For this OEM, robustness if everything.
Pacmac manufactures tube filling and cartoning machines for CPG industry. Using the latest technology, Pacmac’s goal is to make every new machine outperform the last iteration, always investing in research and development to improve.
Like most packaging OEMs, Pacmac must manage the challenges of rapidly changing technology, the rising costs of raw materials, and the need to build sustainable machines. Right now, Pacmac plans to increase overall global market share by developing a local U.S. team and designing machines for global end users that require more flexibility.
Most Life Sciences products are shipped in cartons – and that’s Pacmac’s specialty.
A cartoning machine is a packaging machine that forms cartons in five stages: erect, close, fold, side seamed and sealed cartons. The process is straightforward: the Cartoning machine picks a single piece from the stack of folded carton and erects it, fills with a product through an open end, and closes the carton by tucking the end flaps or applying adhesive. Also these machines are multipurpose with the ability to handle a variety of products including vials, tubes, blisters, soaps, bottles etc.
The challenge with the current machine is the open loop. There’s no data exchange and too many mechanical components due to which accuracy over a period of time decreases. When the size of the carton changes, the axis of the machines needs manual adjustments to compensate the offset. The absolute position of the main motor cannot be determined in case of power failure causing product loss, and failure of the main motor leads to a complete stoppage of machine.
In addition, earlier versions of machines were limited in the ability to handle tube variations. With enhanced architecture, the same machine could carton products in multiple variations without machine stoppage by simply selecting a different tube type from the HMI.
The new machine would have the axis connected to the servo motor, which also is on EtherNet/IP for communication with the controller, eliminating the manual mechanical system.
CompactLogix controllers provide higher performance, increased capacity, improved productivity and enhanced security to help meet the growing demands of smart machines and equipment for manufacturing. These controllers use a common easy-to-use development environment. Tight integration between the programming software, controller and I/O modules reduces development time and cost at commissioning and during normal operation. This commonality provides cost-effective integration of a machine or safety application into a plant-wide control system because it integrates capabilities in one controller.
Kinetix 5500 EtherNet/IP Servo Drives connect to and operate with CompactLogix controllers, supporting Integrated Motion on EtherNet/IP. With its innovative, compact design, the Kinetix 5500 drive helps minimize machine footprint and simplifies system wiring.
Kinetix VP-Series Servo Motors provide smooth, integrated motion control over EtherNet/IP networks and are optimized to run with the Kinetix 5500 and 5700 servo drives. Kinetix VPC continuous duty servo motors provide continuous power and torque. Kinetix VPL low inertia servo motors deliver high dynamic performance.
The multi axis machine is now smart as seamless data transfer is possible via Ethernet communication. If the size of the carton changes, then offset is possible from HMI and Manual mechanical adjustment is not required.
Based on the type of product, the end user can now select a recipe from the human machine interface and system will make an automatic offset adjustment. Absolute position of the servos can be retained in case of power failure. End users enjoy higher accuracy and lower maintenance with a reduced mechanical system, and scalability is achievable with axis addition or deletion. It’s now easier to integrate the machine with upstream systems.
With this scalable machine, the reach of Pacmac now increased to the type and no. of end users. As per the feedback from customer their install base is now increasing across their existing end user. Also they were able to reach out some new End users and have successful won orders with them.
Along with their existing machine Pacmac sold almost 10-12 Nos. of these new machines, which has increase their revenues by almost 10-15%. They are quite confident that their sales will still go up with the help of these machines.
Remote operation and monitoring of the machine is now possible as the multi-discipline architecture can be accessed remotely for troubleshooting or modification, rather than through a physical site visit.
EtherNet/IP connectivity enables The Connected Enterprise®, converging plant-level and enterprise networks, and securely connecting people, processes, and technologies. Connected smart devices open new windows of visibility into processes; data and analytics from these machines enable better and faster decision making and seamless connectivity spurs new collaboration.
Machine maintenance cost and time is now reduced, improving Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). This is accomplished by:
- Reducing the number of mechanical parts on a machine, so fewer parts receive extreme wear and tear and must be replaced.
- Automating the offsetting of the servo to reduce errors, waste and downtime.
- Reducing product changeover time by simply selecting the product type from the MHI and adjustments in the machine are automatically completed.
With axis utilization now available via the HMI, operators can more accurately predict and detect failures, more quickly accomplish product changeovers, and handle more types of cartons.
Material deliveries are under way and we are hoping to complete the machine development by this month end. Once the machine is in operation with RA proposed system I shall share more graphical data along with improved machine efficiency and productivity data.