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MDA Technologies 5/2014

MDA Technologies 5/2014

Drive

Drive Technologies Drive Technologies Engineering, Design and Application of Drives and Controls Servo gearheads assure precision and performance in packaging line Peter Hempsch Packaging machine manufacturer sema Systemtechnik has integrated more than a dozen worm, bevel and planetary gearheads built by Wittenstein alpha GmbH in a packaging line, comprised of a tray former and carton sleever, for its British end customer Yeo Valley. sema has trusted in the reliability and lifelong precision of these gearheads for many years, and cites them as compelling arguments to utilize the same Igersheimmade technology in other packaging machines. Author: Peter Hempsch, MBA, Manager Technical Sales Office North, Wittenstein alpha GmbH, Bad Pyrmont, Germany Wolfgang Beckmann, Manager Packaging Solution Design at sema, is particularly admiring of the V-Drive + series of servo worm gearheads with food grade lubrication: “Throughout my fifteen years in the engineering profession, this gearhead type has consistently proved to be absolutely dependable. The special gearing technology also convinces me with its high efficiency, superior performance data compared to similar gearheads from other manufacturers, high overload protection and very low operating noise.” The reliable, high-precision gearheads manufactured by Wittenstein alpha are sema‘s solution of choice for other servo applications too – beyond the carton sleever for Yeo Valley. “It‘s a big advantage, both for us as the machine builder and for our end customers, if the complete gearhead technology can sourced from a single supplier – not simply for one machine but for our entire range of 18 MDA Technologies 5/2014

DRIVE TECHNOLOGIES 01 About a dozen servo worm gearheads in the V-Drive + series are installed in the carton sleever‘s various freely programmable robot units packaging machinery”, says Beckmann when prompted to name the benefits for application consulting, purchasing and customer service. Specialist for packaging solutions Sema Systemtechnik – at home in Hüllhorst, twenty miles north of Bielefeld in North-Rhine Westphalia (Germany) – is a leading manufacturer of special-purpose machines for straightening, inspection and automation systems. “sema first entered the market for packaging solutions about four years ago”, Beckmann reports. “We develop and distribute systems for packaging, transporting, palletizing, erecting and re-packing primary packaged products in cups, jars, cans or dishes. Our tray formers, top loaders, case packers, re-packers and carton sleevers are in great demand in the dairy and food processing industries.” As far as the technology is concerned, the strategy pursued by sema contrasts with that of many other packaging suppliers. Its machines are designed strictly according to ‘clean’ principles, with a whole series of features to facilitate optimal foam and pressure jet cleaning with no residues. “Wittenstein alpha made appropriate modifications to the gearheads – for example the seals – to ensure that they fit in perfectly with our clean design concept”, Beckmann continues. sema explored several new avenues when the basic idea for the new machine design was conceived, but at the same time insisted on a few key criteria, such as the use of Wittenstein alpha gearheads. “The decision was made even easier by the fact that the company enjoys an excellent reputation with our end customers. Yeo Valley is no exception here: as market leader, they produce more than two thousand tons of yoghurt and other dairy products a week,” Beckmann comments. sema‘s packaging solutions accordingly have to combine power and reliability: the carton sleever for Yeo Valley is rated for a throughput of 34,000 cups per hour, twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week. Beckmann: “The machines and all their components have to deliver uncompromising performance, precision and availability.” Carton sleever with a cycle time of 3.4 seconds The carton sleever designed for Yeo Valley‘s dairy portfolio is loaded in three different ways: the cups are fed to it on a conveyor belt while the blank sleeves stored in lateral magazines are automatically removed and preformed and the trays are supplied by the upstream sema tray former already folded. A special separating system makes sure the trays are accurately positioned and spaced before the sleeved products are placed in them. At the same time, screw conveyors on the opposite side of the machine separate and position the cups precisely in four lines. Dual-axis robot modules each remove four double cups and insert them into the blank sleeves, which are cycled into the machine in four lanes. The sleeves are then glued to the flaps with hot melt adhesive in the downstream sealer – a process that calls for similarly precise handling. Finally, sixteen containers per cycle, each with 2 x 2 stacked cups, are placed in four pre-positioned trays by another robot module and conveyed to the next step. Beckmann is visibly proud of the machine‘s performance: “The carton sleever delivers up to 17,000 single-layer multi-packs an hour in this way with a cycle time of 3.4 seconds.” Lifelong positioning precision All in all, about a dozen servo worm gearheads in the V-Drive + series are installed in the carton sleever‘s various freely programmable robot units. When dynamic positioning is called for, the high precision they allow – both at the machine‘s main drive and while feeding the sleeves, MDA Technologies 5/2014 19

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