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Servo design facilitates carton-filling mechanics

Article-Servo design facilitates carton-filling mechanics

Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc. (, a supplier of factory-automation solutions, and Elopak (, a manufacturer of carton-filling machines for the juice and dairy industries, have implemented electric servo control as a replacement for traditional, mechanical devices. The new design is expected to eliminate half of the mechanical devices in a typical filling machine, reducing assembly time while improving performance and reliability.

The P-S50S gabletop carton-filling machine incorporates Mitsubishi's Q Series automation platform and MR-J2 super servos. These components join seamlessly in a multiprocessor system integrating complex servo motion with machine logic control.

"Our goal was to reduce assembly time and material costs in manufacturing the machine by simplifying operations," says Kenneth Poublon, project engineer for Elopak. "We chose Mitsubishi Electric's Q Series automation platform because it integrates several types of automation processes on the same system."

"The Q Series automation controller shares complex operations across several processors with an extremely rapid response," says Leroy Bowman, motion-control specialist for Mitsubishi Electric Automation. "By seamlessly integrating sequence control, complex servo-motion profiles, continuous process control and operator touchscreens, much of the traditional mechanical components and their associated issues can be eliminated from the machine."

During development of the P-S50S prototype, designers from Elopak, Mitsubishi Electric Automation and its distributor, SunSource (, studied each mechanical aspect of the previous machine generation. Many mechanical requirements were reproduced using the Q Series motion processor, unique software and servos. The Q Series motion-control software allows the machine designer to use virtual mechanical devices such as gearboxes, clutches, line shafts, differential gears, cams and more, which exist only as graphical elements in the software. The end result is a coordinated, high-speed, complex servo-motion profile, says Mitsubishi.

Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc., 847/478-2100.

Elopak, Inc., 248/486-4600.

SunSource, 888/786-7723.

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