Place Tappets on Engine block

Leadec, Detroit Michigan , USA.

Controls Manager

Profile: Proactive, extroverted, perfectionist, hardworking, friendly, analytic, good communicator.

Roux was contracted to place a tappet on eight or sixteen bores in a truck engine block without damaging the existing tappets or engine bores. The project had to meet a tight deadline, and  he immediately discovered that there were delays in the delivery of electric and mechanical components. He realized he would need to step in and organize every aspect of the complex project.

This required him to realign his initial goals and objectives to reflect those of the organization, if he wanted to follow up electric and mechanic components

He knew he would need capable and experienced PLC programmer and Robot programmer to help integrate and successfully complete the very large abandoned program–not easy to do from scratch. And first he’d need to come up with a unifying concept; new logic for an unknown standard so the PLC programmer could achieve the integration.

Tapping into Leadec’s extensive network he identified a Relant-Automation Field Engineer with the ideal combination of experience in standards programs, intuitive insight, and commitment to excellence .

As they began discussing the project’s goals and constraints, the PLC programmer analyzed the logic reference and suggested the most promising approaches to integration.

This included dividing the programming structure into sections, so each line could be achieved and its status reported to the client in a timely manner: The sections included:

1.- Conveyor logic to Feed parts in good position and orientation (SEW movimot Motor) 

2.- Gripper logic to Pick parts and place on the engine bores (IAI application).

3.- Robot interfaces (handshakes between PLC and Robot manual and Automatic).

4.- Manual function interlocks (PLC and HMI developed transline standard).

5.- Automatic Sequence interlock. (PLC and HMI developed RFID Management).

6.- Manual/automatic interfacing with an existing line ( PNP coupler)

7.-Diagnositic (Fault messaging).

A Simple Description

  • Solution partners such as Relant Automation help develop Logic, initially integrating a single robot cell to a full line Project in Siemens CPU S317:
  • The Pallet is transferred into the new Robot Station. (Existing Line interlock)
  • RFID Data logic provides automatic steps that enable single processing at the station. (Nobody could be sure what RFID does at the standard program, so it was mainly used to start process).

 Rotate Engine

  • Hold the part (Existing Line, interlock generated
  • Lift the part (Existing Line, interlock generated).
  • Rotate part more than 180 degrees to place tappet (Existing Line interlock)

Place Tappet ( Feed tappet through conveyor system)

  1. New conveyor FC Application must be generated as new library in the standard
  2. Conveyor sensor was ensuring first that the tappet was feed to the line in right orientation through sensor check at the entrance by indexing one part at the time and camera inspection at the end before to pick apart from conveyor
  3. Camera inspection was checking right tappet orientation at pick position on the conveyor before the robot picking up the part from the conveyor

Pick up tappet-Oil-Drop off parts

  1. FC function develop on PLC to by torque control each servo Axis (IAI controller).
  2. robot must obey strict path to avoid damage on the engine and tappet.
  3. Oiling application Routine development Consist into spread oil into the bores)
  4. Manual function interlocking between conveyor movement and robot to avoid crash

Record every process as it’s accomplished in the RFID

Release the holders and transfer to next station.


  1. Fault Messaging (Diagnostic )
  2. Trans line structure
  3. Sequence standard development and HMI Diagnostic and manual/automatic functions.
  4. Following the control logic, run a dry cycle test to insert parts as new concept

The Project Manager was able to successfully convert a manual station into a fully automated station.

And after showing how the entire process would be completed within the allocated budget, the client saw for himself how seamlessly the now automated process was running.