PC-based controls help packaging machines

Application Update: Bag-in-box food packaging machines from Pattyn Packing Lines embrace modular concepts, adaptability, ease of maintenance, reliability, high ease of operation, and universal high-performance control systems.

04/18/2013


Packaging machines, as with mechanical engineering in general, are subject to increasingly higher customer requirements for higher speed, more flexibility, and competitive costs. Machine manufacturers must keep step with respective market developments to survive. Belgian packaging machine manufacturer Pattyn Packing Lines relies on a high degree of automation for its advanced food packaging machines. The company balances performance and cost on the basis of state-of-the-art PC-based control technology.

In this Pattyn Packing Lines application, mechanical grippers pull the film bag off the roll, open it, and place it precisely inside the carton. Courtesy: Beckhoff Automation

Packaging must fulfill various requirements, so that consumers receive packaged products fresh and in perfect condition. The Belgian packaging machine specialist Pattyn Packing Lines, which is based in Bruges, designs and produces fully automatic bag-in-box packaging machines for the packaging of bulk goods: food products ranging from fish, deep-frozen bread, or vegetables and semi-liquid products, such as oils, greases or liquid sugar, to powders and granulates, all of which can be packed hygienically and freshly using a bag-in-box package.

Packing machine trends: compact, efficient, multi-functional

Requirements for packaging machines follow general mechanical engineering trends for modular concepts, adaptability, ease of maintenance, reliability, high ease of operation, and universal high-performance control systems.

“Over and above that, a packaging machine must integrate itself seamlessly into the production process so that no goods tailbacks occur, which would lead to bottlenecks,” explained Joeri Haegebaert, software manager and quality inspector at Pattyn Packing Lines. “In addition, our customers can choose between standard machines or solutions tailored precisely to their needs,” Haegebaert said.

Beckhoff EtherCAT Box modules with IP67 protection are designed for use on the Pattyn Packing Lines machine. Courtesy: Beckhoff Automation

With the new Ceflex-21, Pattyn combines the proven technologies of carton forming by vacuum suction and bag insertion into one compact machine, combining two processes. First the carton is isolated, fixed by vacuum suction, and opened, and the base flap is folded over and glued. Subsequently, film grippers pull the bag off the roll, open it, and place it precisely inside the carton. The perfectly controlled bag enables the reduction of bag dimensions, resulting in film savings of up to 30%. The Ceflex-21 has a production capacity of 12 cartons per minute.

“The Ceflex-21 clearly benefits from the modern drive and control solutions. The rigid compressed-air driven systems for carton forming and the opening and insertion of the bags are replaced today by flexible systems driven by stepper motors. The stepper motor exhibits a favorable torque behavior for such applications,” explained Haegebaert. The compact packaging module can be integrated easily into the fully automated Pattyn packaging line or the customer’s existing packaging line.

The integrated bag-in-box packaging machine is controlled by an embedded PC with directly connected I/O terminals for EtherCAT Ethernet protocol. Stepper motor terminals control the stepper motors.

Customer expects openness

“Pressure on machine manufacturers is continually growing. Increasingly complex functions must be implemented with ever increasing efficiency. In addition to that, it is important to find the correct price-to-performance ratio. That can only be achieved with a high degree of automation,” said Haegebaert. The PC-based control technology selected “gives us a number of advantages here: On the one hand, other vendors’ systems and devices can be integrated without any problems; on the other, the openness of the PC controller makes it easier for us to manufacture custom machines. Also, our customers value the possibility to log directly into a PC environment.”

Pattyn Packing Lines manufactures packaging machines based on the bag-in-box principle. Courtesy: Beckhoff Automation

After using the automation for several years, Pattyn decided to standardize on the technology, including touchscreens in the future, said Haegebaert.

Pattyn packaging machines

Pattyn Packing Lines, a family-owned business based in Bruges, Belgium, has more than 30 years of experience in packaging machines based on the bag-in-box principle. The company offers carton erecters, bag placers, fillers, and bag and carton closers. Food products are counted, weighed, filled, and packed in cartons or crates with a made-to-measure inner bag. The company constantly invests in the development of new technologies and machines to ensure a high degree of automation with all-around product protection.

- Information from Beckhoff Automation. Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager CFE Media, Control Engineering, and Plant Engineering, mhoske@cfemedia.com.

ONLINE

www.pattyn.com 

www.beckhoff.com 

Online extra: Products used on the Pattyn machines - linked below

The following information about products used in this application appears in this “Online extra,” beyond the print/digital edition. See link below.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
Strategic outsourcing delivers efficiency; Sleeve bearing clearance; Causes of water hammer; Improve air quality; Maintenance safety; GAMS preview
World-class maintenance: The three keys to success - Deploy people, process and technology; 2016 Lubrication Guide; Why hydraulic systems get hot
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me