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Motion control adds flexibility

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article image The zipper applicator is controlled by Baldor's multi-axis NextMove-ESB motion controller.

AN upgraded motion control subsystem from Baldor has added new electronic adjustment flexibility to Line Equipment's award-winning Reseal 360X cross-web zipper applicator.

The machine enables resealable pouches to be made on vertical form-fill-seal (VFFS) equipment, and has found a wide variety of applications in the food processing sector.

Line Equipment's design, which has proved its reliability and has been adopted by other form-fill-seal machinery manufacturers, preserves pack integrity, gives better sealing and reduces material costs, compared with using standard zippers on regular in-line equipment.

The zipper applicator works with patented Keyseal zippers from Supreme Plastics.

The motion control system has been upgraded from two intelligent drives to a panel-mounting NextMove-ESB multi-axis controller - linked to two conventional drives and servo motor axes, and an operator interface using a CAN fieldbus link.

This arrangement reduces the amount of cabling required. The new controller also gives Line Equipment the ability to add a third servo axis, allowing the machine to be upgraded easily to perform additional tasks that packaging processes might require.

The system was programmed for the application by Baldor, using the high-level Mint motion language.

Among numerous new features are improved recipe entry, and electronic control of zip drum set-up adjustments that used to require mechanical intervention.

"The consumer-friendly virtues of resealable packaging formats are being pushed by retailers and food producers alike, creating a demand for flexible and retrofittable automation," explains Line Equipment managing director John Blashkiw.

"Baldor's ability to work alongside our engineers, and provide a complete motion control package, has helped us to create and evolve our automation solution for this emerging market need."

Line Equipment's upgraded machine is designated the Reseal 360XM. The new unit is considerably smaller than the original 360X, with the rotary turret and its separate zipper cutting, crushing and sealing stations now requiring just half the space of the original design.

This makes it simpler to fit on a host machine and retrofittable to almost all machinery types. The unit does not increase the footprint of the host machine.

Further improvements include simplified zipper guides and an integral side frame which gives better access to components for production, maintenance and ease of operation.

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