When STIHL Power Tools needed an improvement to the company’s production line they turned to Industrial Automation Specialists (IAS Corp) in Hampton. STIHL’s Virginia Beach manufacturing plant had used IAS Corp in the past for automation solutions and selected the firm again to develop a new solution for the blower production line. Laser etching compared to dot matrixThe IAS Corp team brought their specialized expertise to the project, installing electrical components, the laser marker, sensors, pneumatics and wiring. IAS also performed initial testing, before delivering the completed machine to STIHL for integration into the manufacturing line.
The result is an improved process that handles engine marking for two different blower types. “As the engine moves Control panel for laser etching on engine componentsinto position on the production line a sensor reads a bar code and then moves the engine into position. The laser then burns a unique serial number onto the engine case based on the bar code,” explains IAS Corp Project Manager Dave Wallace. “At the same time the laser is firing the next engine is moved into position and the sensor reads the bar code.”
Wallace said the machine knows which blower model is in place by reading the bar code. “It’s part of a continuous moving conveyor, with stop gates, so there’s no interruption in the manufacturing process,” he added.
“Our sweet backpack blower with laser etching on enginespot is providing the whole project from mechanical, structural, electrical and programming for all automation projects, big and small,” said Wallace. “However, we can take on a project at any stage. This is an ideal project for our firm – we can handle the sensors, the programming and debugging, and the control systems all in-house.” He said the firm takes great pride in providing turnkey solutions and working closely with manufacturers and their design teams. This keeps costs and schedules manageable and allows the company to maintain their high quality control standards.
IAS Corp is headquartered in Hampton, Virginia’s Langley Research Park and has locations in Chester, Virginia, and Houston and Humble, Texas. The firm combines design, engineering, technical and manufacturing expertise to develop custom equipment, machinery, production lines and automation controls for diverse industries.