Yaskawa and Micromech, a moving partnership

For the latest in technology of speed control and positioning products, Yaskawa are probably the best in the world

Episode 4: Food Dispenser and Packager

A mechanical cam indexer was limiting production throughput and a quick changeover for different container dimensions and volumes was crucial. A new system had to be small, interface its motion control with a specified PLC and have machine safety and e-stop recovery.

The OEM makes a variety of equipment to serve the packaging industry and this application (rotary dial indexer) required 3 axes of servo to perform a filling operation of food into either 1 or 2.5kg containers which are then sealed with an ultrasonic welder. The main benefit of the solution is to gain 3 axes of motion control while keeping the original Micrologix PLC platform as a logic and HMI interface device. The MP2300Siec features Ethernet/IP protocol support which allows this connection. By using a servo to drive the dial plate the relationship between index/dwell can be infinitely variable, and therefore maximizes the throughput of the machine even when changing container sizes. Additional servo control via linear actuators on the container de-nester and product dispenser allows instant changeover with a minimum of mechanical parts. Programmable volume, speed and drawback on the dispense pump improves fill accuracy and machine throughput.

The performance achieved was a throughput of forty 1kg fills/min and twenty-five 2.5kg fills/min, the index speed is 0.5 sec with an accuracy of <= 7 arc/min. The differentiating features of this solution were the prewritten communication for the Allen Bradley Micrologix PLC, programmable fill settings and variable index/dwell ratio of servo driven dial plate.

The resulting benefits of this solution are a proven core code reducing commissioning, much reduced project risk, improved product size flexibility and fill accuracy. There was also greater throughput when switching to larger container size, increased dwell time, flexible number of stops and reversing is made possible.

Micromech is the UK distributor and systems integrator for Yaskawa motion products, for more information contact Stirling on 01376 333333 or stirling@micromech.co.uk

‘Affordable Automation’

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