A versatile automation component


(Falconlabs Shear Data System software summary:


Durant  (now a division of Eaton / Cutler Hammer) has for many years manufactured a line of specialized counters intended for counting and batching processes.  These counters frequently would accept incremental encoder signals which would be scaled to length as a roller driving the encoder measured the length of  material passing the encoder.  These fine counters found wide use in the metal converting and roll forming industries.   When a preset length of material was measured out, a signal would cause a shear to cut the sheet to length.  Most models of these counters also contain a ‘batch’ feature which also counts the number of cuts and which can drive an output to stop the flow of material when the preset number of sheets have been cut.   While these earlier counters are fine products, they do have some features which make the operator’s job more difficult, especially where the main count (length) or batch count (number of sheets) needs to be changed for every job.  Most of the earlier counters do not have direct entry of the counter presets. Instead the values are changed with up/down arrow keys, which is a tedious process in most cases.


A few years ago the Durant division designed a state of the art count controller which makes use of modern microprocessor technology to reduce parts count (thus improving reliability) and to increase versatility.  In the process, they have created a powerful automation tool which now has many applications outside the original length / batch functionality.  This product is called the ‘Fusion’ controller.  But it is much more than just a counter. In reality this handy little box contains the expected high speed counters usable for the same cut to length and batch functions of the older counters, but Durant engineers have also included PLC capability, analog inputs and outputs and a user-configurable operator interface with direct decimal keypad entry for preset values.  The operator interface can display text messages to prompt the operator or indicate alarm conditions.  User configurable buttons are provided which can be linked to the counter or PLC sections through the user program.  In many cases this little box and perhaps a few power components is all that is necessary to completely control an entire converting line, rollformer, or cut to length shear. 


But the capabilities of this versatile controller  do not end there.  A few examples of the sort of processes which the Fusion controller can control are:  container filling based on count or weight (using either the analog input or digital pulse input), rate (speed) controller or readout with either analog or digital input or output.  The analog output can be used to control the speed of a VFD equipped cut to length line so that the material speed is slowed prior to the cut.  There is also provision for a digital ‘prewarn’ output which can be configured to control a VFD digitally if that is preferred.  The analog output can be used in precision winding applications to adjust material tension as roll diameter changes.  In all of these applications and more, the user programmable PLC logic included in the counter means that the designer can frequently eliminate all of the external logic components that would be needed with a more conventional counter or ratemeter to control most of these applications.


Through its serial inputs and outputs, the Fusion controller can accept preset job values from a remote computer, or send status messages and data to a remote printer or computer.   Falconlabs provides a ‘Shear Data System’ which uses this remote data communication feature to link a Fusion controller configured for the cut to length application to a database system which will automatically record and track jobs while simultaneously keeping an up to the minute inventory of all of your coil stock, indicating actual length on each coil in your inventory at any time, and also the uncommitted length on each coil. Uncommitted length on the coil corresponds to the length which will remain on the coil after all of the jobs which have been sent to the cut to length station (but which may not have been processed yet) have been run.


Fusion, Durant and other associated terms are copyright  Eaton Durant division. 

Here is the link to their Fusion Controller website:  where you will find specs, manuals, and free programming software available for download.


Falconlabs is in no way associated with Eaton or Durant, nor have we received any compensation for this endorsement.  We have simply specified or used their fine products with good success on many projects over the years, and we recommend them for your consideration and evaluation as a possible solution for your automation  needs as well..


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