Valve Control

Extend Valve’s Life.  Valve Control for Liquid Filler or Nitrogen dosing.

Air Cylinders and cam driven filler valves are difficult to changeover and have little or no adjustability during the actual filling process. Spring return slamming of the valve reduces valve life.

Valves, whether liquid filler or nitrogen dosing, have spring return that closes the valve in case of air/power loss. This spring force is lighter on gas valves like nitrogen dosing where the forces to overcome them are more within range of SMAC actuators. Liquid valves springs can have higher forces, especially if they are used to fill high viscous material like syrups. These high viscous materials require much higher spring forces to close them. The downside to using a spring return is that the associated slamming of the valve close prematurely wears out the valve sealing surfaces and reduces the life expectancy of these expensive valves. SMAC actuators can gently control this closing and extend the valve’s life.

This application is from SMAC.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SMAC distributor in Wisconsin.
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Bio, ISO, Bellissimo

The production of Mozzarella cheese is a technical challenge. The living cultures require precisely defined site conditions and the fresh, pressure-sensitive soft cheese requires a well-conceived conveyance system to avert spoilage.

In Europe’s first fully automated production plant, Premiummarke Francia Mozzarella, the WAGO I/O SYSTEM 750 offers flexibility to meet these unique production needs. Because of the humidity in our plant, frequent disturbances arise, for example water in a valve gear can cause a short-circuit. Such disturbances are easy to locate using WAGO’s diagnostic tools, even when dealing with very large nodes. With the I/O system we have had so far no problems. The plant has been running for nearly three years and we have yet to exchange even one clamp.

“There are 50 field bus nodes in the plant – from the delivery area to the packing department. These nodes monitor filling conditions, temperatures of drives, etc.. The speed of operation of these nodes offers sufficient reserves for planned production increases.

This is a customer success story from Wago.
Tri-Phase Automation is a WAGO distributor in Wisconsin.
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Cognex vision in quality inspection and sorting – Gunnar Dafgard AB

Cognex vision guarantees perfect pizza

Gunnar Dafgård AB is Sweden’s largest family business in the food sector. Every day 110,000 units of Billy’s pan-pizza (a brand of Gunnar Dafgård AB) are manufactured and distributed frozen, to food services and to retail outlets in Sweden and beyond. Each individual pizza must be inspected to ensure correct form, size and look, all vital statistics for the success of a brand on any tough consumer market. In order to maintain high production levels as well as reliable and consistent quality control, a robust and highly automated solution needed to be found.

The In-Sight® 5100 vision system from Cognex inspects the position of the pizzas on the production line ensuring the look, the size and the form of the pizzas are correct. Even the coverage of cheese on the surface of the pizza is inspected. Any pizzas not conforming are rejected. The vision system was installed by a Cognex’ Partner System Integrator, AVT Industriteknik AB. AVT developed a user-friendly interface which made it possible for the employees on the pizza line to make choices of different vision applications and make adjustments of the vision program without any previous experience in machine vision.

According to Ove Rydberg, Project Leader of Dafgård, “Our use of vision-system for automatic inspection is an integrated part of the job for improved quality and a better working environment for the employees on the pizza-line. Cognex was chosen based on the fact that Cognex has in-depth knowledge of the food industry worldwide”.

This is an customer success story from Cognex.

Tri-Phase Automation is a Cognex distributor in Wisconsin. We offer machine vision evaluations and technical support to help our customers solve their applications.  Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote

Eliminate Additional Costs with AquaTrue Planetary Gearheads

Revolutionary, corrosion-resistant and watertight gearheads for demanding applications

AquaTRUE gearhead combines the high performance and torque capacity of the True Planetary gearheads with features specifically designed to meet the strict requirements of applications such as food and beverage handling, packaging and dispensing. The AquaTRUE’s IP66/IP67 and IP69K protection is able to handle caustic cleaning chemicals as well as high pressure washdown. Until now, manufacturers have been unable to use gearheads in many applications involving harsh environments because there was not a product available that met those needs.

The gearhead’s 304 stainless steel housing eliminates the concern for rust or any type of corrosion. The AquaTRUE has a laser etched permanent product label and a smooth, round external housing that is designed without any external seams or corners for bacteria to collect. This makes the AquaTRUE very easy to clean and a perfect fit in any washdown environment.

The AquaTRUE is engineered to be placed anywhere in the application’s design, regardless of environmental factors. This eliminates the cost of additional components such as enclosers, shielding or mechanical transmissions.

Tri-Phase Automation is a Thomson/Micron distributor in Wisconsin
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Volumetric Filling Machines

Improve Filling, Reliability and Accuracy
Improving machine throughput

The flexibility offered by the servo based Exlar actuator offers you the ability to manipulate flow rates or volume instantaneously, without setting any switches or changing out any cams. Container size, volume, or liquid changes are simple to obtain – just enter a new setting in the operator interface panel, or have a PLC do the changes. Operate independent lanes or synchronize all the pumps together. The GSX Series provides a wash-down compatible, sealed design in a compact package. Replacing the cams or fluid power cylinders can be an easy retrofit resulting in better performance, less maintenance and longer life of your machine. Exlar actuators are being used to pump many products including milk, fruit juice, gelatin, yogurt, pudding, pet food, soup, and cake batter. Even paint, lip stick, grease and solvents are being pumped.

Replace the cams or air cylinders in your volumetric filling machine with an Exlar actuator and you will see precise volume control and an accurate fill rate! With an Exlar GSX Series actuator operating the piston pump, users are achieving better than 0.1% fill accuracy.

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of Exlar in Wisconsin.
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High Speed Pressure and Leak Detector System

Detect Leaks

The current method for leak detect has been tapping on the top of lid and sensing the pressure. This is difficult technique with low accuracy.

Sense side of bottle, push with specific force and determining the movement to determine pressure in bottle. This is primarily in bottles pressurized by nitrogen filled bottles (soda, etc.) where they are more solid. If there is a leak the spring back is greater. The cycle rate is 20 Hz.

Beyond Bottles: This same solution can be used for soft pouch packaging such as contact lenses or coffee “pods.”

Watch this video and see how it works

Since the SMAC actuator can sense the surface, apply programmable force and monitor position of movement, SMAC has the game changing solution.

This application success story is from SMAC.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SMAC distributor in Wisconsin.
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Bottle Filling Line Rejection System

This application rejects bottles or cans from a filling line.

The level of liquid in the bottle determines if it is accepted or rejected. This is sensed as the bottle passes through an inspection process upstream from the actuator station. If it fails this test a signal is given to the SMAC controller to perform a cycle. There is a delay between the bottle being sensed and the signal being given, which is controlled by a PLC on the line.

There are two routines programmed into the unit. The first (program “A”) is a two-stage move consisting of a slow move out to an interrupt position, followed by a fast out and retract move. The second (program “B”) is a simple out and retract, for high speed applications. There are three “A” profiles set in the controller and one “B” profile, along with an edit routine for each. The three different “A” profiles are selected using input channels, the program has to be stopped and MS240 typed to run profile “B.” There are a number of registers used to store the three positions (start, interrupt, final) and two accelerations (initial, final). Editing is done through an OMRON PLC using the RS232. All setup is by touch screen via RS232 to the controller. The operator sets the profile needed. The LAL90-50 actuator and LAC1 controller sit inside a stainless steel box. This is necessary as the unit will be in an environment that will be washed down regularly. The rod exits the box through a 10mm wiper seal. The cable from the actuator will have the 25-pin D-type connector replaced by a 15-pin connector and will plug directly into the controller.

The SMAC system improves upon the previous method because: – The previous system was pneumatic, and if the cylinder did not reject any bottles for several hours and then had to reject one, static friction in the seals would cause the first cycle to be slow and ejector could be hit by the next bottle in the line. – The profile can be changed for different bottle shapes. Slow approach then high speed means bottles do not fall over, an important factor for high-cost liquid bottling. This could not be done with the previous system. – Out and back movements in 50ms means the actuator is suitable for lines up to 1,200 bottles per minute, good for filling glass bottles. (Cans run about 2,200 per minute and are usually split into two inspection lines of 1,100 per minute each.)

This application success story is from SMAC.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SMAC distributor in Wisconsin.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote

Devro Teepak

SoftPLC was used with the company’s previous controller to eliminate timing issues, increase computing power, reduced cost, and improved reliability.

Engineers frequently encounter difficulty in control applications when multiple tasks need to occur in a coordinated manner. A food processing OEM found this to be the case in one of their machines. In the past, the OEM used an SLC-500 PLC for machine control, in conjunction with a Basic module which communicated to a high speed Servo via an RS-232 channel. Timing problems resulted because: (a) the data coming into the Basic module was limited to 19.2Kbaud, (b) the Basic program needed to run a large number of calculations for the Servo before it passed the information to the PLC, and then (c) based on where the PLC was in its cycle, the control did or did not happen in the proper sequence or fast enough.

The solution chosen by the OEM was to use SoftPLC, a PC based open architecture control system that runs “PLC-5 like” ladder. The servo calculations required were extremely lengthy and needed to be done within 1/100 second, so rather than burden the control PC with this, they were still done in a separate PC in Basic. The hardware selected was a Ziatech STD-32 multi-processor system–1 CPU running SoftPLC for control, 1 CPU performing the calculations, and a third CPU running an operator interface program and the SoftPLC ladder programming software, TOPDOC. High-speed APIX I/O was selected, which fits right in the Ziatech backplane. In a global memory area, information is passed between the SoftPLC and the Basic program.

The OEM was able to convert the usable SLC-500 logic to run in SoftPLC, and wrote a C function to read/write to the global memory area – all in less than one day! All objectives for the machine re-design were reached, including inter-communications between the various control elements, cost of machine, processing speed and reliability of operation.

This application success story is from SoftPLC
Tri-Phase Automation is a SoftPLC distributor in Wisconsin.
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CM30 Capacitive Sensors

Detection of bottle tops and protection bottles

Once beverage bottles are filled on a bottling line, they are packed into multi-packs with the aid of heat shrink film. All bottles must be checked to ensure they have tops and that each pack contains the correct number of bottles.

Four CM30 Capacitive Sensors are used side by side on each packaging line and are installed at right angles to the direction in which the packs are transported. As soon as the package of shrink-wrapped bottles moves through the sensor gate, each CM30 capacitive sensor detects the bottles and confirms that each has a top by identifying changes in capacitance values. Any reject can be detected and removed. However, if the capacitance of the CM30 changes as per the values set, the pack is accepted and can be placed on a pallet.

CM30 Capacitive Sensors feature an industry-proven, standardized housing design and connection system. The sensitivity and the switching distance can be adjusted directly on the sensors. In addition, the plastic housing has an IP 67 enclosure rating to ensure cleaning work on the machine will not affect the sensor, even over the long term.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
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Protection of a handling machine in cheese manufacturing

To protect a handling machine against moisture, a C2000 Safety Light Grid with an IP67enclosure rating has been installed.

At a French Camembert factory, employees often work near hazardous areas such as stack collectors. Since hands and fingers are most susceptible to injury, a reliable safety solution that doesn’t interfere with the production process is required. At an ambient temperature of 77° F, the safety system has an atmospheric humidity of up to 85 percent. The machine must be washed off once or twice a day using alkaline or acidic cleaning agents. Cold water (41 to 50° F) at a pressure of 40 psi is also used for rinsing and cleaning.

The compact design and PMMA acrylic tube housing of the SICK C2000 Safety Light Grid is ideal for use in this harsh environment. The protective housing was designed without trap points for dirt or contamination. A pressure equalization membrane integrated into one of the end caps prevents the penetration of moisture and ensures condensation does not form on the window. The cable entry is provided using proven PG cable glands.

The resistance of the materials used for the IP 67 housing series and the cable was positively assessed in material compatibility tests performed by Ecolab (Henkel) for the cleaning products P 3 (P3-topax 56, P3-topax 66, P3-topax 91, P3-topactive 200, P3-topactive DES). The low pressure foam method (COP cleaning and disinfection) for the food processing industry is recommended.

The C2000 Safety Light Grid is an electro-sensitive protective equipment of Type 2 in accordance with IEC 61496. The parallel light beams generate a flat protective field in front of the dangerous area. Any Unauthorized or inadvertent movement within the running machine by an employee results in the interruption of one or more light beams. The evaluation electronics for the C2000 detect this situation within a few milliseconds and immediately generate a shutdown signal for the stack collector.

Using the C2000 Safety Light Grid in an IP 67 housing ensures reliable protection despite harsh ambient conditions. The machine protection meets not only the requirements in relation to hygiene, resistance to cleaning, availability, and safety, but also the requirements in relation to ergonomics and productivity, as the stack collector is always accessible when shutdown.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote