Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Live Floor

So recently I had an idea about monitoring production in our plant using Xbee modules to collect data from the assembly boards. For example, i wanted to be able to know if an operator was at their station at any given time, also how long it takes to build each harness, total downtime of the board, how many pieces built, etc.
So my changito and I designed and built some Xbee boards. We used the xbee board from makingthings as a jumping off point, and then drew up some plans for what you see here:
thing of beauty

Then we added the Xbee module

Here is the make controller with the receiver Xbee in place, I may look into another option for receiving the packets, possibly one of the USB xbee adapters from Sparkfun, but for now, this works.

Anywho. We then mounted it onto a prototype Assembly board that we built.

It has the 2 holders for the harness connectors. So the way it works is that when the operator is there, the movement is picked up and also as each piece is approved, a message is sent back to the receiver that talks to the PC and database.

I wrote some software that would juggle the information around a bit and keep track of things. I'll write some more about that next time.

Spoiler Alert! Barbie makes a special guest appearance...

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