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Reduced bottlenecks for paint body store


A major UK automotive manufacturer has a Painted Body Store (PBS) that provides a buffer between the paint shop and final assembly, with capacity for over 600 car bodies.

As Principal Contractor under CDM and to HSE regulations, the project was to upgrade the complete control system and install new duplex chain conveyors. This included replacing all PLC, HMI and SCADA systems, the crane, conveyor and drop sections, variable speed drive systems, operation & control cubicles, field transducers, safety systems, tracking cameras and communication networks.


Our Solution

Comprising a complex multi-drive and control system designed on a Siemens product platform, the original store controller was replaced with a new Siemens S7-416F.

This PLC communicates via Profinet and a high speed infrared link to the four off crane plcs (Siemens S7- 319F), which insert into and retrieve bodies from the PBS storage areas. It also communicates to the new conveyor PLC (Siemens S7-319F), which controls the 81 off conveyor field-based Siemens ET200PRO starters, 23 off SEW movifit drives and ET200 I/O.

New SEW Movidrives for the two off drop sections’ lifts use position control via Profinet absolute encoders, while seven off new Siemens IPC477D field-based hmis are installed around the PBS.

Each Crane is fitted with a new Siemens IPC477D HMI for local control. The main PBS SCADA is based upon one off fault tolerant server and three off client pcs running Siemens wincc software.



  • Recycling car bodies now needs just one person instead of three
  • Faster input and output of bodies, reducing bottlenecks and satisfying demand


Client Feedback

The new PBS is operating much better than before and the new low maintenance system is running well. When recycling car bodies, instead of three operators it now needs just one person. Input and output of bodies are faster than before, reducing bottleneck situations and satisfying the demand from assembly (one car is completed every 59 seconds).

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