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The automatics Smart Factory allows students to get the experience of a number of processes and technologies commonly used in manufacturing and modern-day industry 4.0 principles. This includes conveyor systems, sensing systems, pneumatic pick and place technology, DC motor drivers and stepper motor drivers. The factory includes coloured discs made from plastic and other materials. A conveyor belt moves these pieces into the factory, where user programmed sensors sort the discs into multiple rejection bins. Some are picked off the conveyor by a suction device and a stepper motor controlled gantry sorts the discs into appropriately coloured containers. The smart factory is completely self contained and can be stored away in one of our standard trays. The smart factory can be used with Siemens (or other brand) 12V or 24V PLC.
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Key Features

  • Gantry system with three pneumatic inputs
  • Gantry driven by stepper motor driver
  • Conveyor system 60mm x 500mm in size
  • DC and Stepper motor drives
  • Inductive and Capacitive sensors
  • 2 laser light gates with rejection components
  • Pneumatic pick and place technology
  • Robot arm integration gives powerful Industry 4.0 learning solution

Learning Objectives

  • Factory control and automation systems
  • Software design for automation
  • DC motor and stepper drives
  • Conveyor and gantry systems
  • Vacuum pick and place systems
  • Component sensing and sorting
  • System design with more than one controller.


Smart Factory Siemens setup


The Siemens S7 PLC with HMI unit provides a 4mm connected interface between the S7 and your PC in a rugged plastic case. The S7 is fitted with a S7-1214C PLC which provides 10 inputs and 10 transistor outputs and a Siemens KTP 400 Series Touch Screen HMI - 4.3 in, TFT Display, 480 x 272pixels.

The S7 is programmed from your PC using either a CAT 5 cable (provided) or Wifi. A Telonika RUT950 high-performance industrial 4G LTE Wi-Fi router is included in the box - this allows you to program the unit by Wi-fi and interface to other IP connected systems as part of Industry 4.0.

Key Features

  • Siemens S7 PLC
  • Wi-fi Router
  • 4mm connector inputs/outputs
  • 24V power supply included - HP9113


The Smart Factory is compatible with the AllCode robot arm production cell. This can be added to provide a powerful Industry 4.0 learning solution. By introducing a programmable robot arm, that acts in the same way as an industrial robot, users can take their learning a step further.

The robot arm production cell can be programmed from any Bluetooth or Wi-Fi supporting programming language including Flowcode, MATLAB or LabVIEW and many others. Flowcode allows users to use G codes and a pendant as though in a real factory environment.
Smart Factory Robot Arm
Smart Factory schematic
Students create a counter sorting program in which the Robot Arm will collect plastic counters and using the colour sensor, they are sorted into appropriate collection bins. The system can be operated manually or using internet communications, students can implement a handshaking system to automate the process.

The full working smart factory system, including the robot arm takes all parts of the system and combines them in to a powerful learning tool for Industry 4.0 study. At this point, the students are able to see the PLC controlling the gantry, conveyor and the robot arm system all working in cohesion.
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Using API (Application Programming Interface) functionality, which is provided pre-programmed on the Robot Arm Production Cell, users can control the system using any software application, including Flowcode, MATLAB, LabVIEW and many other IDE's. This gives users a powerful remote, automated environment through which to control an industrial system.