Fast HFFS machine using Omron AI

High quality sealing has become more challenging as the industry moves to sustainable packaging. It is due the move to thinner plastic films, multilayer packaging and recyclable eco-films. A fast HFFS machine using Omron AI temperature control addresses these challenges and delivers a 30% energy saving.

Using an Omron AI solution, throughput of Martini’s new HFFS (Horizontal Form Fill and Seal) system is 10% faster. It also allows automatic changing of packaging films without machine stoppages, saving time and eliminating waste. A new single NJ501-1400 Sysmac Machine Controller replaces two separate controllers to control Martini’s MLV130 system. It has a double-sealing head and long-dwell profile, and a volumetric dosing unit  for fast, precise weighing.

Small batch flexibility

Changing consumer demands mean that producers must deliver a wider variety of products and smaller size lots. That means that new packaging machines need to be able to switch production with minimal change-over time between runs.

Martini’s new unified control system allows changes to the motion profiles on the fly. This ensures fast adaptation to changes in production. It allows change of bag length and production speeds without wasting material or stopping the machine. For example, machine homing only takes place when first powering-up the machine to set up the initial position.

Absolute encoders allow the machine to automatically return to the right axis position in case of any problem or change. This means it can immediately restart production without wasting time to perform homing.

Better sealing with Omron AI

Different types of seal need different handling to ensure optimal packaging quality. Omron developed a new flexible thermocouple sensor allowing precise temperature measurement. The temperature controllers use dedicated algorithms to deliver stable surface temperatures using AI.

How it’s all achieved

The machine uses with a single NJ501- 1400 Sysmac Machine controller for both motion and PLC profiles. The new system supports more flexible production with faster changes. The MLV130 delivers a 10% increase in production speed. It processes up to 130 packages/minute with a package length of 340 mm.

The controller manages both the packaging and dosing nodes over an EtherCAT network. It also provides data access to and from the machine. Collecting and processing data in the cloud lets Martini engineers identify potential issues. Moreover, they can resolve issues, and take preventive maintenance actions, to reduce service costs.

Remote access to the configuration parameters, allows Martini engineers direct access to machines. This allows them to resolve issues when an engineer is not present at the customer location.

Modular software

Omron supported machine analysis on the earlier designs for vertical flow-pack machines. Martini also developed a modular software structure, increasing design flexibility. It uses proven software libraries and software modules. This allows Martini to adapt machines to meet new trends and respond to changes in demand. Finally. it also reduces development and engineering time, when tailoring machines for new customers.