Cardboard packaging adhesive controller 4.0

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26 Jan 2018

Note:This article originally appeared in the January 2018 issue of molkerei industrie  
To read the original, click here.

For more than 40 years, A + F Automation + Fördertechnik GmbH has been one of the leading international providers of end of line packaging machines and complete configurations. As further evidence of its constant innovation, the company based in the North Rhine-Westphalian town of Kirchlengern presented the new Tray Erector 216-S at this year’s Interpack. Interestingly control of the hot melt application system from Nordson, a partner for many years, is not only directly integrated to the parent machine control, but can also be regulated remotely.   

The tray erector designed for the milk and food industry in particular is forward-looking due to its technical finesses, also with regard to cardboard packaging adhesive management. The machine is fitted as standard with a ProBlue application system and pneumatic applicators from the Nordson Corporation, the US adhesive technology specialists with European headquarters in Erkrath. 

In the specific case of the line shown in Düsseldorf, a size 10 melter was installed that supplied hotmelt to five dispensing guns of the MiniBlue II series, regarded as the industry standard. They work with a minimum switching time of 2 ms and are characterised by a long service life of more than 100 million cycles. In order to be able to complete all adhesive tasks, three dispensing guns with a fully insulated slim design as well as a two-module and three-module MiniBlue II special applicator were used.   

 
Integration into the parent machine control unit 

As a special feature, the control and monitoring of this configuration via Profibus is integrated in the HMI of the parent machine. Nordson has recently made available, so-called PMI starter kits (Parent Machine Integration), for all standard control units. They reduce the time needed for programming to less than one day, and even less than one hour in some cases. The machine was fitted with a Simatic-HMI comfort panel. Naturally A + F also allows for the integration of Allen-Bradley or Schneider components.  

The software, which is available for downloading free of charge on the Nordson website, makes it possible to create an individual and intuitive control panel for each device and thus also for the melter. The control functions are further extended so that nearly all the data of the melter can be adjusted, evaluated and collected. This is convenient and clear for the machine operator in every respect as all relevant parameters are available at a glance.  

To develop a completely comfortable gluing process, the possibility to control the system remotely online was also created. This is achieved using a tablet PC and provides the user an interesting additional option.

Servo drives with virtual master shaft

Other technical features of the new tray erector 216-S with a capacity of 2,700 cartons per hour are noteworthy. The clocked machine is fitted with up to twelve servo drives arranged as close to the folding elements as possible that are controlled by a virtual master shaft. The horizontal blank magazine has a holder length of 900 mm and a loading height of approx. 800 to 1,000 mm depending on the blank. Corrugated board or 0.8 mm solid board is used. 

Various crate versions can be formed from the cardboard packaging blanks; straight, internal or external conical perforated crates with or without stacking corners. To ensure a high repeat accuracy, all folding and forming processes are performed against a fixed core. The format range is also flexible. The dimensions of the tray are between 200 x 150 x 25 mm and 400 x 400 x 50 mm (L x W x H). The corner strap heights vary from 25 to 140 mm.    

Special mention should be made to the installation of “control spots” in the machine. There are four of them that are positioned at the blank outlet and in the three forming and folding stations. They are used for fast problem detection and localisation. The machine personnel are immediately notified of the location of the error and do not have to additionally look at the control panel. In this way, short response times are possible.

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