Vertical Form Fill Seal (VFFS) machines range from simple low-demand systems to high speed continuous process, highly flexible systems requiring servo performance, with some systems tailored to unique packaging styles. As such a broad range of solutions are required to meet thee needs of variable package size, printed material, sealing process changes, and special features such as zip insertion..
ABB can offer solutions at each end of the scale, from simple stepper implementations to advanced high performance servo systems with rapid reconfiguration, operator safety and energy efficiency in mind.
This example above shows a continuous motion VFFS machine in which the material continues to feed while sealing and crimping is in progress. This approach requires the sealing jaws must move with the material during the seal and return ready for the next seal and 'in register' with the printed material. Like many modern machines, packaging especially, the motion is often electronically synchronised, sometimes mimicking the mechanical linkages that drives now replace. As a result electronic gearing, CAM motion, clutch simulation, advance / retard functionality is common place.
Related motion features :
Homing to a datum (which can be avoided using motors with absolute feedback reducing start-up time)
Fast latch inputs feature on our drives and motion controllers and ensure precise crimp / seal operation, to the printed material.
Smooth change of target position on the fly to correct final position of the film feed and jaw motion
CAM motion can be used for continuous smooth motion electronically geared to material feed. CAMs can be downloaded, stored, and modified on demand.
Electronic geared motion including CAM, virtual clutch, advance / retard corrections to synchronize axes as required
FLY segments provide constant acceleration geared motion segments and can be used for crimp motion in continuous feed machines as a simpler alternative to complex CAMs
Possible solutions for this machine type include:
Simple stepper or analog solutions to provide entry level machine designs
Advanced real-time Ethernet servo solutions
MotiFlex + Mint Machine Module - A unique servo solution with no external controller and DC energy recovery for high duty CAM based reciprocal jaws
Simple systems can be achieved using a combination of stepper drives and / or analog controlled drives. NextMove ESB-2 can provide scalable solutions in this category with its mix of axis interfaces and features.
NextMove ESB-2 is capable of controlling 7 axes in total, 3 x analog and 4 x stepper.
IO can be expanded using CANopen
Registration for printed material can be handled by the 4 x high speed latch inputs of the NextMove controller
If an upstream Ethernet connection is required for a networked machine, consider using NextMove e100 which is also capable of analog servo and stepper control.
MINT programs can be ported to NextMove e100 or the plug-in MINT controller for MotiFlex drives offering different hardware solutions for different machine demands.
For more information on NextMove motion products click here
The following application notes are relevant to this application and provide more detailed motion description and exmaple software solutions for the core motion tasks: