July/ August 2020

FOOD & BEVERAGE FOCUS 50 HYDRAULICS & PNEUMATICS July/August 2020 www.hpmag.co.uk 8m as standard. This offers customers greater flexibility as they can specify the stroke length to suit the production line, rather than having to design around a standard stroke length. This was an advantage for David Wood Foods as they could easily have variable stroke lengths to suit the different processes the DLS4s are used for. Hepco’s DLS modules can also be supplied as joined sets to fulfil longer stroke requirements. After the loaves have baked in the oven, they are transported to the cooler where they spend 2 hours rotating on a cooling rack. Cooling is a key part of the bread manufacturing process to prevent the bottom crust becoming moist and soggy. David Wood Foods has approximately 9kg of loaves in the cooler at one time. Working in parallel with a thanks to its V guide system that functions on the basis of tight geometrical control over matching slide and bearing V’s. In turn this provides a wiping action that expels debris, keeping machines running and reliable. This self-cleaning action eliminates contamination of the slide – a key benefit for David Wood Foods working with extensive breadcrumbs. As small, but central parts of an enormous production system, low maintenance is a core requirement of these actuators. If one part of the system goes down, the entire production line is affected. With a high throughput of 420k loaves a week, any unplanned maintenance is going to have a big impact. A big advantage of Hepco’s V guide systems is claimed to be that they have long re-lubrication intervals. Saving valuable downtime and cost, Hepco’s cap seals need re-lubricating every 1000km, compared with every 100-150km with ball rails. www.hepcomotion.com single motor and attached to a pusher arm, one set of DLS4s push 22 loaves onto the rack, while the other set of actuators push the loaves from the rack onto the conveyor to get transported to slicing and packaging. Breadcrumbs are a recipe for disaster As with all food industry applications, the resulting breadcrumbs and dust at David Wood Foods creates a hostile, challenging environment. If particles of dirt and debris find their way beyond the seals of any linear motion component, or if they become damaged, the system will become jammed and motion will be impeded. This can result in catastrophic failure – meaning excessive downtime, and a complete system change. DLS4, however, is ideally suited to this harsh environment Food & beverage manufacturers are constantly under pressure to package a wider variety of products in more types of packaging without compromising productivity. Now they can answer these trends while increasing throughput using the new iTRAK 5730 small-frame intelligent track system from Rockwell Automation. The system uses independent cart technology to support smart, flexible and efficient machines. Independent cart technology offers many benefits over traditional gear, chain and belt conveyors, including unlimited machine flexibility, better traceability and increased uptime. By using magnetic propulsion, the individually controlled carts can quickly start and stop with high precision, which reduces machine wear and is highly energy efficient. The technology also quickly manages changeovers using pre-configured move profiles that can be implemented with the push of a button from an HMI. The iTRAK 5730 system has the smallest footprint within the Rockwell Automation independent cart portfolio. It has a 50 mm minimum pitch that makes it ideal for primary packaging applications, such as flow wrapping, end load cartoning, and form-fill-and-seal pouching. The system also easily integrates into a manufacturer’s architecture, providing analytics that help optimise energy use, monitor parts wear and reduce downtime. “The iTRAK 5730 system extends the flexibility and productivity benefits of iTRAK to meet the growing demand for customised food and beverage products,” says Michaela Kaufmann, iTRAK product manager at Rockwell Automation. “The technology is truly scalable. Your system can have as little as a 50 mm pitch in a small, standalone machine, or be as large as 100 meters and part of a large, complex line.” In addition to delivering a smarter form of motion control, the iTRAK 5730 also offers integrated safety. Features such as safe torque off, Safe Stop 1, a SIL 3, PLe safety rating and the ability to create safety zones help increase confidence in machine safety. Safety zones, for example, can increase safety without compromising productivity by allowing motion to continue outside of the safety zone, even after a trip inside the safety zone. Furthermore, simulation capabilities allow users to calculate throughput on the iTRAK 5730 system. Users can also create a digital twin that can be used to virtually design, commission and demonstrate the system, and to virtually train workers. Standardised object-oriented libraries also can help create a consistent user experience and accelerate time to market. www.rockwellautomation.de Expanded linear motion control system with improved flexibility for food & beverage packaging David Wood Foods uses HepcoMotion’s DLS4 belt driven actuator system which comprises belt- driven linear modules, an AC motor/inverter package and a range of compact planetary gearboxes for use with servomotors.