Until now self-adhesive bottle labeling machines came with either mechanically driven or step motor driven bottle plates.
The mechanical machines allow rotation of the bottle during the labeling process. This is useful for long labels and when it is desired for the label to cover the full circumference of the bottle. However mechanical machines can only handle one shape and size of bottle without a cam change.
While step motor drives can be programmed to automate format changes they cannot move the bottle during label application.
Multinational beauty care manufacturer and marketer Albert Culver was the first to receive a new class of self-adhesive bottle labelers from SIG Alfa.
High speed flexibility
SIG Alfa’s new design combines the advantages of both approaches through the use of synchronized servo drives. Using the software camming capability of ELAU’s PacDrive™ automation system SIG Alfa’s new design can both rotate bottles while operating at high speed and adjust to different bottle shapes.
Two camming modes can be selected from the operator panel and saved in the recipes of each container format. For simple applications the container is not rotated during labeling.
For sophisticated applications with any combination of long labels special labels and container formats a software cam mode is activated for bottle rotation. Bottle station rotation can also be modified by the operator in a simple step-by-step auto-teach procedure.
Cam programming choices
Software cams can be generated in two ways. The user can take advantage of a simple dedicated software tool to automatically generate the cam. Or the user can generate a custom cam profile on a CAD system just as he or she would do for a mechanical cam. SIG Alfa also offers a cam design service as an alternative.
Thanks to the centralized automation system’s power and open interfaces cam changes can be made dynamically without stopping the machine to download cam tables.
Modular therefore more flexible
The machine being installed at Alberto Culver has 16 servo axes and four labeling groups. The modular design can also be equipped with additional platforms incorporating up to up to eight groups and 38 servos.
The largest planned model will have 52 servo axes all of which can be accommodated by a single ELAU automation system because it is a scalable platform.
The result is a machinery family that simplifies rapid label and package format changes an increasingly important capability.
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