Crate delivery system

The Crate Delivery System was required to transport bread crates from the current outside wash area to the new robotic bread handling system. The automated system consisted of several conveyors, pusher and stop mechanisms integrated with a central PLC. Two HMI screens were also implemented to supply visible information to operators.

PFi delivered the Crate Delivery System successfully in 2014; the photos below portray various aspects of this project.

Sheet dispenser

PFi successfully designed, fabricated and integrated  a custom sheet dispenser machinery in 2014.

Our client previously required manual placement of crate paper prior to being loaded with bread by an existing robot system.  The sheet dispenser system was designed and manufactured by PFi to automate this process. The system features two Baldor servo drives and motors, an Allen Bradley PLC and HMI, Festo pneumatics and ABB/Jokab safety equipment.

The system was designed in accordance to various specifications such as keeping up with the maximum robot demand of 12 crates per minute.

Bread automation

In 2014, PFi delivered a Bread automation system which was designed to perform a number of tasks previously performed by repetitive manual labour. Some of these Jobs included:

  • Forming cartons from flat pack profile
  • Capture an open cartons for robot to pack/fill
  • Receive and sort product into either cartoon or crate configuration for robot collection
  • Receive dollies full of stacked empty crates or empty dollies
  • Robot de-nests empty crates, stack them on a empty dolly and loads with bread
  • Receive a stack of empty pallets
  • Pallet handling system to deliver individual pallets to the robot palletizing point as required
  • Robot picks and places a pallet pad
  • Robot fills cartons with bread
  • Cartons are then closed and seals and delivered to a “pick conveyor”
  • Robot picks full & sealed cartons and palletizes them
  • Full pallets are then driven out of the system for collection by forklift
  • Integrated safety system

Mechanical installations

PFi has a team of mobile mechanical technicians able to complete thorough and time efficient mechanical installations on your site. For example machine guarding installations, conveyor installations, walkway installations and machinery installations have all been successfully completed in the past.

In addition to this mobile service, PFi also has a fully equipped workshop to support the mechanical technicians and customers. Our mechanical fitters and fabricators are able to complete workshop jobs in a quick turn-around in the event that you require something on site for your installation urgently.

Our ability to manufacture high quality parts in-house means we are not dependant on 3rd parties and so are able to resolve problems with time constraints, quickly.

Custom machinery and machine upgrades

At PFi, we understand that sometimes customers face difficult hurdles whereby an off the shelf solution is not available. At PFi we have a team with a breadth of industrial experience able to design a custom piece of machinery if necessary for your case.

Coupled with excellent design know-how and manufacturing capabilities, we are able to work with you to develop a machine capable of performing the tasks you would like to achieve.

Design work is completed using 3D modelling software prior to manufacture in our fully equipped workshop. Input is always sought from the customer throughout the process to ensure the customer is fully satisfied with the solution.

Off the shelf machinery often serves the purpose of its intended use however on some occasions modifications to pre-existing machinery is what the client requires. Improvement of  its function, reliability, production capacity etc. PFI can work with most types of machines and make changes, modification and upgrades to improve safety, performance and reliability.

Machinery built by PFi is designed to be safe, practical, cost efficient and serviceable.

Robotics

Robotics is one area of automation that is becoming more prevalent in the market place. With the cost of this technology decreasing, and the return on investment becoming much shorter, Robotics is becoming more viable even for smaller companies.

The team at PFi can help you to determine if robotics is the answer for you. To help with this decision, PFi are able to complete robotic simulations for your plant to help you visualize the outcome of a robotics project.

A robotic simulation brings your concept to life and can aid in your feasibility studies. If robotics proves to be the best solution for your case, the team at PFi has the experience to help you achieve a successful project outcome.

The development of a robotic cell typically involves additional equipment integration including a PLC system, safety system, robot gripper design and manufacture, jig design and manufacture and occasionally vision. PFi has experience in all of these areas. As such we are able to complete all tasks in house which simplifies the project management and reduces project risk.

If you are considering an automation project, please contact the team, and we will be happy to help you decide if robotics is the solution for you. Please also refer to the gallery and testimonial pages for previous robotics projects.

Automation

In today’s market place, to remain competitive, automating your processes is becoming more and more important.

Automation can provide several advantages including cost reduction, greater product quality and reducing occupational health and safety issues.

PFi has a wealth of experience in delivering successful automation projects to our customers. One key to this success is PFi’s complete capabilities over the range of tasks involved in an automation project.

At PFi we are able to help you find a solution to your problem, design the solution, manufacture, install, commission and then support the successful project installation. We can work in alongside your company throughout this process to make the integration of your project seamless.

Safety systems

PFi have completed over 200 turnkey safety projects and machinery upgrades throughout the industrial market. Safety system design has and continues to be strength of the company.

We take pride in designing practical solutions, yet ensure all hazards are correctly identified and rectified.

PFi are a trusted supplier of  Safety Systems to industry. The company provides ongoing safety systems updates and upgrades to companies such as James Hardy, One Steel, Visy, Tip-Top, Amcor and Boral to name just a few.

All safety systems provided by PFi include an owner’s manual, consisting of a safety validation report, certificate of compliance, full schematics, system description and spares lists. Risk assessments can also be completed.

From concept through to completion, our engineers and tradesman ensure production downtime is kept to a minimum.

Machine Safety Upgrades

Safety upgrades have been a core strength of PFi for many years. Our staff has the expertise to upgrade your existing machinery in line with current standards and regulations as required by your site (e.g. EN ISO 13849-1, EN 62061).

Standard Perimeter Guarding

When designing machine perimeter guarding, a number of issues need to be considered that ensure a successful installation.

The guarding system that is installed around a machine should integrate successfully with the machines overall operation. Machine guarding is often the first thing noticed around plant and equipment. It is therefore critical not only to the safety of the machine, but also to the overall appearance of the plant.

PFi take the time to ensure all factors are considered before designing or quoting a guarding system.

Custom Fabricated Guarding

Unfortunately, not all guarding projects are as simple as erecting panels around a machines exterior. Some more complicated guarding projects require a customised solution. Factors such as machine cleaning, maintenance, operator access, mechanical or environmental constraints and available floor space must be considered

PFi’s workshop can fabricate all types of guards, from stainless steel to polycarbonate. If requested, guards are drafted on CAD software for approval and manufacturing tolerances and final appearances are excellent.

We specialise in designing solutions for challenging guarding applications.

Counterweight Doors

Having full access to a machine during maintenance shutdowns is generally critical. Counterweight doors are an excellent option for allowing greater access to a machine with a smaller fixed guarding footprint.

PFi have designed many counterweight door solutions that offer excellent operator and maintenance personnel access.

These doors are interlocked into the electrical circuit and correctly weight balanced to ensure low actuation force is require for access.

Light Grids and Curtains

Dangerous areas of a machine or production line that require regular operator access often utilise light curtains to protect against unauthorised entry. Light curtains are available in many sizes, up to 2000mm long and are available in various resolutions.

Curtains with a high beam resolution are required for finger and hand detection, while curtains with low resolution are required for arm and body detection. Understanding the safety requirement is critical in selecting the correct length and resolution. Failure to do this can lead to excessive hardware costs or failure to adequately guard.

Safety Scanners

Safety Scanners continuously monitor a user defined (software configured) two dimensional zone. The scanner allows for complex areas to be included in the safety zone. PFi have successfully integrated safety scanners into applications that have posed challenging design constraints.

Integrated Safety Systems

Automated machines and production lines are placing more demands on safety systems today. The integrity of the safety system cannot be compromised, thus flexible, integrated safety systems are required to ensure the machines automated operation can continue.

At PFi we offer safety systems that are software configurable and integrate seamlessly with the machine’s control system.

PFi have integrated safety systems into many of Australia’s largest manufacturing companies.

Electrical installations

PFi has a number of mobile industrial electricians fully capable of carrying out on-site installation works. The team at PFi has vast experience in a wide variety of electrical equipment including drives, PLCs and motors etc. We also have experience in many brands of such equipment as can be viewed in our products section of the website.

In addition to our on-site services, our fully equipped workshop also has dedicated room for switchboard manufacture, along with a dedicated testing room for the rebuild of servo motors.

Whatever the circumstance PFi has the resources to be able to install items free-issued, or design and manufacture the whole system for you.