Two UK plastic bag machine support specialists have cooperated to launch a machine offering new levels of programmability and bag production flexibility. Based on ABB’s Ethernet Powerlink compatible motion control range, the machine features an all servomotor architecture and a user interface developed from the operator’s point of view.
Modern plastic bag making machines often have two servomotor based axes—web feed and cut/seal—plus a mechanically linked third axis for ‘picking off’ the finished bags. The new machine—a joint development from UK machine builders Hartech Engineering and GPL Machinery —also implements servo control on this third axis to provide programmable ‘electronic cam’ control of pick-off action. It allows users to finely adjust pick-off so that the machine can avoid the sealing problems that commonly arise as conventional machines are set up to handle different types of blown or cast film materials, to minimize scrap and downtime.
The machine, dubbed the BBM1100, is built on the mechanical framework of a common bag-making machine from Woodbank, which ceased production a decade ago. There are many of these old machines in the UK, which GPL and Hartech have been servicing and refurbishing for more than a decade. During this time, the two companies have developed add-ons and upgrades based on ABB motion control technology, including replacement servomotor axes and a new user interface.
The machine’s three axes are powered by drives from ABB’s three-phase MotiFlex family, linked to the BSM brushless servomotors. Control is provided by the NextMove e100 machine controller with a touch-screen color operator panel.
The Ethernet Powerlink interfaces of ABB’s drives and machine controller, with their single network cable interface, provide a major benefit: They substantially reduce cabling to speed system build and lower hardware costs, and simplify subsequent machine commissioning as well.
Filed Under: TECHNOLOGIES + PRODUCTS, Design World articles, Packaging, Ethernet — cables • hubs • switches, Motion control • motor controls