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Design and automation of Automatic Assembly machines




Plein Air International is a long-established company in the consumer industry. Part of the KEMPER Group, it was founded in 1970 and specializes in the production and marketing of various products including gas canisters and butane gas cartridges of various formats and mixes. The company’s requirements, which arose due to recent changes in regulations, related to the need to fit out their existing line so they could assemble a special safety valve inside the container before it was filled with gas.

The main challenge was to find a high-performance system for assembling and clamping the valve so it could be positioned accurately inside the empty cartridge, while simultaneously ensuring the assembly would be robust in conditions of extreme usage, such as accidental dropping.

The specifications were:

  • Minimum daily production of 30,000 pc per day;
  • Extremely low reject rate (below 5%);
  • Minimal space requirement (positioned inside an existing line).



Asotech contributed to the project from the very early drafting stages of basic concepts for the clamping system, by proposing three different technical solutions. These were then evaluated by the producer, in terms of the quality of the end product. Once the winning idea had been approved, we moved on to the second stage – producing the mock-up – with the aim of producing samples.

After the basic concept had been validated, we then elaborated the preliminary study of the whole machine, by proposing a rotating solution with hybrid mechanical-pneumatic movement technology. This stage was followed by the validation of machine safety (Risk Assessment Analysis) as required by Directive 2006/42 EC. The mechanical design phase ended with the preparation of the construction drawings and technical documents needed for full production of the automatic machine.

Asotech also dealt with the design of the software and hardware for the automation of the system itself. We defined the functional cyclogram and the PLC programming, together with the HMI interface.

The prototype was then tested, validated and installed with the end producer. From start to finish, including production and electromechanical preparation, the whole project took just 6 months.



With Asotech, the client found a single partner able to present technical solutions in line with the initial project specifications while keeping control of the design process as well as the final production and validation.