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Testing a servo-based approach to filling equipment

January 29, 2014

2 Min Read
Testing a servo-based approach to filling equipment

A new design that is said to significantly reduce mechanical components and thus assembly time for filling equipment while boosting performance and reliability is being tested in a joint program.

With a new machine jointly developed and refined by Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc. (www.meau.com), its distributor, SunSource (www.sun-source.com), and Elopak, Inc. (www.elopak.com), an approach using a servo motion control system is in its advanced stages.

Built in Elopak's Spikkestad, Norway, facility and in limited production at a Swedish beta test site, the prototype P-S50S gabletop carton-filling machine incorporates Mitsubishi's Q Series automation platform and MR-J2 Super servos. These reportedly join seamlessly in a multiprocessor system integrating complex servo motion with machine logic control.

“Our goal,” says Elopak project engineer Kenneth Poublon, “was to reduce assembly time and material costs in manufacturing the machine by simplifying its operations. After carefully evaluating several servo and motion-control vendors, we chose Mitsubishi Electric's Q Series automation platform because it integrates several types of automation processes on the same system.”

Mitsubishi says that substituting servo components can simplify machine construction, unlock performance gains, add reliability, improve flexibility and extend maintenance intervals. Mitsubishi motion-control specialist Leroy Bowman notes, “By seamlessly integrating sequence control, complex servo-motion profiles, continuous process control, operator touchscreens for setup and easy adjustments for varying product viscosities, much of the traditional mechanical components and their associated issues can be eliminated from the machine.”

As a cited example, one processor can coordinate 32 servo axes, each performing complex motion profiles. Another handles high-speed standard I/O and heat-sealing temperature control, while a third can serve as an Intel-based Windows PC running third-party software for data collection and reporting to the customer's enterprise system, all in a modular rack-based system with a 4317-in. footprint.

Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc., 847/478-2100. www.meau.com

Elopak, Inc., 248/486-4600. www.elopak.com

SunSource, 888/786-7723. www.sun-source.com

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