Drives & Controls April 2024

28 n MACHINE BUILDING April 2024 Cabinet-free cartoner saves space and adds flexibility The processing and packing technology specialist Syntegon has developed an entry-level cartoner which, unlike most other machines of its type, does not need a separate control panel, allowing the wiring to be much simpler than in traditional packaging machines, as well as o ering a plug-and-play approach to food production lines. The Kliklok Basic End-Load Cartoner (BEC) loads products into a carton from several infeeds – automated systems that insert products into the pockets of the machine, which then loads them into cartons and seals them with glue. The main components of cartoning machines have traditionally been modular, but they usually have relied on large numbers of cables connected to external control cabinets, increasing the machines’ footprints and limiting their €exibility. The new distributed approach, with onboard controls, allows a machine to be integrated anywhere in a production line, without compromising on its footprint due to the need for bulky control cabinets. Instead of traditional mechanical drive technologies, the machine uses integrated servomotors. “Switching to servo technology allows us to ideally synchronise di erent drive components, securing repeatable product placement,” explains Syntegon’s electrical and software engineering manager, Pete Hyde. The servodrives are also onboard the machine rather than being mounted remotely in a control cabinet. Syntegron is using Beckho ’s AMP8000 distributed servodrive system, which combines its AM8000 servomotors with e‹cient drives, and power electronics that incorporates a cold switching technology to reduce energy losses. EtherCat communications and Beckho ’s TwinCat 3 automation software link all of the equipment on the machine The mounting space needed for the electronics has been minimised. The motor retains its original frame size, avoiding the need for a larger drivetrain. It is said to achieve almost the same performance as a comparable servomotor/servodrive combination without needing separate power electronics. Modular concept The distributed servodrives are part of Beckho ’s modular machinery concept. Syntegon beta-tested the technology. “It was obviously being developed and designed to our needs as we were testing it,” Hyde recalls. “We agreed that we would be a beta tester, so we knew there would be challenges along the way.” “Modularisation is something that we’ve been exploring with Syntegon on other machines in its portfolio, but co-developing the BEC carton loader has taken both companies’ o erings to the next level,” says Brad McEwan, Beckho UK’s business development manager. “The way that we codeveloped the electrical drawings and the software already o ered modularity. Now, because of the new way the machine is wired, it is fully modular and can adapt to any production line. “It also allows manufacturers to see which hardware works better where, by temporarily repositioning modules, rather than exhausting the capacity of the entire production line,” he adds. “Modules can be used to create a smaller version of the production line, allowing manufacturers to build a mental picture of what production could look like going en masse. “For instance, should a food manufacturer want to begin production of a brand-new product, it is bene—cial to run a test batch of this —rst. This also helps demonstrate how to scale up for larger production, whilst accurately determining a time-to-market estimation.” The BEC cartoner supports the OMAC PackML standard, making it easy to integrate into customers’ lines. It can communicate across their networks to transmit PackML details, e‹ciency reports and machine data. “Sensors have been added to detect vibration and temperature of mechanical parts, which are displayed on the HMI,” says Hyde. “For ease of maintenance, a full 3D model is displayed on the HMI showing all components within the machine. These will then show trends to the end-user, providing a real-time picture of how the BEC is running. “For example, for a bearing within the machine, we can show trends on what its temperature is and how much vibration it is generating,”he adds. “From that, we can detect if the bearing is at risk of failing, or whether the chain tension is too loose or too tight. “The development of this new machine allowed us to align the components with other machines in our portfolio, simplifying our stock o ering and supply chain processes,” Hyde reports. “For the end-user, the BEC provides easier maintenance by using fewer electronic components and connections, making the machine simpler and easier to integrate. Syntegon is planning to expand the technology to create a family. While the —rst machine is aimed at the lower end of the market, the company is planning to add more functions to create mid- and high-end models. This will o er a way for food manufacturers to achieve modularity, no matter the size of the application. n A novel packaging machine has been developed which has all of its controls onboard, instead of in an external cabinet, saving wiring and space. The machine is also using servodrives instead of traditional mechanical components. Syntegon’s end-load cartoner with onboard controls can be located anywhere in a production line