Real-time bottle blowing control system
FlexBlow is an SME specializing in PET bottle manufacturing and equipment. Their flagship product is a stretch blow molding machine that can be flexibly reconfigured to produce different shapes of bottles. However, the entire production process needs human supervision and continuous parameter adjustment in order to maintain bottle quality. We were contracted by Flexblow to design and implement an autonomous bottle quality control system.
The project required three components: control sensor, control software, and hardware for running quality control in production.
- Control sensor. FlexBlow’s original quality sensor turned out to be inadequate for the task, so we took a lead in designing and sourcing the parts for a new sensor. Together with Elskaifa, a third-party electronics service provider, we developed a custom low-cost sensor that can perform up to 1 million accurate measurements per second.
- Control software. We developed a real-time closed-loop MPC-style control system that seamlessly integrates with the main Siemens S7 PLC.
- Hardware. We worked together with FlexBlow’s team to design such a hardware configuration that would integrate into the existing equipment without alterations.
- Our system has been successfully tested in production at FlexBlow and is being prepared for a full-time deployment.