Australis Engineering have won a Highly Commended Award for its Materials Handling and Warehousing project at the Royal Australian Mint at the Engineers Australia gala awards ceremony in Canberra in September 2009. The award caps off an outstanding project at the Royal Australian Mint which resulted in a totally new materials handling and warehousing solution for the Mint's circulating coin production facility.
Highlights of the Materials Handling and Warehousing project include:
- Fully automated production of circulating coins
- Coin Vision Counting System - VCS
- Use of robotics to minimise manual handling and increase production output
- Multi-axis bucket elevator to transport coins between two levels of the production facility
- Vision inspection system for coins
- Fully integrated materials handling and warehousing solution, inclusive of special purpose roller conveyors
- Stretch wrapper and labelling machine to package completed coins for warehousing and shipping.
- Integration of personnel elevators with automated guided vehicles (AGVs) that allows overnight transfer of coin blanks and increases production output
- A Manufacture Execution System (MES) to manage the entire coin production process
A key aspect in winning the Award for Materials Handling and Warehousing was the design, testing, manufacture and installation of a world's first, Vision Counting System (VCS) for coins. The VCS is a high-speed coin counter in a mass flow situation, allowing for elevated speeds and high throughput counting of up to 22,000 coins per minute.
The VCS has potential in other coin handling environments and for the pharmaceutical industry, for example in tablet production facilities.