Vertical Form Fill Seal Packaging Machine
Add-on adjustment axes in vertical form fill packaging machines
With the softMC installed on the machine, the existing solution can drive three or four more axes, adding delta robot capability without the need
for a robot controller, and for a fraction of the price.
A customer recently approached STXI Motion with a request to help reduce system costs, inventory, and manufacturing complexity for two packaging machines. One machine was based on a Beckhoff PLC and the other on an Allen-Bradley PLC. The company wanted one motion solution for both machines, but Beckhoff uses Ethercat and Allen-Bradley uses EtherNet/IP. Enter the softMC, which provides a communication gateway between motors and PLCs, supporting independent motion of more than 50 axes. Now the PLC type represents the only difference between the two machines, and the customer can stock one set of drives and motor technologies for all machines.
In the same scenario, the customer sought to add a robot to an existing packaging solution to pick-and-place bags from machine to conveyor. Specifically, the customer looked at buying a delta robot from a known manufacturer, which would have required the purchase of a robot controller from the company. With the softMC installed on the machine, the existing solution can drive three or four more axes, adding delta robot capability without the need for a robot controller, and for a fraction of the price, by using a nonproprietary robot such as one from Codian Robotics. Doing so saves money and enables the customer to deploy whatever type of robot it chooses – either with or without a robot controller – since the softMC allows companies
to build their own solution or to use a third party option that is agnostic to motion control.