To automate the changeover process and eliminate manual adjustments, three critical updates were performed: new hardware was installed including three servo drives and distributed IO, a specific firmware version was installed on the new drives so they could communicate with the existing PLC, and programming was needed to automate the new section of the machine.
The first part of the solution was to implement three new axis servo drives that controlled two adjustable pin stop pantographs along with one slitter knives pantograph. Once installed, the drives needed to be configured and added to the manufacturer’s existing PLC.
In order to accomplish this task, the new servo drives required a specific firmware version that is compatible with the existing PLC. The firmware was selected specifically not to exceed the PLC’s firmware compatibility.
Quad Plus engineers had to interpret the recipe data for product specifications (length and width of each board) as the active product approached this section of the machine. The PLC commanded the servos to drive each pantograph to a specific set-point based on board width. At any point, if the pantographs became out of position within a given tolerance and time frame, an automatic zone shut down was programmed to minimize product waste. The pinstops which are controlled by the distributed IO, had to be completely automated to evenly space each board of the active product.
Quad Plus engineers were able to minimize the downtime during commissioning by remaining onsite around the clock until start-up was complete. They also stayed during production trials to ensure that every product ran smoothly. Because of Quad Plus’s commitment to quality upgrades and strict adherence to project timelines, the manufacturer regained the losses within one week of using the new system.
Now, with new servo drives, integration, and programming, the machine has the capacity to run different products, all varying in lengths and widths, with the push of a button. Manual adjustments and changeover downtimes are no longer a concern.