To support Laem System in this project, specialists at Rockwell Automation proposed using its Integrated Architecture solution in order to respond to the need for greater flexibility and reliability. This could help reduce the setup and subsequent startup time of the machine. The control solution supplied by Rockwell Automation could also contribute to the fulfillment of specific requirements for accuracy in bending and cutting, the maintenance of the correct film tension, the automatic replacement of reels at the end of processing and to meet stringent requirements in terms of safety.
The machine is equipped with 7 motors that wind the tape and four motors that position the mechanical components. The process involves feeding tape through two cones that fold the material twice before passing to the winding phase. Two turrets, which rotate 360 degrees, control the automatic reel-replacement phase at the end of the cycle. The turrets are positioned on a circular plate with two shafts positioned at 180 degrees from each other, and are activated by two of the four small motors, while the remaining motors control the knife and bending cones.
The Integrated Architecture proposed by Rockwell Automation allows users to manage all phases of the operation, control and display, in a single programming environment.
The machine is equipped with a platform that includes Allen-Bradley GuardLogix® programmable automation controllers (PAC) with integrated security, Allen-Bradley Kinetix 6200 servo drives for the motion, an EtherNet/IP™ network, FactoryTalk View ME for the user interface and control and RSLogix 5000 software for programming the control, motion, drive and safety capabilities.
The GuardLogix® integrated control system helped reduce the time required during the design and configuration phases as well as reducing the cost of the machine itself. The user interface and the ability to configure the machine during the testing phase helped to accelerate the start-up phase,which does not require the presence of Rockwell Automation personnel.
The integrated management of all disciplines through a single programming environment has allowed Laem System to achieve its primary objective, which was to provide a fast machine capable of extreme accuracy and precision in the folding and cutting phases, maintenance of appropriate film tension, and a reduction in downtime by way of automatic reel replacement in line with exceptional safety standards.
"The foundation of the machine is a system characterised by well designed architecture and full high-level integration that caters for complex configurations with relatively simple tools in terms of programming. Very flexible, but at the same time simple to use, the machine betrays the idea that maximum flexibility must be extremely complex," states Davide Malki, Vice President Laem System.