One example of the need for adaptable printing presses is the lowly ketchup bottle. Ketchup packaging has evolved from bottles with simple labels to highly graphic sleeve
One company, the Paper Converting Machine Company or PCMC, was tasked with delivering a new printing press,
PCMC machines are standardized on one platform so end-users only need to train their staff on one platform. Standardization on a common control platform also allows engin
The PCMC engineers replaced the traditional plate gear drive system with dual Allen-Bradley® MP-series™ medium inertia servo motors, enabling precise motion control and fast product changeovers. The addition of servo motors to the press allowed for an infinitely variable repeat so operators can easily command multiple product changeovers throughout the day, each with the touch of a button. The
The machine also uses an Allen-Bradley ControlLogix® L73 programmable automation controller, or PAC. The ControlLogix L73 features an integrated platform for motion and machine control and a single programming environment, which among other benefits reduces the number of spare parts to maintain.
The new system allows operators to more easily operate and maintain the machine than with the previous gear drive system. Now the controls and drives platform is familiar to customers, as well as PCMC engineers and service technicians.
Unlike the previous gear drive system, the ELS-D inline printing press can print any print repeat size between minimum and maximum with a simple numeric input on the operator screen. The previous mechanical gear drive system required the customer to print a repeat by changing the machine gearing, which limited the amount and type of products able to be printed
“Gone are the
Equally important is the ability to pre-program different product changeovers. This significantly reduces waste when an operator is setting up each print job because the machine is already programmed for a certain web width and material length. “The operating system also allows the operator to recall a print job from earlier in the day or the day before, which saves time and reduces material waste,” Jarmuskiewicz said.
Packaging and Filling
The higher speed of the new machine also required a new carton staging and feed system, because the actuators used in the carton staging and feed timing are critical to ensure accurate and consistent package counts per carton.
Key components of the cartoning system include two actuators, one for the initial positioning of each carton and another to move cartons through the fill zone. Cloud engineers rece
The design team initially considered ball-screw actuators for the system, but eventually determined that bel
Once Cloud engineers decided to use belt-drive actuators, the next step was choosing an actuator for the system. The engineers initially considered actuators produced by several manufacturers. While there were similarities among all these actuators, Tolomatic units stood out because of their larger input shafts, oversized pulley bearings and consistent repeatability. Tolomatic’s MXB belt-driven actuators deliver consistent position repeatability of ±0.002 in. (±0.5 mm). A calibration process in which initial position error is determined and then eliminated through programming ensures precise positioning accuracy.
Fig 2: A cutaway view of the MXB belt-driven actuators shows the inner workings of the actuators.
The engineers thought the Tolomatic MXB-P guided belt-drive electric actuator was a good fit for the Performa SP based on a few key features including a rodless design that takes up less space than rod-style actuators, lightweight aluminum construction optimized for rigidity and strength, and a profiled rail bearing system to reduce friction and extend actuator life.
In Cloud’s cartoning system, one MXB-P actuator, with a 16-inch stroke length, positions each carton at the starting point of the fill zone. The other actuator, with a 25-inch stroke, feeds the carton at the precise speed required to ensure that it contains an accurate count of pouches as it exits the system.
Fig 3: The bottom view of the Performa SP packaging system from Cloud Packaging Equipment Co. show
On the Performa machine, the MXB-P actuators work with
Filed Under: Design World articles, Packaging, Motion control • motor controls, Motors • servo