Press Release

May 13, 2014
Resource-efficient packaging automation with PC-based Control and XFC at Interpack 2014 trade show
Beckhoff Maximizes Packaging Performance with Minimum Materials Usage at Interpack

SAVAGE, Minnesota, May 13, 2014 – Beckhoff Automation is presenting its open automation solutions for the packaging industry at Interpack, the world’s leading trade show for the packaging industry and all related process technologies, which is taking place from May 8 to 14, 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. PC-based control and drive technology is ideally suited to the control and monitoring of the entire process of individual packaging machines and complete packaging lines. At the same time PC-based control meets all the requirements for high quality, flexible and, most important of all, resource-saving packaging production.

PC Control and integrated process communication with EtherCAT are the basis for extremely fast control and regulation technology. By leveraging these technologies, extremely precise process cycles can be achieved, so that the packaging can be manufactured with less raw materials and the specified quantities of goods to be packed can be adhered to with greater accuracy. This results in considerable cost savings while minimizing the use of valuable raw materials and energy. All this can be seen at this year’s Interpack in the 200 square meter Beckhoff Solution Forum, which is located in the open-air area in front of exhibition hall 15 (FG 15-1). Major topics include Beckhoff‘s new generation of multi-touch panels and compact drive technology as well as increased engineering efficiency with TwinCAT 3 software, and packaging machines in Industry 4.0 production scenarios.

Peak packaging performance with XFC

How can machine builders and manufacturers implement packaging solutions that make higher quality products while reducing the amount of packaging materials? How can they reduce the energy consumption of the entire packaging process? Implementing PC Control ensures that the consumption of resources is reduced to an absolute minimum. What makes the difference is XFC (eXtreme Fast Control) technology. With I/O response times of < 100 μs, processes can be controlled with exceptional precision and repeat accuracy. With no need for special hardware, XFC implements extremely fast and accurate control solutions for packaging machines.

PC- and EtherCAT-based control ensures perfectly synchronized processes and motion control sequences with shorter cycle times for increased throughput. The technology’s quick and precise response to print marks makes it possible to save packaging materials, for example, by placing products more closely together in blister packs, which reduces the amount of sealing foil needed as well as any waste. In addition, the ability to precisely control the sealing temperature enables users to work with thinner plastic films. The fast and highly accurate process control capabilities can minimize the wall thickness of PET bottles or reduce the amount of paper and aluminum when producing different types of containers. Also important to consider, the more accurate approximation of minimum fill levels generates significant material and cost savings when packaging high-volume products.

Press picture

  • <p>PC- and EtherCAT-based packaging machine control ensures perfectly synchronized processes and motion control sequences with shorter cycle times for increased throughput.</p>

    Picture caption:

    PC- and EtherCAT-based packaging machine control ensures perfectly synchronized processes and motion control sequences with shorter cycle times for increased throughput.

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