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Article | April 11, 2014
Variably-sized shippers on demand
Servo drives and motors play a key role in delivering the kind of precision and predictability necessary on a new breed of machine that forms variably-sized corrugated shippers from roll stock on demand.
Designed specifically with e-commerce customers in mind, the Cartonwrap from Italy’s CMC Machinery uses roll-fed corrugated to make shipping cases for packing any kind of product. The machine adapts the corrugated shipper to the size of the item needing to be packed. Items are fed into the packaging machine on a conveyor and the shipper is formed around them.
Needless to say, precision accuracy is needed on such a machine. Much of that accuracy comes from Emerson Industrial Automation, whose Control Techniques drives and Unimotor FM servo motors play a key role in the Cartonwrap’s operation. The Digitax ST drives use multi-network management via central PC and Ethernet for coordination of all production menus and motion equations on the individual process components. CMC Machinery uses SM-Applications Plus option modules in each drive to serve as automation controllers with integrated fieldbus communications and I/O. Use of these modules eliminates the need for an external PLC. This means reduced wiring, which increases communication speed. The modules are running custom software designed specifically for Cartonwrap machines with the assistance of Control Techniques software engineers.
Giordano Ceccarini, Technical Manager at CMC Machines, describes how the packaging machinery manufacturer opted for Control Techniques components.
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“We chose Control Techniques servo products because of their reliability and high precision accuracy. CMC has been using Control Techniques drives since the early 1990s, and engineers from the company have consistently been closely involved in the creation of the specific software needed for our complicated motion control systems.
“I’m really excited about our revolutionary new packaging machine, which is designed to address the needs of shippers such as e-commerce and fulfillment companies. They need to procure and stock multiple sizes of corrugated shippers. Our system eliminates the need to stock pre-formed boxes. By making the boxes the right size for individual products, Cartonwrap also leads to a drastic reduction of cushioning materials inside boxes, reduces material costs and environmental impact, and increases productivity and efficiency.”
Each Cartonwrap machine uses 22 Digitax ST servo drives and as many 075U2C / 095U2B Unimotor FM servo motors. Also on board are six Unidrive SP and 5 Commander SK drives, also from Control Techniques.
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