Mitsubishi Electric motion innovates end of line packaging
In the ten years since its formation, Spanish packaging machine manufacturer PKS has built its reputation by constant innovation. A Mitsubishi Electric integrated motion control solution is central to accommodate changing production line requirements and develop new products and styles of packaging.
PKS offers turnkey systems including packing and pack/box conveyors, underside distributors with and without pressure, balers, tray fillers, wrap around box fillers, mosaic formers, palletisers, pallet conveyor shuttles and pallet conveyors and elevators.
Antonio Corpas, General Manager of Packaging Del Sur S.L. comments, “One of the keys our success is the integration of advanced drive control systems from Mitsubishi Electric, which enable our machines to provide reliability, flexibility and speed.”
“Using Mitsubishi Electric’s motion platform, several control technologies are seamlessly integrated onto a single controller platform with synchronised scanning cycles. The MELSEC iQ Platform, combines a PLC CPU with a robot CPU and a motion CPU, along with an MES IT module to provide direct connection to higher level business systems such as SAP.”
PKS places special emphasis on extending the useful life of the machines and the basic construction of all machines is in stainless steel. Chains with rollers in the links for robust anchorage of power elements (folding fingers in box fillers, box, tray, pack conveyors, palletizer shutter rollers, etc.).
A Mitsubishi Electric servomotor drives each axis, with grease-free stainless steel planetary gearboxes and pressure couplings. Mechanical components are simplified and the use of pneumatics is confined to secondary or safety functions.
Simple maintenance, with all the components being standard and easy to source market. Programming of the drives is carried out from the central Mitsubishi Electric Q-Motion controller, enabling the operator to replace one damaged servo drive with a new one, just by setting a switch in the front panel display.
From an innovation point of view, flexibility is of the greatest importance, impacting on the design of every aspect of the machine, both in hardware and especially in software. As an example, the PKS IBER60C wrap around box filler has 16 absolute Mitsubishi Electric servomotors with angular planetary gearboxes, which control the process from the separation of entry lines and gathering of products into groups to the filling of the box, folding or the optional fitting of a cover.
Using the integrated 10.4” touch screen HMI, the operator can control the different machine formats. Adjustment in operation is also possible, for example by de-phasing the corresponding axis and memorising the change, without needing to stop or to empty the machine.
In the development of the machine, PKS addressed the requirements of a wide range of packaging formats, ranging from 3×2 groups of 1 litre cartons to ½ pallet trays (800x600mm) with 185mm flaps. PKS can even look at updating existing machines at a customer’s plant, for example by converting a “tray filler” (tray only) into a “wrap around” so as to be able to pack with it a low tray, high tray, open box, open box with “cover” and “wrap around” box. A heat shrink film and tunnel module can also be included in order to configure a “COMBI” version.
Speed and productivity
The PKS ALCO PAL F Palletiser System consists of a mosaics grouper with eight Mitsubishi Electric servomotors and a handling capacity of 90 packs per minute. The grouper has the capacity to move and to rotate each pack as a function of the layer mosaic, while it accompanies the product with an electronic synchronous coupling system. This is followed by the palletizer which has seven Mitsubishi Electric servomotors and can handle up to eight layers per minute.
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