Automation drives efficiency, lowers cost

Ever since Fernando Serpa began making end-of-line packaging machinery in 1981 for Serpa Packaging Solutions (www.serpapackaging.com), the company’s philosophy has been to improve upon its existing products. So when Serpa reintroduced its signature P200 balcony case packer, it turned to Bosch Rexroth Corp.

05/01/2009


More packaging automation articles

Click here or scroll down to read more recently posted articles on this topic.

Ever since Fernando Serpa began making end-of-line packaging machinery in 1981 for Serpa Packaging Solutions ( www.serpapackaging.com ), the company’s philosophy has been to improve upon its existing products. So when Serpa reintroduced its signature P200 balcony case packer, it turned to Bosch Rexroth Corp. ( www.boschrexroth-us.com ) to provide the product expertise and applications support for an integrated electric drives and control and linear-motion solution.

To help reduce costs and improve machine efficiency, Serpa also collaborated with local automation distributor Applied International Motion ( www.aimotion.com ) to specify and implement the Bosch Rexroth motion- and servo-control system.

Machine runs cases and trays

According to Serpa, the P200 is the first case packer to be able to run cases and trays on the same machine. The machine collates the product to achieve the correct pattern, loads the product into the case or tray and seals and discharges it. The servo-controlled erector motion has two camshaft profile axes that drive a parallel-link arm. The arm picks up the case and erects it in the same area where the loading takes place. Because the loading and case erection occur in the same area, it reduces the overall footprint and maximizes the speed of the P200.

Using Rexroth servos helped simplify the overall design for easy access and a smaller footprint. For the P200, Serpa opted for Rexroth’s IndraDrive intelligent digital servo drives, IndraDyn servo motors, and a linear Ball Rail

Instead of a mechanical drive, Serpa used Rexroth’s servo system to create an electronic line shaft with cam-profile movement. The P200 uses multiaxis synchronization with the ability to change motion profiles on the fly. Of the seven axes, four are synchronized using electronic cam shafts and three are point-to-point axes.

To achieve proper forming of the case, the erector and walking beam motion are tightly synchronized through SERCOS III communication with the Rexroth IndraDrives. The drives use cross-communication linking, with only one drive needing a field bus interface. The other drives use SERCOS to communicate to the PLC from the master drive.

Servo drives offer many features

The powerful and cost-effective IndraDrive servo drives offer many advanced features, including distributed intelligence, to close all the loops in each drive. The drives also provide 230 to 480 volt ac auto-ranging input voltage, absolute feedbacks to eliminate homing and a built in personality module or SD memory card for laptop-free replacement in minutes. The drives can store up to eight electronic cam profiles of 1,024 points each.

The IndraDrive servo drive’s internal virtual- master axis and precise synchronization allow smooth motion, even while the machine is running at high speeds. This reduces the loads placed on the mechanical parts of the machine, which, in turn, provides a high level of reliability. All motion and programmable limit switch outputs are based on a virtual master axis.

Serpa also used Rexroth IndraDyn synchronous motors, which offer scalability and compact construction with increased torque density, absolute encoders and high-resolution resolvers.

Control saves time and money

Rich James, Serpa’s director of marketing, said Bosch Rexroth components helped them develop a precise machine that offers scalability, straightforward programming, easy startup and the versatility to operate using an internal controller or in combination with any external PLC .

“Other servos did not solve our automation needs as efficiently or as cost-effectively as Bosch Rexroth,” explains James. “Bosch Rexroth has supplied a solution for our machines that is not only easy to program and start up, but saves time and money.”

By opting for a Rexroth drive and control system over other controls suppliers, James said Serpa reduced its installation and startup times by 30 to 35 percent. Serpa also was able to use 25 percent fewer parts on the P200 compared to their previous model, because it now uses fewer drive components and cables.

“Besides reducing the part count, another advantage Rexroth provided was helping with rapid changeover,” says James. “We can do a rapid, no-tools changeover in five minutes or less. Overall, with Bosch Rexroth, our hardware costs per machine are almost 40 percent less than with other brands we’ve used at Serpa. “We’re very happy with the final machine and the benefits of the control and linear-motion system.”

Bosch Rexroth Corp., 800/739-7684,
www.boschrexroth-us.com .
Applied International Motion,
909/593-7304. www.aimotion.com .

For more recent automation in packaging, read:
-

Investment decisions are not automatic in tough market

; and
-

Balancing energy use, production capabilities

.

For more information, visit:
www.controleng.com/automationresearch .



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Leaders Under 40 program features outstanding young people who are making a difference in manufacturing. View the 2013 Leaders here.
The new control room: It's got all the bells and whistles - and alarms, too; Remote maintenance; Specifying VFDs
2014 forecast issue: To serve and to manufacture - Veterans will bring skill and discipline to the plant floor if we can find a way to get them there.
2013 Top Plant: Lincoln Electric Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.
Electric motor power measurement and analysis: Understand the basics to drive greater efficiency; Selecting the right control chart; Linear position sensors gain acceptance
Protecting standby generators for mission critical facilities; Selecting energy-efficient transformers; Integrating power monitoring systems; Mitigating harmonics in electrical systems

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

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.