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Pick & Place Conveyor and Rotary Knife Cut-Off System Applications

Pick & Place Conveyor System

Pick & Place Conveyor System
Machine: Pick & place conveyor system using X, Y, and Z positioning

Application Description: A machine places completed product on a conveyor in a five abreast configuration. Another downstream packaging machine requires that the product be two, three, four, or five abreast depending on the count of the completed package.

Application Solution: Construct a system of two conveyors, a transfer slide and lift/gripper mechanism similar to the diagram shown. Equip each conveyor and ball screw transfer mechanism with the Emerald Series SERCOS servo packages controlled by the EMC-2100 Emerald automation controller. Establish a communication link to the packaging machine so that the package count can be transferred to the Emerald automation controller.

An application program developed with the Emerald Motion Language (EML) PC software creates the following sequence.

  1. Conveyor #1 indexes the product to be in alignment with the transfer slide and vertical air cylinder lift/gripper mechanism.
  2. The ball screw transfer mechanism moves to a position above a product on conveyor #1.
  3. The air cylinder lift mechanism extends, grips the product and retracts.
  4. The transfer mechanism moves to a position above conveyor #2.
  5. The air cylinder lift mechanism extends, releases the product and retracts.
  6. The transfer mechanism moves to a position above the second product on conveyor #1.
  7. The air cylinder lift mechanism extends, grips the product and retracts.
  8. The transfer mechanism moves to an empty position above conveyor #2.
  9. The air cylinder lift mechanism extends, releases the product and retracts.
  10. This process is repeated with conveyor #1 and conveyor #2 indexing to new locations in the appropriate sequence to successfully complete the five (5) to two (2) reorganization of the product shown in the diagram.

Additional Application Features:

  • Polling of the packaging machine to determine the required organization of the product on conveyor #2, i.e. 5->2, 5->3 etc.
  • Sequence and timing of the air cylinders for the lift/gripper are precisely controlled.
  • A sensor in the gripper mechanism is used to detect loss of product.
  • A special sequence recovers from loss of product on conveyor #1 to guarantee the proper product count on conveyor #2.
  • Minimum jerk motion profiles to prevent product tip over.
  • Synchronization of conveyor movements.

Rotary Knife Cut-Off System

Rotary Knife Cut-Off System
Machine: Cut-to-length process using rotary knife cutter and "recipe" storage

Application Description: A web of material is fed into the machine by a prime mover not shown. The machine must cut the web into regular length pieces or follow a programmed "recipe" of different lengths depending on production requirements. The cutter speed must be synchronous to the web speed while the cutter is engaged with the web.

Application Solution: The EMAX 1-1/2 axis controller is selected for this challenging master/slave application. A servo motor is connected to the rotary cutter via a precision gearbox and, a line encoder with measuring roller is positioned to ride on the web of material. The touch-screen operator interface connects directly to the EMAX and is used for programming the cut length, cut length "recipe", diagnostics and error messages.

An application program for the EMAX controller was developed using the Emerald Motion Language (EML) PC software to create the following sequence:

  1. The seal/cut drum is positioned so the knives are horizontal and clear of the web of material for machine threading.
  2. The web prime mover starts running and the servo makes the first trim cut.
  3. An electronic cam in the EMAX controller, driven by the line encoder is used to control the motion of the rotary cutter.
  4. When a multi-length cut "recipe" is programmed the EMAX uses powerful switch cam instructions to seamlessly execute a series of electronic cams to change the motion of the rotary cutter to cut the various lengths.
  5. When the programmed number of cut pieces or "recipe" of pieces is completed the rotary cutter stops clear of the web and the EMAX signals the prime mover to stop.

Additional Application Features:

  • Touch-screen operator interface for "recipe" programming, batch count, parameter entry, diagnostics and error messages
  • Control of the web prime mover motor
  • Multiple "recipes" are stored in the EMAX memory and quickly selected using the operator interface

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