Is your packaging line efficiency plagued by start-up and changeover slow-downs? Does your package quality suffer because of inconsistencies caused by operators who are constantly tweaking machine settings? How helpful would it be to have clear verification that system settings are correct so you can ramp up to full production speed in record time?
At the recent Pack Expo 2018, Brenton Engineering, A Pro Mach Co., showed a low-cost yet effective solution to these problems.
The remedy is a SIKO digital position indicator with encoder, hardwired into the machine’s programmable logic controller (PLC). Users identify the changeover settings, plus or minus, and the digital counter visually tells operators when the machine is within acceptable range. The SIKO sensor is added to changeover points and track the settings when moved. When all indicators are within range for various changeover settings, the machine is ready to run at production speed with no tweaking.
Color-coding, as seen here on Brenton’s upgraded M2000 case packer makes it easy to see what changeover points (from a recipe) have been made correctly, letting operators know the system is ready to run the next product. For example, the photo at the top of this webpage shows the changeover point on the case magazine.
Not related to the SIKO counters but still helpful for efficient production, the M2000 illuminates lights inside the machine to show you the specific area when something needs attention.
According to Devan Hutchens, Brenton’s manager of project management who gave me the demo at the show, SIKO digital counters add some cost to the system but the value in changeover reliability and repeatability more than pay for it. They now come standard on all Brenton case packers.
They are especially helpful on the upgraded M2000 case packer because its versatility encourages frequent changeover. The system runs knock-down or wraparound cases, as well as trays. Speed is around 32 cases/trays per minute.
Another benefit of the all-servo system is that controls are mounted at the top of the machine so it fits in a standard shipping truck. Being all-electrical-ready also means the system can be installed and running in your plant in about an hour. You simply unpack the machine, set and level it, plug it in and go. EZ-PZ.