Efficiency in Detail

Sustainability from the start

When it comes to efficiency in thermoforming machines, there are numerous ways to reduce energy consumption and increase the overall efficiency of the line. As an example: An automation system for thermoforming machines that was implemented for the Indian manufacturer Rajoo.

The global population is growing and by 2050, the need for food will double. This means not only the production of food, but also the transport and storage are important points that will have to be taken into consideration. Even today, an enormous portion of food does not reach the consumer because it spoils en route or in storage. Approximately 1.2 billion tons of food are wasted worldwide per year. The packaging industry therefore needs to offer solutions that provide better storage and safer transport of food worldwide.

Thermoforming machines in particular are very important. Cheese, meat, fresh fruit and vegetables, instant meals - every day, we buy vast amounts of food packaged by thermoforming machines. Not only food, but also industrial products or medical pharmaceutical products are packaged and sealed by thermoforming machines.

Although the energy consumption of thermoforming machines is not particularly high, it is still worthwhile to take a look at this aspect. Due to the particularly tightly calculated costs and low profit margins for packaging materials, significant benefits for the machine operators can be achieved by small optimizations.Tiefziehmaschine der Firma Rajoo zur Herstellung von Lebensmittelverpackungen aus Schaumfolie.
Thermoforming machine from Rajoo for manufacturing food packaging made of foam laminate

Higher degree of effectiveness with synchronous motors

This is why Baumüller, a Nuremberg specialist for automation systems and drive technology, equips thermoforming machines with efficient synchronous motors. In comparison to the asynchronous motors currently preferred for such machines, the synchronous motor has a higher degree of effectiveness, and thus more efficiency, due to the use of permanently excited magnets. The permanently excited DS synchronous motors from Baumüller also offer high torque precision and provide machine builders more flexibility in machine design and decrease the necessary space thanks to their compact structural shape. In conjunction with the energy efficient inverters b maXX 5000 which are also available as feeder and regenerative units and the scalable b maXX controller PLC, Baumüller supplies an efficient and reliable automation system for thermoforming machines. One of them has been installed, for instance, at the Indian manufacturer, Rajoo. The stackable inverter b maXX 5000 offers the benefit of flexibly expanding and modifying entire drive lines without disconnecting the line thanks to the integrated drive-connect system. In addition, pluggable safety modules are available for these inverters, so they can be flexibly adapted to the requirements of the applicable national regulations and the respective application. The safety controls for controlling the
respective application and the safety-related programming in accordance with the machine directive are included in the portfolio of the Nuremberg manufacturer. Baumüller delivers complete and continuous system solutions which can efficiently automate an entire system.

Mit dem umfassenden Baumüller-Softwarebaukasten kann ein Großteil der Programmierarbeit eingespart werden.
With the comprehensive Baumüller software module kits, a large portion of
the programming work can be spared

Faster and more efficient thanks to software modules

Baumüller’s comprehensive software module kits offer special benefits for machine builders. The technology modules significantly shorten the time-to-market
since they provide pre-programmed and validated software modules to the automation technician. The existing library is so comprehensive that all of the
movement processes in thermoforming machines can be executed using preprogrammed modules. These standard modules include modules for automatic
roller changes, energy-optimized adaptations of the movement profiles in the machine or for regulating heating elements. The heating elements integrated in the machine which warm the laminate for processing are controlled centrally or locally via software modules. Here, in particular, significant savings are possible because heating elements are by far the largest energy consumers in thermoforming machines. With the most precise regulation possible, this consumption, which is unavoidable in thermoforming machines, can be reduced as much as possible. Using software modules for precisely recording print marks, Baumüller can also quickly regulate positions. This saves material since the plastic shells are cut very precisely. Via controls using cam disc technology with a virtual guide axis, sporadic movements in the machine are avoided which in turn protects the mechanisms, reduces wear and tear and, due to the optimized motion control, increases the energy efficiency of the machine.

By using EtherCAT, the high-performance real-time Ethernet bus system, Baumüller achieves coordinated motion control in real time.

Intuitive engineering

Rajoo ThermoformmaschineAll software modules are integrated into the Baumüller ProMaster Engineering Framework. The machine builders can depict the entire machine in this intuitive and comprehensive automation suite. This saves an enormous amount of time as a system diagnosis can be performed during commissioning. In addition, during programming, different machine models can be designed which simpilifies the variant handling for the machine builder as the correct version is automatically created for the respective machine type. This is an enormous advantage for the machine builder when designing different machine concepts. In addition, Baumüller has integrated a service and production technology which reduces the system down times to a minimum.

Conclusion

As is so often the case, the devil is in the details. When it comes to efficiency in thermoforming machines, there are a number of options for reducing energy
consumption and increasing the overall efficiency of the system. Starting with the selection of the right motor through to movement optimization via software and precise control of the heating elements. Such improvements not only increase energy efficiency, they also reduce material wear and tear and waste and increase product quality and productivity.

 

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