Glass Bottle Palletizer Control System Upgrade

Initial situation

Control system based upon a discontinued PLC, too many electrical problems, a heavily degraded operator interface and lack of communications. A new pallets and layers centralizer automation requirement.


PLC substitution for a proper / updated one, with Ethernet communication facilities and a new operator interface with graphic visualization. Optimization of the overall operation machine program. Renewal of the electrical equipment inside the cabinet. Partial sensors substitution and passive safety update. Software development for the new pallet layout and automatic centration.


The new PLC must be Siemens S7 with Ethernet interface. The operator interface must be a polychromatic  10” and must be installed at the same spot as the original one. The main stainless steel cabinet will be the same and the intermediate cabinet will be replaced by a new one with remote I/O´s. The S7 software must be entirely new. The electrical drawings must be fully carried out and in Portuguese language. The total length of the work cannot exceed 2 weeks and will take place at the same time as the mechanical improvements.

Work performed

Electrical project development supported by electrical CAD Eplan. Integration of frequency converters on the relevant motors. Selection and dimensioning of the new PLC S7-300 with Ethernet interface. Complete renewal of the cabinet plates. Software development with some movements’ optimization. Mechanical changing and upgrade of the support structure of the new touch-screen console. Partial machine wiring renewal and sensors substitution that were in a bad state of repair. Integration within the existent industrial Ethernet network in order to communicate with other equipment. Startup assistance on site over three weeks.

Results obtained

Overall operation with greater reliability. Significant simplification of the electrical installation at the cabinet, inner space, with a far less number of components. The operator interface is much more simple and intuitive. Passive safety became adequate to machinery directive. Large simplification in further software changes to be made by introducing comments and symbols within the operation program. Signals exchange with the equipment upstream and downstream Ethernet network.