The new customer-specific HRA08 compact format adjustment drive, which will be presented for the first time at Interpack 2008 by SICK STEGMANN and the Italian packaging machine producer IMA SpA, is a major aid for precise and time-saving adjustment of the auxiliary axles of machines.
As small as a packet of cigarettes and combined with fieldbus connectivity the HRA08, with its maximum power output of 8 W, is the revolutionary solution for the automatic format adjustment of smaller auxiliary axles, e.g. in packaging and production machines, that have hitherto had to be adjusted using simple handwheels with counters.
Regarding the HRA08’s dimensions, performance capability, and mechanical and data-related integration there is currently no comparable solution for automatic format adjustment on the market.
HRA08 – the revolutionary compact positioning drive
The HRA08 is an integrated positioning drive in which the motor, drive, absolute measurement system and performance and regulatory electronics are accommodated in an extremely compact and easy-to-mount housing.
The system can be mounted immediately on the machine shaft – and thus directly replace a handwheel – without being a particularly conspicuous component on the machine.
It has a nominal torque of 2 Nm and a speed of 40 rotations per minute. The positioning accuracy reaches +/- 1.8°.
Advantages in adjustment mode and during machine restarts
In adjustment mode or during mounting on the machine, the motor shaft can be brought into the desired position manually with the help of the integrated jog button. Only the supply voltage of 24 V is required.
No reference run is necessary on restarting the packaging machine – due to the absolute encoder integrated in the HRA08 – which is a major advantage, particularly after an emergency stop.
Profibus DP or CANopen HIPERDRIVE Hub ”organises” fieldbus communication with the machine controller
The HRA08 has a serial RS-485 interface for communication with the machine controller. Because a positioning axle (and thus a format adjustment drive) is seldom alone on a complex machine, the HIPERDRIVE Hub is a connection module to CANopen offering performance distribution and data management for up to 64 HRA08 format adjustment drives.
In addition to considerably reducing the cabling effort and space required on the machine or in the control cabinet, the clear address structure in CANopen is highly advantageous.
As a result of its signal and communication management at transfer rates of between 10 and 1,000 kBaud, the automation system always has access to the status of every single positioning drive and can contact it via, for example, a touch-screen panel – individually or simultaneously with the others.
Use at development partner and pilot customer IMA
The development of the customer-specific HIPERDRIVE HRA08 took place in close collaboration between the product management of SICK STEGMANN in Donaueschingen, SICK’s Packaging Sector Management Team in Waldkirch. and the packaging machine producer IMA SpA in Bologna, Italy.
The company, founded in 1961, is one of the world’s leading suppliers of machines for packaging pharmaceutical products, cosmetics and toiletry articles, as well as tea in filter bags.
IMA was able to integrate the first functional positioning drive in a blister packaging and cartonising line for pharmaceutical products only seven months after the project started.
Compared with handwheel adjustment, IMA achieved sometimes extreme improvements on the machine regarding adjustment speed and accuracy.
When the operator calls up a particular packaging format on the touch-screen panel, the HRA08 units immediately and simultaneously start adjusting the relevant auxiliary axles, limit stops and machine parts.
This dramatically reduces equipping times: what hitherto could take several hours manually is now just a matter of a few minutes – with much greater precision and repeatability.