Drives boost precision in print

01 October 2007

A new generation of printing machines has improved response times and precision with drives and servomotors from Shrewsbury based Lenze.

PositionServo’ drives, servomotors and smd Series AC inverter drives have all been utilised on the specialist corrugated board printing machines.

The drives adjust the height, position and pressure of the print feed rollers, while the AC inverters are responsible for air fans that dry the ink.

Feeding a new sheet used to require manual adjustment. According to Lenze this slowed the process down, a problem obviated with its automated solution. Now, two pairs of PositionServo 4.0A drives work on each of the lower rollers. While one pair drops the lower rollers vertical position, allowing a new sheet to be fed, the other is used for fine control while the machine is printing.

The PositionServo units have 64 bit processing and reaction times of two microseconds to adjust the position of the lower roller relative to the upper roller in tiny, fast increments during printing. Furthermore this is claimed to create a displacement effect, compressing the card as it passes through, creating smooth surface finishes and ironing out material inconsistencies in the raw board.

The process is PLC controlled and high-resolution linear encoders supply positional feedback; hence the servos have a simple but high accuracy task to perform. Lenze said its PositionServo units were well suited to the task, claiming easy set-up and operation with Lenze MotionView software and matched Lenze servomotors.

Lenze smd 15kW AC inverter drives are also used to control the air volume produced by the four drying fans that make sure the ink is fixed after each print colour is applied. The company claimed the variable speed operation it created allowed for a smooth start-up and, furthermore, efficient speed regulation can maintain a perfect finish at high speeds.

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