Through a strong association with the packaging industry for over 15 years, developed a substantial and valuable knowledge in the design of packaging machinery and associated feeding systems with ongoing research and development.
Directed and actively participated in the multi-skilled team developing the next generation of bespoke form, fill and seal packaging machines and intelligent feeding systems. A modular approach was taken for the mechanical, electrical and software design, resulting in a family of products that could be readily customised and adapted to meet customers' exact needs. The machine frame was designed to be manufactured in either mild or stainless steel, allowing hygienic wash down systems to be built. The control system was based on an industrial PC running the QNX operating system (a real-time variant of UNIX). The graphical user interface and multi-process motion software was written in C/C++.
Developed innovative low/zero pressure inline feeding system algorithm incorporating intelligent “virtual sensor” software that tracked, analysed and reacted to the motion of arriving products, minimising the number of motors/sensors required compared to multi-belt feeder systems.
Developed real-time motion control software for 4 axis high integrity (gas tight) sealing machine for Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) applications. Software was written in assembler for the National Semiconductor HPC family of micro controllers. Embedded a kinematical model of the system in the user interface which analysed the displacement, velocity and acceleration profiles generated, ensuring that the mechanical limitations of the machine’s component parts could not be exceeded by invalid operator input, significantly improving user efficiency.
Audio Speaker Impulse Test System
Developed a prototype impulse test system for audio speakers which reduced the test time from 5 minutes to 5 seconds while providing a vast increase in resolution, compared to traditional frequency scanning techniques.
The system delivered a series of pulses via an amplifier to excite the speaker, and its time domain response captured using a microphone connected to high speed A/D hardware installed in a PC. The captured data was then mathematically converted to the frequency domain using a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) algorithm, and the results compared with the expected frequency response for the speaker type under test.
Telecommunication Products Production Test Equipment
Specify, design and build of bespoke functional and in-circuit (bed of nails) Automatic Test Equipment (ATE) used in high volume production of telecommunication products. Analysed the technical implications of production test fallout, to improve yields through modified manufacturing and test methods, and advising the product design team of modifications to enhance the economic manufacture and quality of the final products. Developed production test database software which logged test results and repair information, allowing the ATE to statistically predict the repairs required for products subsequently failing during test.
Soot Blower Control System
Design, installation and commissioning of a prototype soot blower control system for the coal-fired electricity generating industry. The system was designed around a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) and used solid-state modules to interface to the various 110VAC input and output signals. The software was developed using the proprietary PLC language.
Promote technical aspects of telecom and special function semiconductor products, supporting customers by preparation and provision of relevant data sheets, application information and technical seminars. Provide customers with expert advice on system designs based on the 16/32 bit 68000 processor and supporting peripheral chips, optimising performance by exploiting the pre-fetch cache memory and floating point coprocessor, and specific PCB layout techniques for high speed operation. Determine the available markets for the 68000 family of products, forecasting trends and emerging opportunities. Control price/volume of orders in balance with production capabilities. Monitor and report on competitor activities, and observe customer trends and demands, to control the timely introduction of new products.
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