Drive technology increases lamination productivity

05 April 2013

With competitors’ laminating machines running at line speeds of 20 to 25 m/min, a new design capable of 120 or even 180 m/min offers a clear productivity advantage for Autobond Ltd.

Achieving of this step-up in speed presented the company with a challenge which it met in partnership with drive and automation company Lenze.

The laminating process starts with sheets of printed paper fed from a sheet feeder. Surfaces on the sheets are then prepared by transporting through a corona treatment section, and then onto a module where the laminating film is laid onto the sheet. The film is tensioned and fed in at a speed synchronised to the sheet. The sandwich of film and sheet is then pressed and heated around a roll with a high temperature that is maintained by a flow of hot water. Finally the sheets are separated and restacked.

Models from the Lenze 8400 inverter series provided all the required drive functional-ity but at different levels of performance. For the simple task of running the drive roll-ers at constant speed, the 8400 StateLine version was selected. Where performance at servo levels was needed for intermittent feeds and gearlocking, the TopLine invert-ers were specified.

All the 8400 series drives are compact, fitting easily into the control panel, and all feature the same operating software plus a built-in CANopen fieldbus connection.

The Lenze control system was optimised with the motion software held in the drives while higher level control software is held in a small PLC with integrated 5in touch-screen acting as an operator station. A second touchscreen positioned at the stacker end of the machine gives the operator easier control. Inter-connection of the drives, screens and controller is easily done with CANopen integrated on all devices and a single software platform, L-force Engineer, for programming.

Commenting on the solution, Paul Smith, Autobond’s software and commissioning engineer, said: “We have just run the machine at full speed on a production job and are very impressed by how it is working. I have not worked on a machine that has been so good, so quickly, from a software and drives point of view. I have been im-pressed by the whole system and the input our Lenze Application Engineer gave us while programming the machine”.

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