Rockwell Automation is promoting its two intelligent motion systems, iTRAK and MagneMotion. Both technologies offer independent movers and incredible multiple-motion-profile flexibility to deliver intelligent conveyor systems that can be modified within seconds. These intelligent motion systems can help to improve productivity in a variety of different manufacturing operations.
Traditional motion control systems use chains, belts and gears, or sometimes pneumatics or hydraulics. This mechanical design approach can require time-consuming retooling for changeovers. However, intelligent motion systems replace hardware with simple software profiles, so changeovers can occur at the press of a button. The systems use programmable independent carts (carriages) on straight or curved track sections to boost speeds by up to 30 per cent over mechanical systems, and with programmable acceleration and deceleration profiles.
Ulrich Arlt, the European Product Manager at Rockwell Automation, says: "Intelligent motion systems can speed up changeovers and result in fewer moving parts that can break down, and high-speed independent movers can boost throughput. These systems can be scaled to support a wide range of applications, from moving and positioning products in-machine to transporting products between machines."
The MagneMover LITE intelligent conveyor system is designed to move lightweight loads quickly and efficiently. The system is claimed to outperform conventional belt and chain conveyors for in-machine and between-machine applications.
The iTRAK intelligent track system enables independent control of multiple, magnetically propelled movers on straight or curved paths. For end users, this can result in easier machine customisation, reduced mechanical complexity and increased performance.
These intelligent motion systems can be used in assembly, process, test and manufacturing applications in the medical device, assembly, automotive, pharmaceutical, packaging and optical industries. In addition to their performance and uptime benefits, the systems also can help end users reduce their energy usage and machine footprint size.
At the recent interpack 2017 exhibition, the iTRAK was shown at various stands, demonstrating the systems' versatility:
- Bradman Lake Ltd: IMSL End Load Cartoner, which provides a fully integrated variable-pitch product infeed system. The iTRAK, in combination with a Linear Motion Loader (which side loads the cartons) negates the need for a traditional 'barrel loader', thus ensuring minimal product transfers.
- CAMA: The new IF318 Robotised Monoblock Loading Unit features a host of innovative CAMA technologies for secondary packaging into carton/corrugated cartons, including features like cabinet-free technology, ergonomics and friendly use.
- GeboCermex: CareSelect, universal and modular Patent Pending shaped bottle infeed system, dividing the product friction time by 20 while allowing one-minute changeover and speed up to 400 products/minute.
- OPTIMA packaging group GmbH: Project ZERO, which adapts to the requirements with optimised format change time, a new stacker for feminine care products and a platform with a completely modular design.
- Tonejet: A digital beverage can printing system, able to move each can independently and at different speeds through the different operations, resulting in a highly efficient and scalable machine.