Improved Performance And Reliability Following Upgrade From Hydraulic Motors To AC Geared Motors

When a major paper producer was faced with increasingly temperamental performance from the existing hydraulic drive control system on their Valmet KL Winder, they turned to Optima for assistance. The system suffered from uncontrolled starting from cold until the hydraulics had reached normal temperature. However, even at normal operating temperature, there were still issues with tension control being unpredictable.

Optima were asked to suggest possible upgrade solutions for the winder. Our solution was to use a Siemens Sinamics drive system, controlled from our own custom-written winder blocks. Optima’s winder blocks are PLC-based and provide all the functionality required of any winding application.

The new drive system was specifically designed to suit the exact material tensions, roll diameters and operating speeds of the winder to ensure both performance and cost needs were met. The actual products run on winders sometimes differ from the manufacturers own design.

A complete new control suite was built to house the new PLC and drive hardware. Installation was managed by Optima.

Final Commissioning was carried out by our own engineers specialising in web transport systems.

Tuning of the fully-compensated system was carried out over a series of product trials on different grades of paper. The drive control system is complex, not just for accurate tension control but also to drive either end of the paper unwind with separate AC geared motors – not an easy task to achieve. Optima’s control algorithms ensure that control of the unwind reel is shared equally between each drive whilst also preventing ‘slippage’ of the driving mandrel within the unwind core.

Optima will be pleased to provide a no-obligation site visit to discuss how we might improve the performance of your existing winder or for a completely new upgrade.

Please telephone: Andy Coverdale or Mark Lane on 01254 272829 to discuss your requirements in more detail.

Optima’s upgrade solution for a Sirpak 200 cut-to-length Machine system reduces waste by 9km per week

Optima were approached by an internationally renowned packaging manufacturer, particularly specialised in cartons, labels and leaflets. The company’s manufacturing facilities across the globe must deliver maximum efficiency and reliability to enable excellent customer service and innovative packaging designs.

Their Scotland-based plant was faced with obsolescence and unreliability of a Sirpak 200 tube forming and cut to length machine. The linear tube-forming line on site is used for the production of all-shape composite cans. It allows the manufacturer to produce odd-shape packaging for premium brands such as Chivas Regal and Glenfiddich. Customers in this sector demand high-quality materials and unique packaging designs. If their supplier is unable to produce these up to standard and on time, it would be losing significant amounts of revenue. This is where Optima got involved to provide a stand-alone registration system to replace the existing cut-to-length equipmentSirpak 200 Linear Tube Forming Machine.

The new system that Optima developed incorporated a fully integrated Siemens platform with Simotion Drive equipment, Simatic PLC and a Siemens Synchronous Motor gearbox combination.

New features for the machine – a Sirpak 200 – included a recipe interface for the different packaging tube lengths produced on the machine. To minimise downtime at change-over from the old equipment to new, Optima installed a new panel, encoder and PEC next to the existing units without interfering with the existing control system. Because of this, the project commissioning was completed in 5 days without problems or delays.

Of greatest benefit to the customer is the reduction in waste that was achieved following the upgrade. Michael Hill, Managing Director at Optima, explained the future benefits further: “The current system was sheet-fed, which means there is unprinted material (3’’) between each repeat length. Following detailed consultation with the customer, Optima’s control system facilitated the use of printed rolls instead of sheets, thus eliminating the requirement for unprinted sections. With 3″ saved on every 40″ of material, the new system would facilitate a 7.5% reduction in product waste. As the company produces thousands of metres of carton per week (approximately 40 metres/minute for 10 hours per day, 5 days per week equating to 120,000 metres) the savings equate to 9km of less waste every week.”
Please telephone: Andy Coverdale, Mark Lane, or Michael Hill on 01254 272829 to discuss your requirements in more detail.

Metal Decorating Press Upgrade using Siemens Simotion S120 + D425 controller + Simatic S7 PLC

In this project, Optima provided a complete new control system for a Metal Decorating Press. In order to print the colours correctly aligned, all axes must be fully synchronised. Optima chose to use Sinamics S120 Drives and the D425 motion controller to achieve the required accuracy.

The control system was a completely integrated package from Siemens with use of remote IO stations to minimise machine wiring time.

This video was taken during final commissioning of the machine.

The project was managed from the initial site survey, through specification, design and finally commissioning on-site by Optima.

Initial advice was offered to the customer to cover aspects such as

  • Operational and process risk assessment
  • Fixed guarding integrity and guarding access points
  • Hazardous areas that require EEx rated equipment

This allowed to to design the system to accommodate machinery safety and environmental operating conditions in addition to the major drive control aspects.

The machine software was custom-developed for the application to encompass:

  • Main machine PLC sequences
  • Operator Visualisation (HMI)
  • Motion Control Equipment functionality
  • Safety Controller Programming/Configuration

Main Panel with Sinamics Drives on test before shipping

Main Operator Desk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All built equipment from Optima was tested for both build quality and correct functionality before the control enclosures were boxed and braced ready for shipping to site via sea freight.

Commissioning of the supplied control equipment and software was completed with the assistance of the end users engineering and operational personnel. This is important as it allows a natural ‘hand-over’ of equipment to the end user so they become comfortable with owning the new control system.

During this phase machine process functionality and machine operational safety was tested using the following documents supplied as part of the project such as:

  • Optima project design specification
  • Circuit diagrams
  • Commissioning software test plan
  • Software specifications and sequence diagrams

Please feel free to speak to us and find out how we can help to upgrade your printing machines to the latest state-of-the-art automation hardware and give you total ownership of the eventual control system supplied.

Automax and PLC5 to PowerFlex Drives and Control Logix Upgrade

Obsolete AutoMax Rack

Optima recently carried out an upgrade on a complex Automax-based drive system running on an obsolete PLC5 controller. The customer requirement was that the old Automax controller rack, PLC5 and obsolete DC drives were  removed in one complete shutdown and replaced with the latest state-of-the-art technology.

Optima achieved this by replacing the DC drives and motors were by  new AC Powerflex 753 drives and AC vector motors. Additionally, the PLC rack was replaced by a new Control Logix rack and remote IO on Ethernet. The now redundant PanelMax HMI was replaced by a new InTouch system from Wonderware.

The full scope of work included:

  • Hardware calculations/rating for drives
  • Customer project specifications
  • Project design specification
  • Circuit diagrams
  • Special test documents
  • Software specifications and sequence diagrams
  • Installation of new panels and motors on-site

    New Control Logix PLC and PowerFlex Drives Panel

Optima will be pleased to provide a no-obligation site visit to discuss how we implemented this upgrade and how we can help upgrade your machine to new supportable equipment.

Please telephone: Mark Lane, Michael Hill or Andy Coverdale on 01254 272829 to discuss your requirements in more detail.