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MDA Technologies 5/2014

MDA Technologies 5/2014

Kinematic functions

Kinematic functions support production of tobacco packaging in China The Chinese tobacco industry is changing rapidly. Small brands are being consolidated into larger brands and individual production volumes are increasing. This creates a need for new manufacturing processes that provide significantly higher levels of productivity. When it comes to automation, the Swiss company Pantec GS Systems relies on system solutions from B&R. The state-owned China National Tobacco Co. is the largest manufacturer of cigarettes and cigars in China. At the same time, it is responsible for marketing, production and sales of all tobacco products in the country. Recent decades have seen the start of a process of modernization and consolidation in the industry with the aim of halving the number of factories producing tobacco products within a few years. “This means that much more efficient production processes are needed,” explains Peter Frei, CEO of Pantec GS Systems. “In addition, the range of brands is being reduced to a select few, which substantially increases the production volume for those that remain.” New packaging machines There is a demand for machines that can cope with high production rates while at the same time applying trademark protections to the packaging. This includes finishing with hot foil embossing and the application of holograms, a requirement that has previously limited efficiency since it relied on sheet-fed printing. “Not only does this mean manually feeding sheets into the packaging machines – already highly inefficient – it also means large portions of the sheets go unused, resulting in more waste and, ultimately, increased costs,” says Frei. Tight schedule And so the Chinese tobacco goods producers approached Pantec GS Systems, which has long been recognized as a specialist in efficient and high-quality finishing processes for packaging. In just seven months, four new machines from the e-pack 850 Cheetah F series were to be sent to China. “This schedule was particularly tight and repre- 01 Machine module for the efficient application of holograms and hot foil embossing on packaging 26 MDA Technologies 5/2014

Drive Technologies 02 B&R industrial PCs from the Automation PC 510 series and ACOPOSmulti drives guarantee high processing speeds for hot foil embossing and hologram application 03 Manfred Kindle: “As a complete solution provider, B&R supplied us with a fully integrated automation system.” sented a significant challenge for the entire automation team,” explains Frei. The existing technology was adapted for the tobacco market using the newly-designed Cheetah foil embossing system. In addition, an offline “e-pack” system was developed to move and control the web. This permits reel-fed foil embossing and pack finishing with web speeds of up to 120 m/min. Structured development Automation for the system was supplied by the Liechtenstein-based affiliate, Pantec Automation. This allowed the team to prove the strengths of the Pantec Phoenix Project Accelerator toolset. Using targeted requirement engineering, professional project management and standardized, modularized software development, the project was kept streamlined, transparent and quantifiable at all times. “Our customers were amazed when the machine went into operation in China after just a few months, complete with the extensive range of functions they had requested. The development methodology really paid off quickly,” says Frei. Complete solution from a single source What Pantec GS systems was looking for was a complete, one-stop solution for the automation system. “The Cheetah F is very complex. This is why we wanted to be certain that the individual components worked together perfectly and that our requirements for robustness, reliability and long-term availability were met,” says Manfred Kindle, project manager at Pantec Automation, describing the design requirements. In choosing a hardware platform, we opted for components we could trust. B&R supplied the real-time PLC, bus system, drives and servo motors, an integrated safety solution and even a comprehensive development and diagnostics system. High-performance industrial PCs from B&R’s Automation PC 810 series and ACOPOSmulti drive systems are used. The B&R X20 system provides more than 150 decentralized I/O channels, connected in real-time via the Powerlink bus. A total of 26 axes are controlled, six of which featuring safety functions. “We were able to perfectly adapt the movement profiles of the drives to our requirements. As a result, the embossing process runs reliably even at high web speeds without any deterioration in quality,” says Kindle, highlighting the benefits of the kinematic functions provided by the ACOPOSmulti drive system. Service is key The implemented diagnostics system is both comprehensive and transparent right down to the last terminal connection. “With remote maintenance features and worldwide support provided by Pantec Automation, we’re able to intervene quickly,” says Frei. “This is a decisive factor for our Chinese customers.” Success – with perspective “Goldroc Printing in China is very impressed with the significantly higher performance of our machines. This news has spread quickly throughout the industry and opened more doors for us,” says Frei. For him it’s clear: the decision by the Chinese tobacco industry to use Pantec GS Systems technology to apply packaging holograms is just the beginning. He also has his sights set on packaging for chocolate. “Hot foil embossing and holograms are important marketing tools for high-end products. They help strengthen product branding with a unique design, as well as protecting the brand with added security features.” www.br-automation.com About Company name: B&R Headquarters: Eggelsberg, Austria Turnover: € 475 m (2013) Employees: approx. 2,530 worldwide Products: Industrial PCs, control systems, motion control, networks and fieldbus modules, IO systems, safety technology MDA Technologies 5/2014 27

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