpackaging equipment, which quickly progressed to an invitation to commission a unit for an anaerobic digestion site. As a consequence of these successful deployments we were asked to design, build, install and innovate a complete control system for a brand new multi-million pound anaerobic digestion site that was in the process of being built. Our team of engineers learnt all about the processes and techniques involved and came up with a very comprehensive system using a complete Rockwell Automation solution including Safe Logic processor and distributed Factory Talk SCADA system. Site engineers are kept informed of everything going on via automated text messages and emails and can operate the facility remotely from their iPads.
UNILOY CONTROL SYSTEMS UPDATE.
The industry comprises a vast amount of Uniloy Control Panels, which still contain obsolete PLC’s, be it SLC100/150, Siemens Simatic 505 or even the main stay of the industry the SLC500, which is now heading to spares only availability and with very high price tags attached.
What would you do if an output failed on your PLC? Could you afford to wait 6 – 10 weeks for a replacement unit to arrive before you could produce containers again?
Both types of old control system suffer from very slow speed of response and very poor repeatability and therefore yielding large process variations compared to a modern solution.
ALS Controls offer a very competitive upgrade solution, bringing extended life to your assets using the latest technology from Allen Bradley. The new CompactLogix 5380 system has a typical scan time to complete the whole program and refresh all the outputs of less than 1 millisecond! Compared to 300 milliseconds for an SLC100/150 and 160 milliseconds for an SLC500.
As well as the PLC upgrade, we can replace existing drives to higher efficiency drives which typically will deliver ROI in less than 2 years as a result of using less power.
Our Upgrade features include:
- Full Touch Screen Operator Interfaces with all of the modern features you find on a new machine including auto-heat start-up to ensure the machine is at temperature at the beginning of the shift and ready to run.
- Alarming System which can send emails / text messages to engineers warning of process variants / broken parts / unexpected downtime.
- Remote access to the Operator Interface from any modern phone / computer….no need to walk down to the machine to see what’s happening.
- Ability to automatically decrease cycle time by as much as 75% in case downstream equipment backs up. This buys the operator time without having to do a complete machine shutdown and restart creating all the scrap that is typically associated with a machine start up.
- Process trending to assist the operators in understanding where / how the process is varying enabling them to improve performance.
The bottom line:-
- Tighter process windows which in turn improves quality and reduces scrap
- Improved cycle time / higher machine output
- Off the shelf spares availability.
- Less Downtime
- More Profit
ALS Controls have been responsible for advancing the capabilities and productivity across an array of industries; delivering innovative, cost effective solutions to our customers’ unique challenges, examples of which include:
Bespoke Dairy Automation – We developed a completely hands-free system and negated the need for driving pallets around by truck: Stored 300 metres away, on the second floor; packs of containers are now moved by belt conveyor into a staging area directly above the debagging room. Two high speed rotary stackers pick empty pallets and place them onto a roller conveyor, packs are then picked off the feeding conveyor and stacked 3 metres high on pallets. Pallets are moved by roller conveyor into a fully-automatic lift which takes them downstairs direct into the debagging room.
Tortilla handling – Through additional automation, 4 packers have been eliminated from the process. Tortillas travel by belt conveyors for packing, previously this was to hand stacking stations. ALS controls designed a system which instead, stacked the tortillas in piles of 6 and then conveyed them straight into a wrapping machine via a vision inspection system to size and quality check.
Meat Pie Delivery – Automating the loading of meat pies onto baking trays was a process the customer desperately needed, to remove the need for manual handling. ALS Controls developed a conveyor system with a servo controlled sliding mechanism that dropped pies onto baking trays in lines of 4. The trays were then indexed after each delivery, ready for the next row. (See video)
Incineration – While in the process of commissioning a factory control system for animal incineration ALS Controls were asked to engineer and build a screw delivery system and shredding machine on the infeed to the incinerator. We were able to deliver exactly what the customer needed, rather than a costlier off-the-shelf system that was almost right.
If your frustrated by other suppliers telling you it simply can’t be done or cost-prohibitive, then please get in touch. If you can imagine it, chances are we can automate it at the right price!
DESIGN SERVICES & SOFTWARE
Projects are underpinned by our experienced team of 3D mechanical design and electrical systems design engineers. We work with a network of trusted suppliers including; Rockwell Automation, Eplan, Autodesk, ABB, Siemens, Allen Bradley, SMC Pneumatics, B&R, Mitsubishi, Kawasaki and PLC Direct, that we couple with our extensive design skills and project management capabilities to ensure each project we deliver, exceeds our customers’ expectations.
ALS Controls’ research and development is continuous as we strive to offer the latest technology for our clients’ automation needs. If there is a specialist piece of machinery you require; or existing machinery that requires additional or updated control systems; or perhaps, processes you need innovative ways to automate; our team of experts will handle all design, manufacturing and installation, guided by your specifications. This ensures always that what we deliver is fit for purpose according to your industry sector, market requirements, health and safety and regulatory guidelines.
We take a multi-disciplinary approach to our design services to ensure seamless integration of your automation control and mechanical components. Our mechanical design process is 3D by default to ensure there are no hidden surprises for you or us when it comes to build and installation.
We continue to receive more and more requests by our customers for robotic solutions as a means to adding greater safety and efficacy as well as further streamlining their increasingly complex operations as they endeavour to respond to the exacting requirements of their customers as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.
ALS Controls are an ABB robotics integrator and can provide a variety of innovative solutions from straight-forward rotary head trolley loaders, through to the additional use of vision technology; to check part locations and part types for picking and assembly, as well as to accept and reject products during handling, stacking and loading processes.
As with all our machinery, health and safety and conformity to local risk assessments and regulatory guidelines is always at the forefront of what we do and as standard we include safety enclosures, standard operating procedures and emergency cut-offs, so you can be assured that your workforce remains safe.
Our state-of-the-art, high-speed vision inspection systems deliver crucial identification of container faults and/or contamination. ALS Controls supply a vast selection of systems from basic ‘Vision Sensors’ right through to 400BPM online measuring and inspection systems. Furthermore, our barcode scanners ensure correct label to bottle matching every time.
ALS Controls are responsible for advancing the capabilities and productivity of many worldwide customers delivering solutions where others have said it’s impossible.
ALS Controls are equally happy delivering single machine solutions and control system retrofits as we are designing and delivering, the industry’s largest Alpine conveyor and turnkey solutions comprising; end-to-end machinery and control automation which support our customers’ exacting requirements.
Each of our customers’ requirements is unique and that’s why our team loves what they do. No two projects are the same, so the team have the opportunity to put their wide-ranging skills to good use – to explore, to challenge and to innovate. Our website provides an outline of the solutions and services that we can provide and a basis from which to start our conversation with you. If you can dream it, chances are we can automate it!
MAINTENANCE & SUPPORT.
It is as important to us as it is to you, that your investments remain efficient so naturally we offer timely systems updates, fixes and servicing and; our promise, that no matter how challenging an issue, we’ll sort it! What’s more our clever use of web cam and VPN technology, enables swift issues resolution, wherever you or we are in the world!