Fast and easy implementation of bottling machinery
Posted to News on 2nd Mar 2016, 15:41

Fast and easy implementation of bottling machinery

Elmo 's smart design tools, advanced motion control, servo axes and efficient EtherCAT networking allow rapid design of high-speed, high-precision, labelling and cupping machines.

Fast and easy implementation of bottling machinery

Elmo provides new industrial-quality performance for labelling and cupping machines with line speeds of over 60K labels per hour. Operating in machines at high speeds and achieving high-precision labelling with very few errors places Elmo as a major provider in the field of high-end labelling and cupping machines. The challenge involves operating more than 60 integrated motor/drives as a system on a very fast-rotating platform, transferring high-power, and high-speed EtherCAT communication via slip rings; implementation is rapid and efficient with Elmo's smart systems and advanced tools.

Realisation of a fast bottle labelling (or cupping) machine challenges the design and execution of complex and dynamic ECAM movements. These require the tackling of fast manipulators using rapid, sophisticated, and complex control of rotating mechanics, with dozens of motors and drives that operate in an unfavourable, vibrating, humid, and extreme temperature environment. In addition, there is the requirement of transmitting fast, deterministic and "signal integrity'-sensitive communication via the slip ring media. This could involve substantial time - many weeks of intensive work - requiring high-level expertise with considerable experience.

The Advance Motion Control offered by Elmo simplifies the implementation process to the level of an ordinary engineering (no wizards), and shortens the Motion Control design and operation to less than 3 days.

Smart Supporting Software Tools

An innovative Smart Software toolbox simplifies the process of motion development. It contains two major group of tools: the first is an integral part of the EASII advanced tools such Servo Tuning, ECAM, Error Mapping, Network Configuration etc., which are regularly used in the configuration stage of the development. The second is a set of very rich and sophisticated "motion blocks', (EMBL, Elmo Advanced Motion Blocks), Libraries and Machine Templates, that simplify the lengthy programming requirements constructed by the developer/programmer. These are usually used in the process development stage of the machine. The two groups complement each other to achieve the goal of simple implementation in the fastest timing. "Intelligence by Simplicity' not only eliminates the need for multi-disciplinary implementers, but also improves motion control performance and significantly shortens the time to market while saving engineering resources.

Integrated Motors

Powerful GOLD WHISTLE servo drives, which are ultra-small, highly efficient, and very rugged, are integrated inside the motors. This significantly simplifies the rotating carousel, saves appreciable space and weight, restricts the cabling to only DC bus plus EtherCAT communication cables, and "shrinks' the electrical cabinet. This "no-cabling' reduces the induced EMI and improves noise immunity.

GOLD Servo drives

The Ultra small intelligent G-WHI servo drive is tuned for widest bandwidth and fast response by overcoming the non-linearity of the mechanical load. This allows very fast, stable operation, very high throughput, and error free operation.

The Maestro

The whole orchestra of 60 servo drives is conducted by the Maestro, controlling and supervising the entire "bottling' process. The Maestro is a world-class multi-axis controller, precisely executing the complex motion scenario. Harmonious motion is achieved by the Maestro operating in conjunction with the GOLD Servo Drives.

Sixty axes located on a rotating platform are used for high-speed bottle labelling and cupping. Bottles are automatically fed into the machine and transferred to the rotating platform. The rotating platform consists of 60 high-power, small-footprint Elmo DUETs, an advanced integrated Drive/Motor. The DUETs are essential components in this machine due to the limited size of the rotating platform. The DUETS are positioned on the rotating platform, and use direct coupling to ensure high precision of rotation during Camera image capturing.

Only high-power and a serial EtherCAT cable is connected between the DUETS. The richness of the EASII tools and functionalities enable tuning of the drives and optimisation of their servo operation to provide high speeds, precision, and accuracy. The EASII Advanced Servo Control incorporates capabilities to maximise the optimisation of the servo performance of any motor and any mechanics. The Auto Tuner resolves any mechanical drawback within few minutes

The Compact Motor/High Power Drive is optimised for limited machine space. It uses high-resolution absolute feedback to achieve high precision, servo control and performance. The DUETs system must be rugged to withstand the mechanical vibrations of the rotating platform. The minimum cabling used results in minimum influences of external noise, low EMI and RFI, therefore provides the a good option for large numbers of axes controlled by EtherCAT serial communication networking.

ECAM builder tool in a matter of minutes

Four high-speed cameras are located at the stationary section of the machine. When bottles pass through a camera, a snapshot is taken and transferred to a host computer. The host computer processes the picture data and calculates the exact label position using an image-processing algorithm. The bottle rotation is controlled by the Maestro, Elmo's multi-axes controller, which sets the initial target labelling position and waits for the ECAM execute operation to start. The ECAM function running on the Maestro is one of the key functionalities used in the operation of this machine. Operating the ECAM using the Maestro has huge advantages. All slaves operate in DS-402 standardised cyclic synchronised position mode of operation. The Maestro and EASII allow high interpolation levels for smooth motion trajectories with a minimum number of ECAM points. It enable Fast Dynamic table calculations, execution, table switching, multi-hierarchy topology building, virtual axes' synchronisation and many related advanced features that simplify and accelerate the implementation process.

The advanced EASII Elmo Application Studio ECAM tool combined with Elmo's EMBL - Elmo's Motion Block Libraries - enable very simple, fast design and precise testing of the ECAM trajectories to raise the machine level to operational within a matter of days. Adding several slave positions as a function of the Master position and interpolating between the position in one of the advanced interpolation methods. The EMBLs are complementary to the EASII advanced tools setup. Elmo has developed numerous EMBLs that simplify the development process of the machine, for example, Homing (all DS-402 methods and more), Output Compare (PEGS), Emulation, ECAM, PVT, Splines, Joystick".

Elmo continues to develop and introduce new EMBLs for the users, free of charge. With the right tools Elmo walks you through the whole implementation process in a simple, fast and intelligent manner, ensuring a short time to market with minimum engineering resources.

For more information please visit

Elmo Motion Control UK

3 Amberley Court, Whitworth Road
RH11 7XL

+44 (0) 1293 922 430

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