Jun 20, 2023

Consistency in converting

Building an automated slitter-rewinder for flexible packaging

Aesthetics are a fundamental aspect of product packaging – they are what attracts the consumer's attention. The fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry focuses intensely on the topic, as it can be a decisive factor in the success of a product on the market. B&R enables Kalpvrux Converting Products in Gujarat to achieve higher performance and provide a leading-edge to its customers.

Slitting is a converting application that plays a crucial role in the quality of product packaging. Efficiency, productivity, and return on investment are the driving factors for successful slitting and rewinding machines. Slitter machines play an early role in producing flexible packaging, so they must be precise and efficient to ensure high- quality results. As one of the leading suppliers of slitter rewinder solutions for the flexible packaging industry, Kalpvrux Converting Products is well familiar with these market needs. The India-based company with a manufacturing plant in Vadodara, Gujarat, believes in four values – continuous growth, flexibility, better service, and innovation.

Having built a substantial presence in India, Kalpvrux is expanding its horizons to the global market and aims to be a leading converting machinery company offering reliable, innovative solutions. "We see it as our responsibility to consistently innovate and deliver novel, effective solutions to our customers," says Ankur Patel, Technical and Procurement director at Kalpvrux. "We aim to build strong relationships and an outstanding ownership experience of any Kalpvrux machinery." One of the latest developments from the Kalpvrux team is the Perfector T 600.

"As the result of our continuous research and development, Perfector aims further to improve productivity and the quality of finished reels," says Patel.

Consistency and precision in all operations

The Perfector T 600 is a dual turret slitter rewinder machine for roll-to-roll applications in industries like packaging and paper. It features a unique slitting concept for perfect roll separation, especially for narrow slits and cuts. The machine cuts wide rolls of film between 1000-1500 mm width into narrow strips of 50-1050 mm width.

Later, the finished reels are sent to vertical or horizontal form fill seal (VFFS/HFFS) machines. As machine automation continues to grow in complexity, the Perfector T 600 aims to make life easier for machine operators through clean, intuitive design and intelligent features that reduce the time spent on setup and diagnostics. The servo-driven machine offers supreme accuracy in reel cutting and rewinding at speeds of around 800 meters a minute, which leads to best-in-class performance and efficiency. Its compact design with easily accessible operating points enables good ergonomics and comfortable working

conditions for operators. Automatic blade positioning, tape application on finished reels, empty cores, core positioning and motorized reel ejection from shaft to reel unloader make it a versatile machine capable of handling all types of films and flexible laminates. The main advantage of the Perfector T 600 is that it is a passive device able to control a wide range of tension from very low to relatively high – satisfying key customer requirements. In the rewind slitting process, wide films run through the machine and pass through blades before being rewound on shafts to form narrow reels of the desired diameter. If finished reels are rejected, all the resources used to produce them are wasted. It is therefore essential that slitter rewinder machines can ensure high-quality results free of defects.

The cutting technology used in the Perfector T 600 delivers a precisely controlled vertical downstroke and a fast specified cutting angle together with automatic blade protection re-entry during the process and total blade protection during rest. Other features include fast rotation for right-left positioning and an automatic safety block for anti-rotation of the blade. "The performance of any machine is dependent on the quality of the output they deliver. By making thePerfector T 600 easier to operate, we help our customers achieve high product quality, increased productivity along with reduced maintenance and minimized downtime, as well as seamless quality control during production with reduced machine footprints," confirms Ankur.

"By integrating various smart features into Perfector T slitter-rewinder, B&R has helped us to take productivity, quality, and user-friendliness to the next level. With advanced automation technology, we reduced machine changeover time from 30 to 25 seconds, and ramp-up time to 50 seconds, which is 25% faster than our competition," asserts Ankur. "Brownfield facilities with conventional machines are one of the biggest challenges in the flexible packaging industry. The overall efficiency of these machines is always less than 30% due to factors such as excessive changeover times, unplanned downtime, and material handling time. B&R enabled us to address these challenges and introduce a turret rewinder machine that more than doubles that efficiency up to 77%. Moreover, we also incorporated additional features that reduce changeover times, ease of material handling, and lower machine downtime."

A complete automation partner

"In the beginning, whether due to limited hardware flexibility, portfolio variety in a single basket, modularity, or different approaches taken by automation solution providers, we were struggling with our future innovation fulfillment," recalls Ankur. "Quality and innovation are imperative aspects of our business. To maintain a high standard of innovation without compromising quality, we invest in the best technology. That's why we selected B&R as our automation partner. While working with other automation solution providers, we found some limitations in our development process. Our association with B&R has put us on the right path. B&R's scalable and flexible hardware and software allow us to expand our machine functionality, reduce costs, and fully integrate machines into an overall production system. We are happy to be collaborating with an innovative partner like B&R."

So, it helps machine operators to achieve the desired result in efficiency. The machine makes use of ACOPOSmulti with a passive power supply. In the slitting and rewinding process, the unwinder continuously regenerates power as the motor and torque direction both operate in the opposite direction. The ACOPOSmulti servo drives also possess characteristics like standard DC bus supply with regeneration benefits, reduced space with cost-effectiveness, investment security, and a high degree of availability and varied interface options. Using two-encoder control for the turret and a two-motor option for single unwinder shaft control provides an operational edge.

Kalpvrux has addressed consumer needs of increased automation in production with reduced operator intervention by adding a range of the latest automated features from the B&R portfolio such as pneumatic relays and relay output modules, safety, energy monitoring, intelligent support system with OEE, open communication, and secure remote diagnostics. Together with automated reel unloading and servo-operated tracker solution, these cost-effective additional features add intelligence with reduced wiring complexities.

Add-on features like automatic knife positioning, automatic tape applicator, servo- operated reel pusher and integrated safety controls with light curtains can be provided on request. B&R X20 safety modules are used in the machine for the safety light curtain, which enables sensing surrounding area of the machine and generates different types of warning and alarm for human safety. With data such as operating temperature and fluctuations in supply voltage, the Perfector T 600 indicates broken or pinched cables or misaligned door switches. With an integrated web server and B&R Secure Remote Maintenance (SRM), service technicians can securely access machine data from anywhere in the world. B&R energy monitoring modules in the Perfector measure and analyze energy consumption for every batch cycle – not only for electronic components but also pneumatics – down to the machine level. B&R SRM is also used for remote diagnostics, making service and maintenance more accessible than ever.

The solution utilizes the latest IT and security standards and significant savings in maintenance at low investment. "While developing the PERFECTOR T 600, B&R has significantly helped us focus on safety, ergonomic friendliness, speed, and quality. With B&R web handling software technology, we have managed to achieve faster web speed, minimized setup time for new jobs, reduced time for roll unloading between finished sets, and reduced downtime," states Ankur.

Quick and intuitive development with mapp

B&R also scored favorably in Kalpvrux's evaluation with its mapp Technology, making complex algorithms easy to manage. "In the past, our engineers spent a lot of time coding and developing HMI screens. The mapp View package has all the tools to create powerful, intuitive, web-enabled HMI screens. There is no need to deal with the underlying web technology. This technology is encapsulated in widgets, which are dragged and dropped into place and configured," reports Ankur. "With mapp View, we were able to develop our intuitive HMI with minimal coding and enable easy navigation. mapp Services are used for user control, recipe management, and data logging tohandle production and maintenance data easily. With the introduction of mapp Technology, B&R has taken this work off our hands, allowing our engineers to devote time to implementing features that are specific to our machine."

Advancing into the future

With the help of B&R's technology and expertise, Kalpvrux swiftly converted its ideas of building an advanced slitter machine into a reality. However, Kalpvrux's ambitious goals do not end there. They plan to include other B&R cutting-edge technologies such as Machine-Centric Robotics, machine vision, track-based product transport, predictive maintenance, and integration of machine analytics into MES or ERP systems. Through strong collaboration with a technology leader like B&R, Kalpvrux will help its entire lineup of web converting machines meet the most demanding customer requirements and succeed on the global market.

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