A few years ago, Ultra Packaging of Bensenville, IL successfully incorporated a servo and motion logic control system from Bosch Rexroth to replace the mechanical axes on its original vertical cartoner. The result was dramatically reduced change-over times with better accuracy.
However, with industry trends changing, Ultra Packaging decided it could make the machine even better. Specifically, packaging end-users wanted greater flexibility in carton capacity (including the capability for handling a wider range of cartons), faster changeover, additional reductions in wiring and maintenance, and a reduced machine footprint with a cleaner and less cluttered control panel.
Ultra Packaging began working with local Rexroth automation distributor CMA/Flodyne/Hydradyne of Hanover Park, IL to take the machine to another level. When Ultra Packaging learned about Rexroth's IndraDrive Mi family of integrated motor and servo drives, the OEM scheduled Veronica for its second makeover in just a few years. With the new integrated servo motor and drive concept, Ultra Packaging saw the potential for a machine that could run an even wider range of cartons, provide more precise control of multiple axes, reduce the machine's total system footprint, cut change-over times further, and significantly decrease maintenance and wiring costs at the same time.
A leading feature in the new generation seven-axes Veronica machine is its use of Rexroth IndraDrive Mi integrated servo motors and drives mounted directly on the machine away from the control cabinet. The drives are powered by a single Rexroth IndraDrive power supply in the control panel. This enables the use of a single cable for power and communication running from the cabinet, instead of the 14 cables required by the seven servo drives on the "old" Veronica (power cable plus encoder for each drive).
"By transitioning to Rexroth's IndraDrive Mi motor/drives, we still kept the benefits of the servo-based system from the original Veronica," says Bob Stockus, Ultra Packaging vice president, "but we reduced our linkages and other machine components by 60 percent. Our cabling cost has gone down about 40 percent and our time for field wiring alone has dropped 40 percent. The new machine offers greater flexibility and has a cleaner, more space-efficient design with an overall footprint that's about 20 percent smaller than our older Veronica."
At the heart of the new Veronica cartoner lies the Rexroth MLC motion logic controller, integrating synchronized motion on all axes, as well as logic programming. The IndraMotion MLC features a wide range of open interfaces, including SERCOS, PROFIBUS, DeviceNet and Ethernet/IP, allowing end-users to connect controllers and peripheral units from many different manufacturers. The IndraDrive Mi servos are tightly synchronized and controlled via SERCOS digital interface for command and diagnostic feedback from each servo drive.
Similar to the original machine, the HMI operator interface consists of a Rexroth VCP terminal with a 10-inch color touch screen, communicating over Ethernet TCP/IP, making the transition from the "old" to new Veronica easier.
The reduced number of drive and control components required allowed Ultra Packaging to reduce the machine assembly time by nearly 40 percent. In addition, with just the power supply in the cabinet instead of all the drives, Ultra Packaging was able to reduce its control cabinet size by 25 percent, which helps make the machine more attractive to packaging customers. Change-over speed has also been improved with the new Veronica. Simple two-dimensional changeovers can be performed in as little as 5 minutes, while more complex three-dimensional changeovers can routinely be accomplished in 10 to 12 minutes.