Features, Plastics

Packserv and SMC Corporation serve up next-generation machine success

The opportunity to add an electronically driven machine in its range has been embraced by Sydney-based packaging machinery leader Packserv Australia. The company recently developed a new-generation filling machine, designed to boost productivity, precision and efficiency, and included added features and functionality by incorporating components from SMC Corporation’s range of digital Industry 4.0 enabled components.

The integration of SMC’s electric actuators, coupled with innovative thinking, has given rise to a cutting-edge machine designed to provide customers with a competitive edge. This machine delivers real-time data and metrics, with the added capability of incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

Realising the benefits of electrical automation

“We have looked to SMC for its range of pneumatic components, and we still do, but this machine required digital, PLC controlled electric actuators. This shift that has opened a world of possibilities that aren’t available in in machines making use of pneumatics,” said Nathan Wardell, Managing Director of Packserv.

The key reason for the development of this machine is underpinned by increased output. “By switching to electric actuators and expanding the machine to include eight heads and twin lane functionality, our clients are able to significantly increase the output of the machine,” said Nathan. “We are also working on additional new machines of the same ilk to add to our new range of production lines.”

“Bringing electrical automation to the fore means that we can now fill around 100 units per minute or more – depending on the product, size and variable factors such as froth and foam.”

Nathan adds. “The indexing of containers can take a while post-fill, so we introduced a second lane to ensure that we could meet our clients’ output requirements of more than 100 units per minute.”

SMC Corporation caps off machine success

Packserv looked to SMC’s electric actuator range to help bolster its fillers and cappers production capabilities.

The companies have worked together for 17 years, and Nathan has nearly 30 years of working experience with SMC.

Reflecting on the early days of this project, Mikael Sandell, Key Account Manager for SMC Corporation said that he was excited to bring the benefits of electric actuators to Packserv, noting that it was the “perfect fit for the brief.”

“When it comes to extreme accuracy, speed control and positioning, the electric servo motor ball screw and belt actuators from SMC are the ideal solution,” added Mikael.

According to Nathan, the speed of the fill is increased and reduced in three stages. As the product enters, it is filled at 30% because of bubbling and frothing, it is then sped up to 100% mid stroke and speed is reduced to 30% in the narrowing of the neck so that it doesn’t overfill the container.

Beyond the precision that electric actuators provide, the servo drives are also used to monitor the machine – from both near and far – providing real-time feedback, data and metrics. In addition, preventative maintenance and technical support saves customers on downtime.

SMC specified the LE series servo drive as the perfect accompaniment. “They can be configured to suit each individual filling process with speed-, torque- and position control. They communicate with the fastest Industrial Ethernet technology providing real-time control and feedback.”

Mikael adds that while “pneumatic solutions still most certainly have their place in the market”, this application called for electrical components, and we are pleased to offer a range that can support most of the industries     requirement.

“This is our first prototype of its kind, and it was well received at APPEX 2024,” says Nathan. “We are excited to see where the future takes us” he concludes.

Photos:

Packserv machine images – various

Nathan Wardell of Packserv Australia

Notes to editors:

About SMC:  Founded 60 years ago, SMC operates in 83 countries, employing 19,000 people across the globe. It has an R&D engineering team of 1,450 and an 8,200-strong sales force, who are experts in their field and enjoy a close working relationship with SMC’s customers. To deliver automation solutions for its diverse customer base, SMC offers more than 12,000 basic products with over 700,000 variations. SMC is the world’s leading pneumatics provider and has been voted for three consecutive years as one of the most innovative global companies by leading business magazine, Forbes and is listed in the FORBES Global 2000 as one of the world’s largest public companies.

Website: www.smcanz.com

For sales enquiries, please contact AUsales@smcanz.com or NZsales@smcanz.com

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