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How a Feeder with Modular Architecture Adapts to Your Operation

Gus Carrington

Gus Carrington About The Author

Apr 21, 2020

Siemens and Allen-Bradley — both these control system brands are compatible with an AZODOS feeder. While most ingredient automation equipment manufacturers prioritize and specialize their machines for one type of control system, AZO’s approach with the AZODOS is to provide adaptable solutions for all our unique customers around the world

How is this possible? It all comes down to the modular architecture of an AZODOS control system. The modular architecture of an AZODOS allows operators to alter the feeder operation without implementing an entirely new feeder control system.

Feeder

The mechanical properties of an AZODOS can either be used for a continuous system or for batch weighing. With these properties so interchangeable, it is up to the control system and software module to control the material flow. We’ll elaborate on the specifics and how this can assist your operation in the following post. 

AZODOS feeders don’t need new software to implement new functions or modules

The software that runs an AZODOS has several standard functions and controllers. If a new function or module is needed, only the configuration of the system has to be changed. No software update is required. 

Here’s an example: If an operation has three scales but you would like to change the configuration to five scales on one recipe, it’s possible to do so with the modular architecture of an AZODOS system. Ultimately, this would reduce time and costs for engineering and delivery. In this scenario, total costs would be reduced for the operator because AZO (the feeder vendor) wouldn’t have to design a new feeder and alter the software. 

Through configuration, you could also add an interface (such as PROFIBUS, OPC or CAN). Note that new hardware modules would still require additional input, output and interface cards. This is because these cards are necessary to connect our standard system to the customer’s control system. 

An operation’s specific parameters are saved by the control system

If your operation requires constant material flow, the “loss-in-weight scale” function of the AZODOS should be utilized. This software module controls material flow. The mechanical part of the AZODOS includes a dosing screw and a stirring device. The same mechanical parts can be utilized for batch weighing. 

If the feeder is tested with a variety of materials before installation, then all the parameters of each material are stored in the controlling system database

Some of the mechanical parameters saved in this system include: 

  • The size and geometry of the dosing screw
  • The speed of the dosing screw for various throughputs, 
  • What stirring device-type was utilized 
  • The speed of the stirring device
  • The size of the hopper
  • Discharge aid

These archived parameters can be reused in other processes down the line. Whether the initial process utilized continuous or batch weighing, they can be reused in future scenarios because this information is stored in the system database. The parameters can be used interchangeably between weighing methods

Parameters to be used will depend on what material is being fed, but each material can be fed in either continuous or batch weighing.  

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AZO Inc. has many years of experience in bringing innovative German designs to American consumers. The AZODOS is our latest innovation. AZO developed the original cyclone screener in 1949, and we haven’t stopped innovating the ingredient automation industry since. If you’d like to hear more about the AZODOS and its modular architecture, please contact our sales team.