Figure 1. Source: maxon, worldwide leaders in precision drive systems.Figure 1. Source: maxon, worldwide leaders in precision drive systems.Environmental concerns, changing lifestyles and rising raw material prices all factor into the packaging industry’s need to adapt. The stakes are high, given that this sector, dominated by food processing, is expected to be worth several hundred billion dollars in the coming years.

Meeting the contradictory demands of producing more, practicing environmental responsibility and remaining profitable requires a review of all processes and raw materials. Packaging is essential for creating brand awareness and launching new products. High-performance machines are necessary to create packaging that is individually customizable as well as 100% recyclable, compostable or even edible. As such, solutions must address all these issues.

The cost of new equipment prevents many companies from keeping up with innovation. Given that profitability lies in production speed, drive motors can offer substantial, cost-effective improvement without a complete change of equipment.

Increasing the speed and profitability of production lines requires automatic packaging machines with compact and high-performance drives. In their standard version, brushless IDX motors have an integrated positioning controller, resulting in an automatic adjustment. These compact drives offer a nominal permanent torque of 794 mNm and a nominal speed of 6,000 rpm, giving them a high power density (308 W).

  • Packaging machinery performs better and faster with little maintenance.
  • Delivery times are shortened.
  • IDX systems understand the machinery’s common communication buses, which optimizes development cycles.

Perform maintenance remotely

The management of machines and motors remotely, especially through an internet connection, is common. With the addition of smart sensors, conventional and predictive remote maintenance is possible as well. Sensors collect data for the purpose of minimizing breakdowns. Remote maintenance reduces the risk of production shutdowns and the subsequent loss in profitability. This is possible for both the technical components of the machine and its motor. In addition, thanks to the CANopen and EtherCAT communication buses, the adjustable digital and analog inputs and outputs can be adapted to many device profiles. Intuitive commissioning software is provided.

Choosing motors that adapt to the existing environment

Figure 2. The maxon IDX 56. Source: maxonFigure 2. The maxon IDX 56. Source: maxonReplacing machines to keep up with innovation generally is not feasible in the industrial sector, where machinery depreciates over the long term. A better option is to integrate new motors into existing installations. The IDX range is modular (front flange, cabling, definition of the axis and more) on maxon’s online configurator and can adapt to existing machinery.

Flexible, innovative, eco-friendly machines

The demand for more eco-friendly materials has manufacturers incorporating recycled plastic into their production lines; they are particularly invested in research and development to find alternative solutions. To meet these demands more easily, the packaging industry relies on machinery with flexible, customized motor systems.

IDX motors are delivered within four weeks, compared with the usual market average of 19 weeks, which means motors can be tested quickly. This point is also crucial for machine maintenance.

The IDX is designed to operate in overloaded conditions for a limited period of time during a motion cycle. Internal temperature sensors and an automatic derating or shutdown prevent damage to the IDX motor winding and electronics. Configurable continuous and peak current limitations enable the machine builder or operator to adjust the output torque based on the application’s requirements.

The IDX also offers a high-performance CANopen or EtherCAT bus interface commonly used by PLCs for dynamic commanding of the drive and gathering process data on the fly. An additional USB port is present for easy initial commissioning or testing by maxon’s EPOS Studio software. Command of IDX by CANopen or USB by Windows or Linux system environments (PC, Raspberry Pi) and maxon’s “EPOS command library” is possible if no real-time data exchange is required by an application.

For more information on powerful and reliable drive motors to meet the evolving high-performance machinery needs in the packaging sector, visit maxon.