When it comes to applying smart technologies for Industry 4.0 or industrial Internet of Things applications, the focus often revolves around analytic insights to improve management decision-making. And while this is true, it often overlooks the benefits these advanced technologies provide to core operations such as packaging.
To demonstrate the benefits of these technologies in packaging applications, A-B-C Packaging Machine Corp. (Booth N-5306) is showing how its next generation smart technology brings improved production, greater control, simplified maintenance, and total connectivity to the packaging line at PACK EXPO International. Key capabilities delivered by A-B-C’s smart technology include:
- Integration with plant automation systems;
- Remote I/O link access via VPN (virtual private network);
- Product selection and configuration at the HMI (human-machine interface);
- Real-time production data, plus historical data for trend analyses; and
- The ability to access data from equipment components and sensors.
What these smart capabilities provide
Delivering access to operating data—from drives to sensors—helps enable OEE measurement for line productivity analyses, provides for a continuous view of equipment operation and productivity, and makes it easy for plant operators to troubleshoot and proactively correct maintenance issues.
And with its remote I/O link access via VPN, A-B-C service technicians can see every machine function to provide immediate, real-time remote troubleshooting and service to ensure packaging lines remain up and running as needed.
A-B-C’s pallet builder software enables configuration at the HMI of new pallet and layer configurations. The software currently allows for palletization of four different patterns on one pallet, which benefits operations shipping to multiple locations, big box stores, or directly to retail outlets.
Among the machines outfitted with A-B-C’s smart technology at PACK EXPO International are:
The Model 72 low-level palletizer, which handles cases, trays, display packs and totes with features for smooth product transfer and load positioning. While this palletizer operates at floor level, it can accept cases from any level. This means users can incorporate low, medium, or high level case feeds—with one-touch control and rapid product changeover—into a low-level palletizing operation. Automation components on the Model 72 include an Allen-Bradley PLC, IEC motor starters, and variable frequency motor drives.
The Model 436 top case sealer can seal with tape and/or hot melt adhesive on the same machine. To switch from one sealing method to the other, users only need to replace the sealing module to start sealing cases. Changeover is simplified with the Model 436’s smart technology through its ability to sense and set the adhesive pattern on a new case size simply by running a case through the sealer. This eliminates the need to set the pattern at the hot melt unit and run test cases. This case sealer also features A-B-C’s No-Crush flexible compression rollers that compress case flaps securely to provide square, well-sealed cases.