When it comes to what you should do with your machine when it is getting worn or has a breakdown one of the options is machine retrofitting. Retrofitting is the process of replacing the CNC, servo, and spindle systems on a mechanically sound machine in order to increase its life span. Machine retrofits are a great way to improve your existing machine without the large investment of a new machine.
Machine tools are some of the most costly pieces of equipment on the shop floor. When machinery starts to show wear and tear or break down a machine retrofit is much more cost-effective than buying an entirely new machine. It can be as low as a third of the price of a new machine. You will also save on possible foundations for the new machine, transportation or rigging as well as training personnel.
Machine Down Time
Unlike a machine replacement a retrofit does require downtime of your machine. Ideally, it is best to do this during scheduled maintenance or shutdowns to increase cost-effectiveness and avoid production loss. A proactive retrofit can be much more cost-effective and shorter than a retrofit that will occur after a machine breakdown.
As a machine nears the end of its life cycle, replacing parts can be costly or difficult to find. Before starting the retrofit process we recommend quoting the price of any parts and their current stock or time they will be in transportation. A company that specializes in machine design and retrofit can help you to discuss these options and whether a retrofit is the best option or possible with your current machinery.
Overall machine retrofitting is a great way to increase the life span of a machine and increase the energy savings, performance, and improved access to manufacturing data. It is also a great way to add new safety and safeguarding measures to your machines and procedures.
For more information regarding our machine retrofitting services contact BP Automation today.
Automation solutions can help solve production challenges that manufacturers and producers currently face today and will continue to challenge their methods of scaling in 2020 and beyond. The future includes navigating problems such as rising costs and shrinking domestic labor pools. The latest article from Greenhouse Canada explains the challenges of the sector for production.
According to Industrial Automation Online “Ultimately the manufacturer who is willing to invest in technology during the downturn will stand in greater stead, rebounding even stronger when the economy recovers.
Automation can be classified into various types. Let’s explore the various options and what they mean.
Fixed Automation is also known to be called hard automation where the set of production sequences is fixed by the equipment figuration. This is typically in the forms of gears or wiring. You will see fixed automation processes on automatic vehicle assembly lines, machining transfer lines, or certain chemical producing processes and assembly lines. Production is done with mass quantity and produced quickly however it is fixed so that product changes cannot be accommodated. The initial investment for fixed automation can be high but mass production and output of the product are then allowed. It is also still a lower investment than flexible automation that you will read about in this article as well.
This type of automation helps to adjust the sequence of operations in order to fit that specific need or production configuration required. Products are made in batches and reprogrammed for every new batch of production. Programmable production requires more time than fixed automation for production because of the time to changeover between products and programming the computer, however, it allows for more flexibility in what you can produce.
flexible Automation is programmable automation without the need to change programming. It allows for the production of multiple combinations and schedules of products so that new or separate batches are not required. This type of automation requires a higher investment as a custom engineering system must be designed. The result provides a system that can produce flexible design variations without any loss in production time.
At BP Automation, an Automation and engineering company in Edmonton, AB has solutions to increase production automation. BP Automation has a strong track record in helping customers find unique approaches to enhancing production output, automating plants, streamlining manufacturing processes, and building a more profitable business. Contact us today to learn more
Vertical farming technology increases the production of crops and reduces yields. Crops are produced in vertically stacked layers of plant beds. It mostly relies on hydroponics or aeroponics and the lighting mainly relies on LED lighting in replacement of sunlight to grow plants. Standard growing tables are not efficient when it comes to growing plants and heating an indoor space for growing. Especially when paying to heat or cool air above tables that could have a fully prospering crop. BP Automation in Edmonton, AB can engineer quality growing systems for your indoor farming needs.
Vertical Grow Racks
Increase your profits and your yield with a vertical growing system. vertical grow garden rack systems reconfigure typically made from high-quality powder-coated steel for a long-lasting product. You can design a garden rack system that is two or three-level, as well as if you want the tray and light supports and growing trays. Vertical systems provide create a fully scalable and expandable system, and allow for multiple tiers of plants to be cultivated on the same system and in any space. They also give the benefit of proper ventilation, and an LED grow light system.
When it comes to vertical farming Mobile Racks systems allow you to move entire rows of racking beside one another utilizing the maximum amount of space. Growers can almost double canopy space for potential crops, especially if you are using a stacked system. You also have access to each side of the racks for ease of watering and harvesting crops. At BP Automation we can create a rack systems that is seismically engineered to protect crops protected and stable should any natural disaster strike.
Low Rise Grow Trays
Low rise grow trays or rolling bench systems can be used in indoor farming. They are built to increase airflow beneath the benches makes it easier for your climate control system to reduce humidity and reach growth goals while using less energy. This type of system also allows workers to work comfortably from a seated or standing position as they can move the benches of crop along for maintenance and water. Along with being a practical product for largescale grows, this type of design allows proper airflow for the optimal growth of crops.
Vertical farming technology can be custom engineered to fit your specific growing system. Our systems can integrate with your facility and equipment or design and install our systems in your new construction. We can custom design and engineer your vertical farming system. Contact us today to learn more.
Food Automation technology and systems are the new norm and continue to grow into 2020. When it comes to food production and manufacturing, automation is an excellent way to increase production and save on labor costs for years to come. There are many options when it comes to food automation for long term industry success. From the production of the item to serving customers with a finished product.
Types of Food and Beverage Service Automation include production automation, material handling, packaging, and delivery automation.
Chowbotics keeps fresh ingredients in a refrigerator and prepares meals such as salads, grain bowls, snacks, and other bowl-styled meals on-demand. This vending machine robot called “Sally” turns a profit after only 9 bowls. It has canisters that are filled with each ingredient and the computer system allows owners of the bot to check the freshness and stock of each product. This is a popular option for health care facilities and hospitals allowing fresh meals that can be served 24/7.
Not only can we use robots for food production and handling, but companies such as KiwibotKiwibot also use robotics for delivering food. Three types of robots are used; one to take orders, a semi-autonomous tricycle in which orders are sorted one Kiwibot to deliver the orders. It can carry around four to five orders at once and the company claims an average delivery time of 27 minutes. Kiwibot mainly services University Campuses such as Berkely and UCLA. According to Mckinsey Mckinsey 80% of parcels will be delivered by autonomous vehicles in the next decade.
For further information about food automation and production automation technology in Edmonton, AB contact BP Automation.contact BP Automation. We design, build and manufacture automation solutions for clients across North America.
Read More: Material Handling Machines by BP Automation
Production Automation is the process of automating processes within an operational setting. Its main goal is to improve the efficiency of labor and the quality of finished products to create conditions for the optimum utilization of all production resources.
Production Automation and Plant automation continue to move on an upward trend going into the new decade. The prediction for the global industrial automation market is an increase from US$157 billion in 2018 to about US$297 billion by 2026, growing in excess of 8% annually.
Production Machines can help you to achieve efficient workflow, labor use, and allocation of resources. Custom machines that are built to fit a company’s operational needs can improve production for either a specific department or their entire plant. Here are just some of the machines that are included in the automation process.
Automated Cutting Machines allows producers to increase their output of material while ensuring that the material is to the precise measurements and quality for each project. For example, a Flying Cuttoff Machine eliminates any stop in the production process, allowing the material to be continuously and accurately cut without any errors. Cutt offs cut material or completed shapes into a predetermined length without creating any stop in motion on the shop floor.
BP Automation was able to save one company thousands in costs with this Corian Cutting System which made manual cutting history by eliminating the need for set-up, cutting, and gluing and clamping. It took cutting time from 210 minutes to 1.5 minutes.
The use of production automation in the food and beverage industry helps to produce quality products for increased demands. According to a survey from the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, 94% of food packaging operations are using robotics already. As for food processing, approximately a third of companies are using robotics.
A food processing mixer which helps to assist in keeping food mixtures in a homogenous state while filling jars. BP Automation designed and fabricated a mixer that would continuously lift, mix, stir and compact the food in a uniform manner created consistency and reduced labor.
Material Handling allows you to have better control over every factor. By doing so, you can minimize error rate and labor costs while enhancing capabilities to handle the workload. For example, custom conveyor systems, extraction systems, and storage systems for material are all types of automated material handling systems.
The Horticulture Industry is one that depends on the constant production of crops to plant, grow and harvest produce. Demand continues to increase as populations grow. Automation solutions can help with production challenges that manufacturers and producers face today and will continue to challenge their methods of scaling in 2020. Canadian agricultural producers must navigate a future in which a strong production outlook and a growing need for labor coincide with a shrinking domestic labor pool and rising costs. Automation can create more efficient greenhouses due to decreased spacing and optimal space configurations as well as 24-hour harvesting schedules.
BP Automation, an Automation and engineering company in Edmonton, AB specializes in automation and robotics solutions to create more efficient production channels and reduce labor costs. This also reduces the number of errors created from manual and repetitive labor in the horticulture and agriculture industry.
Click Here to read about Vertical Farming Benefits and Technology. https://www.wired.com/story/the-hydroponic-robotic-future-of-farming-in-greenhouses-at-iron-ox/>
Material handling systems allow for less manual labor and handling. Types of these systems include Cultivating robotics, harvesting robotics, and Spacing robotics.
Automated Cultivation systems allow robotics to help fertilize, water and move plants. Many of these systems allow users to manage their greenhouse from anywhere as well as view data. Iron Ox uses a robotic arm with cameras to transplant plants as they outgrow their current space. This arm has stereo cameras to detect the plants and then grabs the plants with a gripper that is custom-designed to fit the pods. The arm sits between two trays of different densities and eyeballs the plants, moving them from one tray and to another. They are also developing a machine with learning algorithms that will automatically detect diseased plants and boot them out of the system before the sickness spreads.
Harvesting robotics reduces the amount of manual labor needed when crops and plants becoming ready for harvest. Harvesting robots are able to go move down greenhouse aisles and identify ripe versus unripe plants, harvest them and place them in on-board boxing systems. They can also remove unwanted crops from the pack. The spread of disease can wipe out many healthy plants within the vicinity of the diseased ones.
Even tedious jobs such as spacing plants correctly when it comes to planting and seeding are now taken care of in the hands of spacing robotics. Certain crops require much more or less space than others. These repetitive tasks are the most and cannot provide the accuracy that a spacing robot can provide
Robotics will continue to play a large part in the next decade in the horticulture industry, especially vertical farming as well as the agriculture industry. If you are interested in learning more about automation or robotic technology contact us at BP Automation for all of your needs.
Vertical farming refers to a method of growing or cultivating where crops are stacked vertically on top of one another. This allows for more layers of product in a smaller space. As space and airable land become limited and demand continues to grow, this newer method of harvesting crops will start to become a new norm. Vertical farming allows for growth in areas such as shipping containers, and warehouses.
Benefits of Vertical Farming
There are many benefits to vertical farming. The first, in the fact that it allows for the growth of more products in the same amount of square footage. Vertical Farms can also feed more people then regular farming can because they grow 75 times more food per square foot then a traditional farm. One acre of an indoor area offers equivalent production to at least 4-6 acres of outdoor capacity.
Vertical Farming allows producers to grow year long, which is especially beneficial to our short growing seasons in Alberta. Therefore, there is always a great product to offer. Harvest schedules can be customized to consumers’ needs or higher demand periods. This can also ensure quality and flavourful product all year round.
Vertical farming is efficient, in that it requires less water more than 70%. Although traditional farming can use techniques such as drip irrigation and more it still does not come close to the savings that vertical farming provide. Also, the use of chemical pesticides is not needed, yielding more organic products for consumers.
When it comes to vertical farming technology and systems there are many options to growing crops The physical layout is typically in towers or they may use horizontal structures stacked on top of each other. They can also be grown along walls called green walls. Some farms are grown within modular containers as well. Once the physical layout is established lighting and growing mediums can be determined.
Lighting is one of the most important aspects of vertical farming technology. There are a few options to mimic natural light when it comes to farming indoors.
Vertical farming requires powerful grow lighting to grow crops. Fluorescent lights are most common are typically used for growing herbs and vegetables indoors. They are two types which include fluorescent tubes and Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs). They can easily fit into tight spaces and give off a powerful light and save more energy than incandescent bulbs.
HPS Grow lights or High-Pressure Sodium lights and used by many commercial growers. They do give off a significant amount of heat so it is important to ensure proper measures when it comes to the distance between crops and lighting.
LED grow lights are the most energy-efficient among all three basic types of grow lights. They also do not produce heat which can harm crops. The downside of LED lights? They do yield the highest cost and can pose safety hazards if proper eye protection is not taken.
Vertical farming systems can use also use a variety of growing mediums to harvest their crops. Hydroponics uses a soil-free system by planting the plants in a nutrient-rich solution. It must be circulated and monitored to ensure the proper chemical composition of the solution.
Aeroponics uses no soil and very little water to grow plants. The innovation of Aeroponics in the field of vertical farming was made by The National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA). It is the most efficient way to grow using only mists of water on the plant and roots to make it grow. They are said to intake the most nutrients and vitamins. Lettuce, herbs, and strawberries are best used in Aeroponics
Aquaponics combines fish and plants in the same closed ecosystem. In this system, fish grow in indoor ponds and the plants use the nutrient-rich waste as a food source that the fish produce. This creates a thriving system for the fish and plants to grow together. Many types of fruits and vegetables can be grown efficiently with goldfish, tilapia, carp, sunfish, bass, koi and more.
All growing mediums depend on the type of crop and the amount of product being grown.
The Future of Vertical Farming
A growing population and increased urban living are expected to boost vertical farming in the coming years. In addition to a decrease in sustainable landmass, the quality that vertical farming can product year-round and keep within their own local markets will drive the market in favor of this type of system. Vertical farming will also provide many green options for our population as less deforestation is needed and the water conservation, and reduced waste is much more favorable.
There are many options when it comes to the technology, robotics, and automation used to build a system like this. BP Automation can build your vertical farming technology. If you need a custom build, contact us today and our team of engineers and designers would be happy to help you with your product.
Over the years like many industries the food and beverage industry has seen tremendous growth in Automation. Not only does it improve the safety, cleanliness, and production of the facility, but it is also much more cost-effective to continuously produce a product for orders.
The food and beverage industry is known for some of the most severe regulations when it comes to quality control of product and manufacturing. Automation in this industry helps to increase quality control and reduce the risk of rejected products. Robotics can also provide the ability to monitor and track each step of the food packaging process. The chances of contamination, especially from human contact is decreased when robotics are adopted into the manufacturing process and will help the manufacturer detect the root of contamination, should it occur.
Automation takes food processing fulfillment to the next level when it comes to fulfilling orders. As orders changes to demands and product lines require flexible automation can fulfill the fast-paced needs of consumable goods.
Inline Dough Weight System
The dough weight system below designed by BP Automation was created to automatically weigh dough for full control, uniform portion weights, and reduced giveaway. An optional reject system automatically rejects off-weights catching the dough before it is moved to the next step in the cooking process.
Food Process Filling
Ensure accurate and consistent fulfillment seamlessly create orders continuously. It also reduces the amount of time to rework orders
Whether you are considering one step in your food processing plant or multiple prepping and cooking stages BP Automation can help you plan, design, engineer and manufacture your product in house. Contact us for more information today.
Machine Hazard Assessment or Machine Risk Assessment is a component of a safe workplace. Not only should the design and the function of the machine be known, but the risks also need to be identified. Hazard around machines could include moving parts, radiation, electricity, noise, gas or liquid pressure.
1) Identify Hazards – What type of hazards could occur, especially when it comes to the limitations of the machine.
2) Identify who will be hurt and how. Will this affect the operator or those around the machine as well and how could it possibly hurt those individuals. Examples include physical contact of the machine, chemical hazards, etc.
3) Identify risks and precautions. Employers do have a legal duty to records risks and hazard levels of machinery and record them via writing, training, etc.
4) Record all information and start implementation plan of all controls.
5) Review and check for necessary updates. Reassess accordingly to implementation plan.
For more information on Machine Hazard Assessment contact us at BP Automation in Edmonton, AB. We specialize in safeguarding and other risk assessments for machinery and entire workplace standards.
In any industrial shop or application when machinery is involved, machine safeguarding is critical to preventing unnecessary injuries or fatalities when being used. A thorough machine safeguard assessment is your first line of defense against injuries and accidents.
A proper safeguarding system eliminates the following:
The chance that objects will fall near the operator or the machine itself
That the safeguard will create a new hazard. For example, if it creates an object that is sharp or jagged or causes other types of harm to the operator it completely defeats the purpose of the safeguard in the first place.
Interference- The operator or worker should be able to complete the job easily or comfortably without any interference.
Where Injuries Can Occur:
Point of Operation – This includes when the material is being worked on such as cutting, shaping, boring and
Motions – Where the machine is in motion, including rotating, transversing and reciprocating. Rotating motions can be especially dangerous as they continue to move continuously after grabbing a limb or piece of clothing. Examples of rotating mechanisms include collars, couplings, cams, clutches, flywheels, shaft ends, spindles and meshing gears.
Power Transmission Apparatus – This includes the areas of the machine that are transmitting power for the machine to work. This could include chains, pulleys, gears, and cranks.
Even with the highest standards of machine safeguarding, without the proper knowledge or training it cannot prevent against accidents completely. Proper safeguards should include instructions on how to use, the possible risks associated, as well as what to do if the safeguards are damaged
There are many non-mechanical hazards that can affect the safety and productivity of your operations. This could be electrical sources such as power outlets, chemical concerns, and noise levels. Here at BP Automation, we work to eliminate all hazards with machine safeguarding or plant assessment services. Having a machine safeguarding assessment or plant safeguarding done will protect your employees and improve productivity, as well as the morale and viability of the company.