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Bagger's better control is set into motion

Kliklok-Woodman improves the reliability and speed of its Cyclone vertical form/fill/seal machine with new motion control.
FILED IN:  Controls  > Strategy

Because of proprietary controls change was in the air for Kliklok-Woodman’s Cyclone™ continuous-motion vertical form/fill/seal bagger. An upgrade to a new Yaskawa MP-920 motion controller permits faster speeds with smoother operations. According to Kliklok-Woodman’s electrical engineering manager Tommy Pool end users will benefit from the long-term availability and reliability of components.

One direct benefit is better registration control which means less film use waste and more uniformity in the output product Pool says.

That will be done at 10% to 15% higher speeds according to Kliklok-Woodman’s vice president of marketing Ross Long. That brings the theoretical capability to around 200 bags/min.

“The improvements result in smoother operation with less vibration and increased sealing time at higher speeds than would be possible with any other control system” says Long. “Downtime is reduced and net productivity is increased.”

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The increased performance results directly from the Yaskawa controls. “Yaskawa’s forté is motion control” offers Pool. “The motion controller now has integrated control for discrete input-output and other functions. We converted the entire controls system over as we were running into some obsolescence with a few of the bagger’s embedded systems. The changes are a move toward standard components that will have a longer life.” The controls and a new human-machine interface replace parts Kliklok-Woodman had designed and built.

Yaskawa drives and motors have been used for years on the Cyclone and have a perfect track record. “We have more than 1 axes of Yaskawa motion products in use without a single failure” Long points out.

Also improved are diagnostics data acquisition and troubleshooting. Kliklok-Woodman reduced the wiring and made connections simpler and more reliable by using plug connectors rather than terminals.

Just 10% of the parts has been removed compared to the previous Cyclone machine. Even so that’s notable because those were specialty parts.

The touchscreen HMI from Xycom Automation is an improvement versus the self-built HMI used before. “The HMI is brighter has a higher resolution and is much easier to read” says Pool. “It’s also more stable and any software upgrades should be much easier. In fact just drop in a memory card and you’ve totally updated the control system for the machine.”


The company debuted the new machine at the Pack Expo Las Vegas trade show and is also extending the Yaskawa technology to its new Polaris II bagmaker.

“We anticipate a much higher reliability than before” says Pool. “We know Yaskawa’s quality control is exceptional and we expect that to continue.”

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