Chris Bladek, marketing specialist, Edson Packaging Machinery, discusses the latest case packaging design innovations in the Raptor SL case packer. A TWM report.
The tissue packaging industry is continually evolving and demanding reliable, easy to use case packing equipment to maximize overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). In response to customer requirements for end-of-line packaging equipment, Edson Packaging has made several technical and design innovations to the newest case packer, the Raptor SL that is suitable for small and medium-sized companies using packaging tissue products. Features normally found in top-of-the-line case packers are integrated with the Raptor SL. Four main areas of interest include; case stability, minimal adjustments, simple controls and remote solutions.
Reduce downtime through maximum case control
The Raptor SL horizontal side-load case packer uses a unique to industry servo driven pick and place tool that controls the case throughout the entire process until it is ready for discharge. Minimal movements are made throughout the process to significantly reduce jams and heighten reliability of the machine. The adjustable pick and place tool uses suction cups to gently lift and move knock down corrugate from a full stack to the case forming station. Upon arrival at the forming station, the bottom of the case is gripped by suction cups and the case is formed by the pick and place tool. Since all forming forces are applied to the top and bottom panels, each case is erected tear-free and perfectly square, regardless of corrugate quality. After the case flaps are tucked, the case control is transferred from the pick and place tool to top flap stabilizer cups. These cups maintain case control throughout case loading and minor flap tucking to ensure a high degree of case control.
Simple changeovers can be accomplished in 15 minutes
In the design of the Raptor SL, Edson focused on providing customers quick, simple tool less changeovers between SKU’s by using principles from its flagship 3,600 case packer. The machine’s open design provides operators with easy reach, ergonomic access to all adjustment points. The number of adjustment points located on the machine was minimised to allow the customer to carry a low inventory of change parts. Several format adjustments have been combined to reduce the number of changeover points. For case depth dimensional changes, the case dispenser, tuckers and discharge compression belts all move together driven by one screw adjust axis. Changes to case height are accomplished automatically through the PLC by selecting the appropriate recipe for the SKU using the HMI. Finally, the knockdown- flat corrugate case magazine wall must be adjusted to accommodate the length of the case using one screw adjust axis.
Save hundreds of technician hours with PC-based controls
Edson partnered with automated controls company Beckhoff Automation for the Raptor SL’s control architecture – an architecture that is significantly less expensive than a comparable PLC architecture, but with better performance. The PC based system offers fully integrated safety motion control and digital I/O for the utmost in diagnostic capabilities and fast response.
Training videos, operator manuals and spreadsheets can all be accessed from Beckhoff’s CP29xx HMI touchscreen. The EtherCAT-enabled Raptor SL uses a variety of EtherCAT distributed I/O modules, including integrated TwinSAFE terminals for safety functions. These are available in both cabinet-mounted IP20 format and machine-mountable EtherCAT Box in IP67 protection, dramatically reducing machine hardwiring costs. The system eliminates the need to send an electrical specialist on-site to customer facilities to reconnect the main panel to the machine, reducing 100 or more work hours for every machine installation. Wiring labour has been reduced by at least 25% as safety devices are plugged directly into Beckhoff’s EtherCAT Terminal eliminating junction boxes.
Remote monitoring and service through cloud connectivity
The Raptor SL is equipped with ProTech, Pro Mach’s new secure remote monitoring service for OEE reporting. Operators can access vital machine functions and information from a touchscreen interface, including recipes for various SKUs, alarm settings, production data, and maintenance. ProTech also offers remote tech support and service – a capability that can help fix issues or modify settings in a matter of minutes or hours, not days as may be case when an OEM technician must be dispatched to the plant. Customised dashboards can be created to display real-time production data which can be accessed from PC’s, mobile phones, and tablets any time, from anywhere in the world. This is accomplished with the Ethernet enabled ProTech communication device.
ProTech hardware can be retroactively embedded in any machine, allowing small and medium sized packaging operations to have line-wide OEE data, without diverting internal resources to create this analysis and reporting system.