XML-based HMI brings increased flexibility and functionality to shrink wrapper

02 November 2012

When specialist packaging machine builder, Kosme, was looking at new SCADA/HMI standard platforms to provide control and visualisation for its new Flypack shrink wrapping machine, it turned to the XML-based Movicon SCADA package.

Kosme is a producer of packaging machines, including packers, palletisers, depalletisers, blowmoulders, wrappers and carton sealers, from single machines right up to complete production lines. It wanted to create a new style of shrink wrapper, built on a modular platform, featuring a compacter unit, a wrapping unit and a heat shrinker tunnel. Built with a tray erector and a layer pad inserter module, it would also need to be able to handle trays and film packs.

To deliver the level of control required with the degree of modularity needed to build a flexible machine, Kosme needed to reassess its control strategy, moving away from fixed format controllers. It wanted an alternative approach that would deliver increased flexibility combined with a lower cost of development, while providing the levels of functionality and graphics that are essential for enhanced and intuitive operation.

To meet these requirements, Kosme investigated Progea’s Movicon SCADA software. Movicon SCADA/HMI technology is based completely on XML standards and emergent technologies such as Web Services, SVG graphics, SOAP, OPC, SQL, .Net and COM, and Java, promising the ability to create user interfaces with improved graphics, independent of screen size and resolution, making machines more intuitive to operate.

The solution also delivered the level of modularity required to reduce the resources needed for deployment in planning and maintaining not only the Flypack but also any subsequent machine designs. In addition, by providing identical graphical interfaces and functionality on both Windows XP Embedded and Windows CE platforms, the package allows Kosme to adopt whichever was more suitable for a given machine design, without having to worry about porting an HMI to a different platform.

Movicon also gave Kosme the flexibility to meet the specific needs of individual customers of the shrink wrapper, making it easy to incorporate user specific functions. These included support for dynamic language change, user and password protection management compliant to FDA CFR21 Part 11 regulations, and alarm notifications by SMS or email.

Other optional functionalities can be enabled at any time on existing installations without any modification to the project, enabling control systems to evolve easily with changing customer requirements. These features include tracking, production reporting, statistics, web connectivity for remote access to the visualisation system, and the ability to access the system as a client from a mobile phone.

The XML-based SCADA package is available in the UK from Products4Automation.

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