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Automatic V-Grooving Line


This line was designed to automate the process for automotive (primarily) speaker box production.  It has greatly improved production by eliminating the need for separate processes.  Using V-Grooving technology, a sheet of product (in this case, wood) can be formed into a desired shape more quickly and is more structurally sound than separate pieces joined together.  


The heart of V-Grooving technology lies in the cutting blades.   These blades are designed to cut a specific profile into the product at a set depth.  The profile can range from a simple dado to a more complex angular cut.  The depth setting depends on the thickness of the product's veneer (the veneer is not cut and allows the final product to be folded together).


On this line, the product travels down the conveyor system as it goes through various stages, including, lineal edge preparation, automatic gluing, dadoing and cross-cutting.  The end result is then folded manually into the desired shape and glued into position.



We were contracted to develop a program for the control system which was designed by our customer.  The control scheme uses a B&R PLC for each of the four sections; each controlling its own set of servos.  In addition to reducing wiring, this distributed approach allows for the distribution of processing power among the four PLCs.  The main PLC, which is located at the beginning of the line, has an integral LCD HMI that allows the operator to enter setpoints as well as monitor line status.


We chose to program the line using B&R's Automation Basic language (similar to Visual Basic but used exclusively for machine control) as it is quite versatile and a very powerful method of motion control.  The main PLC communicates via a CAN network to the other 3 processors to transfer setpoints and to monitor machine status.  Servo control is point-to-point and each processor controls between 5-8 servos (for a total of 26 axes).  


A modem has been connected to the main PLC's serial port allowing us to monitor as well as modify program logic (of any of the four PLCs) remotely.


This view of the line shows the conveyor belt and cross fence.  The board has just been edged longitudinally and is being transferred into the cross-grooving stage.  This stage V-grooves the board in several places (down to the veneer) allowing it to be glued and folded into the appropriate shape.

Roll your mouse over the image to see the line in action.




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This page last updated on 2012-04-11 02:00:42 AM