Factory Automation Technology – Need of the Hour
Published on : Wednesday 22-09-2021
Neelesh Chipade on how Mitsubishi Electrics Factory Automation team worked on the designing of the facemasks in a faster and more efficient way.
The Covid-19 pandemic has tangled nearly every aspect of our life. Be it personally or professionally, the pandemic has affected everyone in its own way. Covid-19 has not only impacted people’s health, but also led to a world economic crisis. Anyhow, people are now used to this “new normal” and are well-prepared for everyday challenges that require attention.
Amidst all this, what has gained momentum is the compulsory usage of facemasks. There was a time when the shortage of facemasks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) led to chaos and hassle all around the world. In India, most of the PPE Kits were imported from other countries due to cost advantage but as the demand increased, it became inevitable for the Indians to manufacture them locally and efficiently. That's exactly when Factory Automation came into the picture and helped the Indians to meet the rapidly increasing demand for facemasks and save lives.
Factory Automation, the incorporation of automation from end-to-end manufacturing processes, an effective solution for the industry that helps to increase efficiency rapidly. With a clear perspective of helping people and saving lives, Mitsubishi Electric India, putting Factory Automation to good use, has stepped forward to help people to fulfil the rising demand for facemasks.
Mitsubishi Electric’s Factory Automation team has created a library of basic programs, Functional Blocks (FB), and Servo set-ups that act as sample programs which can be adapted for making a functional control system to produce “disposable facemasks”.
Named as the ‘Facemask Application’ (iQ Monozukuri: FACEMASK package), it enables the designing of the facemasks in a faster and more efficient way. Additionally, this application package is free to those looking for designing facemasks and is in accordance with Mitsubishi Electric’s Factory Automation application packages. It is a perfect fit for those who wish to kick-start their facemask machine development.
There are a lot of methods which can help in quicker production of facemasks. In Mitsubishi Electric’s application package, there are a lot of functional block items that help designers and engineers in the fast production of facemasks.
These functional block items have different uses that include: -
Rotary Cutter – It helps in generating the required rotary cutter cam auto. The designer has to set parameters for the length and synchronization width of the worksheet. Post which, a rotary cutter cam is generated automatically.
Flying Shear – It enables automatic generation of flying shear cam when the parameters of the starting and ending synchronization are entered.
Tension Sensor less Torque Control – It helps in calculating the torque without the use of any sensors, which further allows in the calculation of unwinding and rewinding torque.
Roll Diameter Calculation – It helps in calculating the roll diameter from the web thickness and the rotation amount of the winder axis.
Edge Position Control – It is used to calculate the velocity for correcting the position along with the help of the PID control, further enabling the accurate positioning of the edge.
Designing facemasks through facemask application is an extremely easy process, the designer has to simply drag and drop the functional blocks into the worksheet of GX Works3. The designer must ensure to meet all the necessary safety measures and precautions including configuration of all the safety circuits, the output circuit, connection with any external device, and so on as per the instructions given in the manual.
The only hope for preventing the spread of Covid-19 and reviving the economy and healthcare system is the mass production of facial masks. Mitsubishi Electric India understands this social responsibility of overcoming the challenges posed by Covid-19, and is utilising its core capabilities towards helping the society, which is the real need of the hour.
Neelesh Chipade, Sr. Product Manager, Marketing Department, is responsible for Servo, Motion & Robots at Mitsubishi Electric India, is Bachelor of Engineering in Instrumentation & Control from Vishwakarma Institute of technology Pune with Diploma in Business Management from Pune. His professional experience spans over 20 years in the Automation Industry. He started his career as project Engineer and worked on machines and DCS projects for the initial period of career. In current role Nilesh is responsible for Products marketing for Servo, Motion and Robots giving Mechatronics & Robotics solutions to different industries. He is also working for positioning the solutions for EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Sector). He also worked in Mitsubishi Electric Corporation Japan in the Global marketing section for products & solution developments.