In packaging technology, for tubular bag and blister packaging machines as well as for cartoning machines or any form, fill and seal machines, unplanned downtimes are not tolerable for plant operators. The smooth interaction of the individual components is obligatory for the precise execution of such automated processes. For the mechanical engineer is available here Yaskawa as a partner. The company offers all the know-how from motion controllers to robotics.
The high-performance IEC motion control and servo systems as well as a large number of robot solutions adapted to packaging systems make it possible to achieve comfortable machine realization today. In addition, automation experts work with the Packaging Group of OMAC (Organization for Machine Automation and Control) to develop standards, the definition of control architecture platforms, and the connectivity requirements of automation systems for the packaging industry (Pack Connect). They develop naming conventions and guidelines for communication between the different production machines within the packaging industry (Pack ML). The integration of machines from different manufacturers in the overall system will thus be continuously simplified and standardized. By choosing the right automation components, costs and costs can already be reduced today.
Complex applications with up to 64 axes
The heart of every packaging machine is the controller. To meet the sometimes very individual application requirements, the MP series was developed. These "all-in-one" machine controls combine all the functions required for the machine process, such as motion control, PLC functionality, inputs and outputs as well as sequential logic and process algorithms, on one platform. Controller integration reduces system costs, increases performance, reduces required cabinet space, and streamlines programming. The scaled hardware for single-axis motion applications is now rounded off by the new MP3000iec series, which is suitable for complex applications with up to 64 axes.
Easy to program control software
The software "Motion Works IEC2" and the Yaskawa Toolbox simplify the programming of the machine controls. In the software emphasis was placed on ease of use. It relies on the worldwide standard IEC 61131-3 for PLC programming. The Express version of Motion Works supports Ladder Diagram (LAD), Function Block Diagram (FBS), and Structured Text (ST) programming languages. In the Pro version, instruction list (STL) and sequential control (AS) are added. PLC open function blocks also make programming easier. Libraries also enable the import and thus the reuse of previously developed software components. For typical, recurring tasks, the Toolbox offers predefined software components, for example for the implementation of robot kinematics. This saves the machine builder additional hardware, reduces software development costs and shortens time-to-market.
Maximum speed with 230 cycles per minute
Even industrial robots that are particularly suitable for use in packaging technology, the automation specialist in a large selection in the program. For picking, for example, picking up individual products, there are two types to choose from: the MPK2, a solid 5 axle that impresses with its large stroke of 500 mm and load capacity of 2 or 4 kg, or the ultra-fast MPP3, an in Delta kinematics executed picking robot, which can work with a maximum speed of up to 230 cycles per minute.
For large product quantities, multiple picking robots often have to be arranged one behind the other for sorting tasks. In order to ensure a uniform utilization of the robots and a perfect coordination with camera systems and conveyor technology, the software "Motopick" was developed, which manages the harmonious interaction of all components.
Packing and palletizing in a hurry
Flexible robot solutions are also ready for the end of the packaging line: if the picking robots have formatted the products or already placed them in trays (outer packagings), they move on to the packing station. Here, another robot places the products in the trays, if not already done, and packs the finished trays into boxes. In addition to the high speed, the optimized, almost rectangular work area is important here. The four-axis robot MPK 50 with 50 kg payload is exactly adapted to these requirements.
Once the boxes have been filled, they pass through the capper and into the palletizing station, where robots specially developed for this task work: the MPL series handles high loads from 100 to 800 kg, is fast and has a working area, which ensures maximum palletising heights. This makes it possible to find tailor-made solutions for the various tasks in the field of packaging technology, which, in addition, guarantee a smooth interaction of the individual work steps.