Smart Cart Gets Smarter

C J Waterhouse company first developed its Smart Cart minor ingredients system back in the early 2000’s when the semi-automatic prototype system was installed at a UK rubber compounding facility.  Since that time the system has seen several advancements such as wireless communications, fully automated bag manufacture & placing and bag-in-bag dosing systems.  The latest, fourth generation system will see the greatest technological advancement to date with the introduction of Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) weigh carriages.

All previous generations have been based around mobile weigh carriages with integrated bag clamps.  These carriages, or Smart Carts reside upon a mono-rail track and travel to the material dosing stations situated around the track perimeter.

The system permits large numbers of material dosing stations and provides high throughput, high accuracy, contamination free weighing of minor ingredient batches incorporating numerous weigh carriages to provide simultaneous multi-batch production.

Late in 2021 C J Waterhouse company were approached by one of the UK’s largest manufacturer of bread products to develop and supply a minor ingredients system for their extensive range of ingredients and recipes capable of handling their demanding throughput requirements.

Development of the 4th generation system has now begun and although is based upon the original concept of moving mobile weigh carriages to feeder stations the track and bus system will be abolished and replaced with self powered AGV’s.  The removal of the track assembly and use of AGV’s permits greater flexibility, future expansion and improves cleanliness together with providing an advanced system at the forefront of automation technology.

In addition to the AGV development the latest version of the Smart Cart system will also incorporate integrated vibratory sieving solutions into each of the material dosing stations, end of line metal detection and fully automated palletisation.

The system comprises of two identical production lines each comprising of 22 material dosing stations and 12 Smart Cart weigh carriages with a further 2 spares.  The maximum throughput of 500 bags per hour is achieved by running the same materials and recipes on each line, however the two lines can be combined to produce a 44 material system with up to 24 weigh carriages.  This flexibility enables the customer to achieve their manufacture requirements with respect to throughput and recipe range.  The duplex system also permits service / repair works to be conducted on one line whilst the second line remains operational.

The control philosophy is based upon Siemens PLC hardware for material dosing, weighing and plant automation and Siemens SIMOVE software for AGV operation.  Our windows based BCS-Series (batching control software) provides recipe handling and production scheduling functionality together with comprehensive data logging and batch reporting.

Fore more information on The Smart Cart system our range of materials handling and automation solutions please visit our website at www.cjwaterhouse.co.uk or email us on [email protected]

%d bloggers like this: