CASE STUDY #3 Intelligent Inline Buffer and
Storage Machine

The Challenge

Intelligent Inline Buffer and Storage Machine

A leading global electronics manufacturer needed an automatic storage buffer machine to temporarily store and retrieve excess parts of inkjet cartridges in its high volume production lines, so as to prevent a backlog in the upstream and downstream modules. Storage capacity would range from 10,000 to 40,000 parts, depending on the part size.

The client required a cycle rate of 40 to 150 parts per minute, 99.9% Uptime, 24/7 operation, constant tracking of all parts and data integrity to prevent any mixing of batches or errors in sequencing. An in-depth analysis helped PSB Tech to discover that it was essential for the machine to react quickly to changing conditions in the production line without causing delays in the flow of the parts.

As different production lines vary in layout and the amount of buffer available, PSB Tech also had to customise the software, the location of the sensors or part diverters as well as the layout of lead in/out conveyors to optimize the process.


  • • Flexible and intelligent control programme that could handle various line conditions was made possible via a fully-integrated automatic storage-retrieval system and pick-and-place system
  • • The storage tray could be easily customized to handle products of different shapes and sizes
  • • Concurrent loading and unloading of parts with output of up to 150 ppm and uptime of more than 99.9%
  • • Flexibility of the line was achieved through user-configurable settings
  • • Batch size and release sequence was programmable
  • • Accurate time stamp for parts in storage to ensure accurate parts tracking
  • • First-in-first-out sequence and batch integrity
  • • High-end controller with user-friendly operator interface via touch screen

The Result

Intelligent Inline Buffer and Storage Machine

The machinethat was designed by PSB Tech not only provided an efficient means to store and organize WIP parts with minimum usage of floor area, it had also increased production line efficiency and reduced downtime.

With this machine, a line could be shutdown for maintenance while unaffected lines continue operating. Jams and stoppages could also be isolated easily without stopping the production line.

Specific batches of products could be held, rejected or by-passed based on time stamps for testing, aging or packaging purposes. “Bad” batches of products could also be removed from the line before they complete all the processes, thus reducing wastage.

Built to CE and NRTL quality standards, this machine could also be adapted to handle plastic or metal components.

As a result of its efficient design and exquisite engineering, PSB Tech had delivered more than 100 such units worldwide.