Spotting System

The need for a reliable cross-battery interlock has plagued Coke Oven Batteries. We are pleased to provide a system for spotting and cross battery communication utilizing state of the art equipment which is based on the use of a vision camera and a programmable logic controller. This system, when properly installed and maintained, meets all of the needs of this industry.

The first component of the system is the vision camera used to identify the location of the machine in question. The vision system constantly scans the field of view for a target that has been mounted on each buckstay. The target is divided into different regions of interest. The first region of interest contains a cross pattern that is used to verify that there is a valid target in view and also to provide a row and column reference that is used to determine spotting limits. The next two regions correspond to the oven number for that door. During initial setup, each oven location is manually spotted then saved into the PLC. Once the data has been entered the spotting system uses this data to spot on the oven requested. The operator enters the desired oven and starts to move toward the oven location. As the operator travels, the real time image provided by the camera is displayed on the display. Once the operator travels to within +/- three inches of the target, the camera compares the oven number seen to the oven number the operator entered. If the two numbers are the same, the operator interface displays “Oven in Window.” At this point, if the system is equipped with a positioner, the operator selects “Go to Spot” and the equipment moves to within +/- ¼ inch of the stored oven value. On units not equipped with a positioner, the operator will have to manually spot using the camera display which has a cross hair pattern displayed on the screen which can be aligned with the pattern on the targetor by indications on the operator interface.

If the system does not require a cross battery interlock, the hardware required can be reduced substantially. A lone spotting system can be accomplished without a PLC and still provide necessary feedback to the operator for spotting the equipment.

The system provides a cross-battery interlock when each machine involved is equipped with a camera spotting system and a reliable wireless network has been installed. The pusher machine is established as the master of the system within the PLC program and monitors what oven is seen by the door machine. If a push is called for and the numbers do not agree, the system is interlocked to prevent the operator from extending the ram. This prevents mishaps on equipment due to miscommunication and operator error. This will prevent costly downtime and repairs involved when machines are damaged due to improper alignment of machines as well as lost production time.