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Self made automation11/19/15
I'm a fairly mechanical guy by nature. I'm always looking at how we can improve our flow and throughput. I'm starting to realize it may be advantageous to be able to understand and make very simple "automated" devices to help with production.
The current application for me is we have a scissor lift on our roller line between machines for material handling. I would like to have a photo eye set at a certain level, and when the level of the pile exceeds that predetermined height, it signals the lift to go down, until the photo eye no longer reads something obstructing the beam.
I can't believe this would be that complicated, but I'm not an electronics guy. Can anyone point me in the direction to learn more about this?
Also, if there is something off the shelf to accomplish this, I'd be interested as well.
Gary ,perhaps something as simple as a motion detector instead of turning a light on it's signal can activate the lift , or perhaps a system much like a garage door opener has a beam that shoots across .
I think that is something you can get "off the shelf" from the lift companies. If not Banner makes detectors in a wide range of voltages and ranges. The only other part you will probably need is the relay if you need to change operating voltages or current rating.
Thank you for the response. I'm definitely going to be looking into PLC's. I'm going to learn Ladder logic as well. Have you created anything for your shop with PLC's?
Check out raspberry pi.
People are controlling cnc's with it and it's really really cheap.
I like D Brown's idea of using a garage door beam, on the sensor side it's probably a simple contact closing or opening that could energize a relay to run a motor.