For over forty years, ABCO has designed and built custom automation equipment for manufacturing companies in a wide variety of industries, ranging from pharmaceutical and medical devices to automotive and power generation. As with all custom builds, our clients have very unique, very specific needs, but collectively, they share common goals. Every client wants to increase productivity, improve quality, and gain efficiencies—but most of all, achieve a competitive advantage in their marketplace. And, we have proven time after time that with our design and build team’s experience and knowledge, we can craft custom solutions that deliver those benefits.
ABCO’s design and build process is structured and well documented and starts with a rigorous concepting phase. A multi-functional team develops a concept that not only meets the project requirements, but factors in ease of use, capacity, footprint, and cost. We then go to work creating a virtual layout using Visual Components Software.
With this 3D event simulation software, we design layouts using numerous models and factory components, such as pre-engineered conveyor units and industrial robots. Visual Components helps us plan and optimize factory/production line layouts as well as provide visualization and simulation of factory/production lines. From our experience, we have determined that simulation is one of the most critical steps in the design process. It lets us develop an accurate version of a factory or production line with all the components operating in a real environment. It also allows us to perform feasibility studies and collision detections as well as calculate cycle times. When we’re satisfied that we’ve created an optimal solution, our estimating team and applications engineers build a proposal that covers operational sequences, detailed equipment lists, project team’s responsibilities, schedules, acceptance tests, field services, documentation, and costs.
ROBOTIC PACKAGING LINE: CONSUMER PRODUCTS / FOOD
In conjunction with ABCO’s project management team, our electrical and mechanical engineers manage the project’s process, ranging from overall conceptual engineering to detailed design and machine and system programming. With 50 plus engineers on staff, we’re poised to design a solution for any manufacturing environment and any system type, including material handling, packaging, robotic, testing/inspection, or vison.
ABCO design engineers are well-versed in SolidWorks 3D Software. Through this dynamic software package, we are not only able to create mechanical and electrical designs, we have the ability to:
We methodically test our models to ensure that the proposed solution will produce the desired end result in the allotted space. This practice helps eliminate potential design flaws and produce a more resilient solution that stands up in a real-world production environment. As part of the design process, we provide interactive design reviews to eliminate surprises and gain design enhancements and improvements. ABCO engineers are also accessible for machine assembly, startup support, and field support.
As a part of a project’s program, a cross functional team conducts a Machinery Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) on the system as well as the subsystem. With FMEA we can evaluate equipment and tooling and use its findings to help us improve operator safety and take proactive steps towards building more robust and reliable machines. We use a standardized form to document our findings, including potential failures; failure effects and causes; recommended actions and completed actions. Team members assign 1-10 ranking scale numbers to any failures, taking into consideration failure severity, frequency, and ease of detection, and then implement corrective actions starting with the highest-priority failures. We’ve found that a thorough FMEA not only prevents problems early in the design phase, it helps maintain delivery schedules, minimize costs, and enhance customer satisfaction.
ABCO’s systems integration engineers, technicians, and draftsmen have practical experience with all major brands and platforms of PLCs and PC-based control systems. Our systems integration capabilities range from individual machine control to large networked plant floor control systems with MES interfaces. Our controls and systems integration packages include:
All panel construction is performed in ABCO’s UL Certified Panel Shop, and machine wiring is performed under the supervision of licensed electricians.
ABCO is extremely proud that it is an official Systems Integrator for Rockwell Automation. While the majority of control systems are based on Rockwell Automation ControlLogix and CompactLogix PACs, we also have extensive experience working with Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and Siemens Corporation.
ABCO has many years of experience in developing and implementing robotic automation solutions. We can provide any level of robotic support from application evaluations to turnkey solutions. ABCO’s robotic automation experience includes vision-guided robots, small parts assembly, automated test systems, and large material handling systems specializing in flexible robotic work cells that accommodate short product life cycles and quick changeovers. ABCO is an authorized integrator for Fanuc and Kuka but has experience with most major robotic manufacturers, including:
Field support as a value-added service
ABCO designs and builds a wide range of custom solutions using machine visions systems for automated quality checks, sorting applications, optical character recognition, part recognition and more. And, we work with only the best vision systems manufacturers, including: