In the world of machine customization, meeting unique application requirements is just part of the equation. Designing machinery that integrates seamlessly with other equipment throughout a plant is equally critical. Precision PMD, an Ohio-based supplier of primary packaging equipment for the food and beverage industry, has built its business by delivering value on both sides of the equation. Precision PMD supplies denesters, conveyors, fi llers, sealing systems and lid applicators to customers ranging from global Fortune 500 companies
to regional contract packagers and niche suppliers. Backed by more than 30 years of industry expertise, the company provides solutions as complete systems or flexible components and modules. “Every system or machine we deliver is customized,” said Joe Lukes, co-owner, Precision PMD. “We built our company with a vision to supply solutions that meet customer needs precisely – and cost-effectively.
One of the company's leading products, the Precision PMD D-Nester, illustrates this business model. In the primary packaging room, denesters separate containers that are nested together in magazines at the front of the system. The separated containers are placed on a conveyor, and then move down the line to be filled by a wide range of food products. Container size and type are variable and application dependent.
“From a denesting standpoint, our equipment can literally run everything from a yogurt or cottage cheese cup to foil pans and poultry trays,” said Dan Auvil, co-owner, Precision PMD. “Of course, the containers must be relatively rigid and meet our “stackability” requirements.
Unlike denesters that use vacuum tools to denest containers from the magazine, the Precision PMD equipment uses a servo-driven screw assembly to separate containers from the bottom.
“Since our D-Nester doesn't rely on vacuum tools, it is more energy efficient,” said Lukes. “In addition, packagers simply don't have to contend with performance issues like suction cup rigidity and variable in-plant air that make vacuum systems less reliable over time.” Precision PMD has built D-Nester machines that span single or multiple lane applications in either intermittent or continuous motion environments. The equipment can be delivered as part of an end-to-end system or integrated with an existing filling line. To enable even more flexibility, Precision PMD offers D-Nesters as mobile units.
A mobile unit can be integrated on an existing line – then moved from line to line as needed. “Flexibility is a key characteristic of all our equipment,” Auvil said. “And we extend this adaptability from our individual machines to our end-to-end systems.” The company recently demonstrated a Complete Packaging System for an application that incorporates denesting, filling, sealing and capping. The system can run a wide range of products, and with a few change parts, can easily adjust from a cup line to a tub line to a tray line. Precision PMD builds its equipment on a Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture™ platform that typically includes Allen-Bradley® CompactLogix™ programmable automation controllers, Allen-Bradley Kinetix® 350 single-axis EtherNet/IP™ servo drives, and Allen-Bradley MP-Series™ low inertia servo motors.
Systems are generally integrated on an EtherNet/IP network. Auvil credits Rockwell Automation solutions with helping the company deliver customized machinery quickly and affordably. “We base our designs on 3D modeling,” Lukes explained. “And Rockwell Automation provides CAD drawings, 3D models and other engineering tools – plus great support. As a result, we can optimize our process and deliver a high quality, custom solution with minimal lead-time.” The Rockwell Automation solutions also streamline integration at the packaging facility. “Rockwell Automation is the industry standard and it's our standard,” Lukes said. “We were looking for an automation supplier who could provide durability, stability and reliability. We found it with Rockwell Automation.