Focusing on hygiene

Technoshell utilizes B&R solutions for its tube-packaging machines

VIANinad Deshpande
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Technoshell
Use of robots in tube packers helps avoid tube contamination

Tubes have been widely used in packaging of liquids so that their transportation and dispensing become much easier. The manufacturing units for tube production and decoration are usually different from the manufacturing unit for filling and sealing. The former requires much greater hygienic and dust-free environment.

Nashik-based Technoshell Automations provides solutions to tube manufacturing units for their various needs, such as tube capping, labeling, hot foil stamping and packaging. To achieve the desired accuracy and precision in such highly complex machines, Technoshell has employed the most innovative, technologically advanced solutions from B&R.

Robots for hygienic packing

Over the past few years, packaging lines have seen an exponential increase in the use of robotics. The adoption has come in mainly to eliminate need of human labor but also to avoid contamination.

“Use of robots in our tube packers help avoid tube contamination via human touch and entry of dust during transportation. It helps us cater to the demands of our customers; help them comply with the stringent hygienic standards and needs of their customers,” says Nikhil Baste, director, Technoshell. The company has addressed the issue contamination by introducing a robot in its packer unit.

A conveyor run by a servo feeds the packer robot. The servo provides the feed quantity to the robot for picking and placing the tubes in the carton. Occasionally, the round tubes stacked vertically need an even and odd count for cartoning, which is handled by the feeder servo. A 6-axis robot is used to pick and place the tubes in cartons. The synchronization of servos, VFDs and robots enabled the accuracy in packing.

B&R’s mapp technology reducing development time

In recent years, the rate at which new technologies get introduced and new products hit the market has increased significantly. Customers demand new products at a much greater frequency. “Thanks to B&R, our design team can handle such requests easily and be ready for any change without us spending time on customer site. Also, thanks to mapp Technology from B&R, we are able to efficiently and effectively meet the customer demands and achieve a faster time to market,” says Baste.

The tube packers from Technoshell Automations utilize the technologically advanced and powerful hardware and software from B&R. A Panel PC, which acts as an integrated display unit and PC, controls the entire machine. This is coupled with remote X20 I/Os, ACOPOS servo and VFD over real-time Ethernet POWERLINK network. In addition, a robot is also interfaced with the Panel PC. Technoshell has utilized mapp Technology in all aspects for developing the machine, with mapp View being an important aspect of this machine. Technoshell have used mapp Technology in other machines and are well aware about its features and benefits. Configuring more and programming less drastically reduced the machine development time and mapp View provided a different dimension to the display.

mapp View: Web meets automation

Duplicating a display on a tablet or a phone was previously unthinkable on a shop floor. With mapp View, B&R now offers direct access to the wide world of web technology right from the engineering environment. For the first time, automation engineers have all the tools they need to create powerful and intuitive HMI solutions. mapp View is built on the globally accepted web standards HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. Unlike proprietary platforms, these standards are updated continually and remain usable for decades – ensuring maximum return on investment.

Furthermore, mapp View relies 100% on web standards to ensure content can be viewed optimally on any output device or even customized for specific users or user groups. “Operators on the shop floor do not have to depend on a single display unit mounted at a fixed location. They have the freedom to walk around the machine and have the same display on their tablets and smartphones. This gives us a lot of flexibility and high performance,” shares Baste. “mapp View reduces development time; ensures maximum reusability, hence, making it the ideal solution for our modular and flexible machine designs,” he adds.

Integrated architecture

Technoshell has been using B&R solutions for around 10 years and has used Ethernet POWERLINK in all its machines as the vendor independent networking protocol. “It helps us to choose from a list of vendors for various components and yet be able to program, commission and diagnose them in Automation Studio,” says Baste. The use of ACOPOS drastically reduced the footprint in cabinets by around 69%. Ethernet POWERLINK network helps in running a single Ethernet cable across the panel to Panel PC. This reduces cabling effort and improves maintenance. All the systems are tightly linked together with Automation Studio, the single programming tool for all B&R hardware.

Collaborating for next generation technologies

Today, factories demand machine builders to provide machines with are ready for Industrial IoT. Technoshell Automations have been providing their customers with various features for many years including remote diagnostics and maintenance, integrated and connected machines, usage of open source technologies, scalable and flexible machines and much more. “We build machines, which satisfy various complex demands of printing and packaging industry. Our focus has always been on technology and providing next generation machines to our customers,” argues Baste. “With B&R technology and solutions coupled with our industry expertise, we have consistently and successfully provided such advanced solutions to our customers,” he concludes.

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