Omron direct power control enables perfect FFS sealing
To extend the shelf life and to protect products is the main essence of packaging. We all want products to arrive at the consumer in a perfect state. There is a need for speed in sealing packages. The sealing needs to be fast, even with very thin sealing materials. But it also needs to be good in all stages of machine transition. Direct Power Control from Omron addresses these problems
High speed packing lines for large quantities of foodstuffs and other goods at high speed use Form, Fill and Seal (FFS) machines. There are different factors that limit the speed of this type of primary packaging machine. They include: product feed, packaging material feed and seal-time. The flexible packaging material (foil) used in FFS machines is formed and sealed around the product while in motion.
Along with variation and quality, producing more packs per time are the three fundamentals of an FFS packaging machine. With more consumers and the target to reduce cost, the need for higher throughput is clear. Faster machines however must maintain quality sealing from the first pack to the last. For this consistent and responsive temperature control is crucial.
Standard PID control can bring the seal-jaw to the right temperature before sealing, if the machine is in production. Direct Power Control function block in the NX PLC uses machine start signal to “prepare” the seal-jaw temperature for the soon-coming drop and pre-compensates for that in-sync with the motion of the machine.
Direct Power Control (DPC)
Omron’s Sysmac solution is to integrate temperature control and seal-jaw timing and pressure. Sysmac machine controllers integrate logic and motion as well with some clever analogue and application specific function blocks. The DPC function block integrates the temperature control with the flow of the machine motion. Its temperature control algorithms also allows for higher machine throughput and accommodate high-tech packaging materials
They are scalable solutions for use on machines of any complexity – from classic On-panel temperature controllers to PLC integrated control. They increase production by shortening the temperature hunting phase. Furthermore they minimise scrap and recalls by precisely controlling seal-jaw temperature.
DPC addresses other common problems
A common challenge in horizontal/vertical flow wrappers machines is temperature sensors being located too far from the sealing surface of the heating bar. This causes a difference between the temperature of the sealing surface and the temperature that was being controlled. Markedly, the dedicated sensor and filter algorithm help manage this.
In tray sealers and thermo-form, fill and seal machines processes temperature uniformity is also critical during forming and sealing. This is because temperature difference between the wider heating plate centre and edge can differ. Using the temperature uniformity filter function block eliminates the damaging effect of hot spots.
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