Process Details

Phase I

System Concept
We strive to fully understand your needs and the requirements of your control system. This is achieved through research and discussions related to your desires and requirements. With your system requirements, we then develop a workable, reliable, and cost effective controls solution utilizing the latest technology available. 

Phase II

Operational Specifications
We develop complete functional specifications for each project including defining the required operation, required operator controls, and the development of all interfaces between the material handling control system and any supervisory systems. Drawings are created which define all physical system component locations for the entire project.

Hardware Specifications
All of the necessary electrical components for the project are listed as part of the documentation package. Component specifications may be developed based on our standard hardware or a customer specification for unique components. Material lists are broken down into the appropriate areas for the project. We provide all electrical components for the project when desired.

Schematic Design
Electrical drawings for the project are produced per J R Controls standards or by following customer specific formatting requirements. Typical drawings include drawing index, power wiring, control wiring, emergency stop circuitry, I/O wiring, control panels, subpanel layouts, and the necessary communication cabling diagrams.  Also included are electrical field device placement drawings with all devices dimensioned.   Many projects utilize multiple control panels each having a separate set of drawings.

Phase III

PLC Software Engineering
Based on system requirements, a control program is developed which is well organized and completely documented. Programs will be based on proven J R Controls standard routines or they can be based on customer supplied routines if desired.   Programs are segmented into logical routines to ease troubleshooting and maintenance of the system. We have experience with most brands of PLC’s including Allen Bradley, Siemens, Modicon, Omron, Automation Direct, and GE.   Programs can be self-contained or written to allow it to interface with a customer MES or WMS system as required.

MES Systems
MES systems provide the essential link between the plant floor production system and the higher level supervisory and control systems.   J R Controls can provide controls systems with MES capabilities or we can provide a control system with the ability to talk with many of the commercially available MES systems.  

Supporting Component Integration
Many special supporting devices are part of an integrated material handling system.  For manufacturing and assembly systems, we have successfully integrated barcode readers, robots, scales, RF tag systems, label applicators, photocell ID systems, torque guns, vision systems, and many others to enhance the productivity of the material handling system.   For distribution and food/beverage customers we have integrated check weighers, labelers, case erectors, case sealers, stretch wrappers, palletizers, and others.

Operator Interface Hardware (HMI)
An operator interface (HMI) provides system operating information, diagnostic information, and allows for system operating parameters to be altered.  A typical operator interface display will include fully animated plan view drawings of the entire system.   Each PLC connected device will be animated using colors to represent the state of the device and to portray any fault conditions.   The operator interface will also provide text based fault information in both a current and historical format.   Specific projects extend the functionality of the operator interface to include recipe management, shift management, part production management, and operator monitoring.  We have successfully integrated many hardware operator interface brands including Allen Bradley, Siemens, GE, and others.

Operator Interface PC Software (HMI)
A PC based operator interface (HMI) extends the capabilities of a hardware based platform.  A PC based operator interface provides enhanced system operating information, diagnostic information, and optionally allows for screen viewing from distributed locations. We have implemented Rockwell Factory Talk, Wonderware, Intellution, and other brands of software.  

Phase IV

Total Project Integration
Material handling systems often require interfacing with existing pieces of equipment.  We frequently modify existing machinery to work properly with newly installed equipment.   We do not just provide the controls for newly installed pieces of equipment, but instead we take a “whole system” approach to the design of the controls package to insure the maximum benefit from your system.  

System Commissioning
J R Controls has a record of smooth, on time startups. We have successfully commissioned hundreds of material handling projects.   Our proven method of project commissioning yields a thorough and quick system startup.   The system is commissioned by the engineer who authored the program allowing for the most efficient system startups possible.

We provide complete system training for your controls system.   This training includes operators, supervisors, and maintenance personnel.   The training can be a quick overview or a very in depth classroom style in which complete details of the electrical design and program details are covered.   Full system documentation is provided with all of our control systems.

System Upgrades and Retrofits
Upgrading or replacing older control systems can provide a cost effective means of extending the life and usefulness of existing equipment.  We have retrofitted many pieces of machinery with the latest controls technology to extend the life of that equipment.