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Mechatronics approach boosts throughput and cuts scrap

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Rockwell Automation has applied its mechatronics approach to a deep drawing machine, helping the customer to double the throughput and reduce the scrap rate.

Rockwell Automation defines mechatronics as a collaborative venture between mechanical, electrical and control design engineers to optimise machine design. A good example of the mechatronics approach in practice is the optimisation of a deep drawing machine for plastic moulded parts.

In this case the customer's objective was to double the output rate from 400 to 800 pieces per minute and, at the same time, reduce the scrap rate. The first approach to the problem was initially to install higher drive capacities in order to obtain a higher production rate. An analysis of the complete system with regard to the electrical and mechanical design in conjunction with the maintenance found, however, that a chain-driven conveyor belt was the critical point in the machine.

This was inducing the machine to vibrate due to its non-rigid connection. Since the motor was operated at 98 per cent of its potential, overheating failure was a frequent occurrence, leading to machine downtime and scrap.

Using the Motion Analyzer software from Rockwell Automation, the customer was able to identify a suitable motor/gear combination. The simulation of the application indicated good control properties due to the appropriate inertial ratio of 4.9:1.

The implementation of the new drive helped the machine to double the output rate with fewer failures. The drives were loaded less and the energy consumption was reduced. Furthermore, commissioning was significantly quicker than previously due to the control parameters having already been determined in the simulation.

A positive secondary effect was a reduction in the power fed to the drive from 13.5kW to only 4kW. With lower currents in the drives, smaller power contactors and filters could be used.

Follow the link for more information about Motion Analyzer.

 
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