New Machine Control Platform Offers Superior Facility Control
Honeywell Intelligrated has developed a next-generation machine control platform. Momentum™ Machine Control (aka MC4) combines powerful capabilities to provide a high level of facility control. It can complement Momentum WES software as well as other warehouse execution systems (WES).
MC4 overcomes the vulnerability of PC-based systems to full-system shutdowns by giving you the option of running distributed controls on an industrially hardened embedded controller with no moving parts. This increases reliability, reduces repair costs, and minimizes upgrade costs by providing a backward-compatible upgrade path. The distributed controls option enables you to have planned or unplanned downtime in an area without affecting the rest of the system. A centralized warehouse control option is also available for upgrades of older, centralized sites.
Additional reliability is made possible by running MC4 on QNX, rather than Windows. This allows for greater stability while reducing shutdowns for upgrades and security patches. In addition, the control architecture focuses on configuration instead of custom coding. As a result, projects can be implemented faster with a standardized code base that provides users a more traditional plug-and-play experience.
Sophisticated emulation and simulation capabilities make it possible to evaluate the operational warehouse efficiency of different configurations prior to implementation, optimizing the system and reducing its commissioning time.
The full suite combines the following machine control systems:
- General conveyor control — This service manages transportation and accumulation conveyors and handles any events or alarms associated with them.
- Sortation — Multiple sortation solutions are controlled, enabling them to run at a much higher rate while decreasing the risk of damaging product.
- Merges — MC4 can be configured to control a variety of merge systems with a hybrid logic, allowing lane types to be combined for optimal throughput.
- Gap optimizer — The MC4 gapper system measures and adjusts the spacing between cartons, enabling a high-speed merge rate of 400 cartons per minute with gaps as short as 1 inch between cartons. Gapper functionality is also available as a standalone feature for any PLC, PC or hybrid system.
- Diagnostic and calibration tools — These allow you to set, clear, and verify calibration values for merges and sorters. You’ll also get alerts when chain oil runs low or other maintenance is required.
By providing a suite of modular control services in a single package, MC4 controls offer a more flexible and up-to-date user experience, plus superior efficiency. In most DC environments, the system can be implemented at a lower total cost than traditional PLC- or PC-based systems. MC4 also provides an attractive alternative for high-performance conveyor and sortation control to DCs that don’t require the more extensive features of a WES solution.
In addition to the options summarized herein, you’ll find information about the many additional benefits it can offer your operation, from easy web access to simplified management of your entire operation and its resources. Get a quick visual overview of MC4 from our infographic.