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.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote

High Speed Precision Multi-Axis for Pick and Place

SMAC has developed a unique solution for what is believed to be the fastest and most precise three axis pick and place system in the world today.

A solution was needed for a multi-national Japanese manufacturer of luxury goods who were required to both significantly increase product output and improve the flexibility of the manufacturing process.

This highly innovative solution was custom designed by SMAC’s design engineering team in Carlsbad, California, USA. The customer was supplied with a completely pre-assembled, individual parts handling solution. It was designed to be quickly retrofitted into the existing production system within the customer’s factory. One of the key features of the SMAC Moving Coil Actuator solution is that by design it has inherent positioning and feedback capability, a closed loop system that ensures no external sensors or switches are required. This dramatically reduces the amount of external wiring required and facilitates both quick installation and 100% diagnostic feedback and data. The solution was rigorously tested in advance of delivery and ready to install as a turnkey unit. The pick and place system integrated two Multipole Moving Coil Actuators (MCA) one of which was a two axis rotary unit. The Y axis unit, part number MLA15-50 had a stroke of 50mm and the Z unit, part number MLRA15-30, has a stroke of 30mm and an in-built rotary axis of 180 degrees. Due to the exceptionally high speeds and high duty cycle air cooling was used to keep the temperature of the actuators constant. The electronic actuators achieve an exceptionally high degree of speed, accuracy and repeatability by the use of specially designed internal components and SMAC’s high performance electronics. C-sleeve linear guides deliver exceptionally high life expectancy, and a high resolution encoder is integrated into an optimized size footprint. The SMAC system is complemented by four high speed Galil electronic controllers which were incorporated into the solution.

The new system enables perfect quality and allows production times to be tripled. It also enabled the customer to increase manufacturing throughput and flexibility by rapidly switching to new parts for different products quickly. Previously, manual machine change over of parts was required. The SMAC solution reduced existing cycle times from 900 milliseconds to 300 milliseconds while being operated 24/7. It is now believed that the SMAC solution sets a new benchmark as the fastest and most accurate pick and place machine automation system in the world. Because it is SMAC proprietary technology, it can be freely used for other customers and other applications. It is ideally suited for the handling of any micro-components where fracturing and damage occurs during the production process when using conventional solutions such as pneumatic devices, ball screw and servo systems. It is particularly suited to SMT and chip placing applications.

This application success story is from SMAC.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SMAC  and Galil distributor in Wisconsin.
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Packaging machine upgrade for inspection verification

Packaging machine upgrade for inspection verification

The transparent lid of each baby food container being produced at Huhtamaki at very high rates each day has a label affixed declaring the contents and flavor of the food. Each must be correctly labeled. Vision sensors were the only possibility for such high speed production where human inspection would not be viable.

The solution was based on a Cognex In-Sight® vision system equipping both lines on the conveyor with a camera and connecting the Huhtamaki interface simply by OPC on one PC. The use of Cognex advanced vision tools in the form of PatMax® technology provided for a simple interface with the product images clearly displayed and played a decisive part in recognizing the label and acquiring the image to be assessed. Using PatMax, the program memorizes and recognizes an area of text and certain aspects of the label as well as its positioning on the lid.

There is no need for any complex parameter configuration which ensures ease of use and long term flexibility. An item that does not correspond correctly to the image acquired is immediately rejected. The capacity of PatMax to acquire a sufficient amount of detailed information ensures not only zero defects but also a negligible rate of false rejects.

This is a application 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

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.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote

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.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote

Differentiation of different color labels

Scanning color difference on labels.

After labeling, ice-cream boxes are packed in batches. During this process it must be ensured only the same type is placed on a pallet. The labels are all the same size and can only be differentiated by color.

It was possible to meet the requirement using the SICK CVS1 Easy color vision sensor. This sensor has a wide light spot and a large scanning distance. It reliably detects any color difference on the labels and triggers the ejection of any incorrect colors. With its 8 memory banks for colors that only need to be taught once using teach-in, a quick batch color change is no problem.

Because the sensor is mounted in a place where it is difficult to see, an external control unit with a dedicated color display and keyboard are used.

Quick batch changes are possible by teaching up to 8 colors. It was possible to reduce to a minimum the complaints due to incorrectly labeled product, reducing costs and improving the image of the ice-cream manufacturer.

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

Advantech: Weighing and Packaging Machine

Automatic system includes HMI, drives, servo motors, PC based controller, motion slave modules, and digital I/O.

Automatic and highly accurate weighing & packaging machines are critical for many sectors, like pharmaceutical, medicine, food & beverage, jewelry, gold, silver, and more. After the weighing process, a conveyor system will transport the material to the packaging system. In recent years, these automatic weighing & packing devices have started to include intelligent features such as flexible orders and more detailed production systems. One client of Advantech’s was looking to upgrade their weighing and packaging machinery with a powerful PAC to achieve high-precision driving with high-end capabilities.

System Requirements

In the past this customer had been using a PLC with a touchscreen, which was causing them a lot of problems, such as difficulty in integrating 3rd party weighing scales via communication interface, difficulty in PLC motion control and interlock control functions, and running out of memory for control and production parameters. They were looking for a powerful new PAC to realize easy expansion capabilities with simple secondary development to achieve high-precision driving with advanced features. Advantech’s APAX-6571XPE and AMAX-2000 series were the ideal solution to integrate motion, networking & information processing functionality.

This system uses Advantech’s APAX-6571XPE controller and realizes complicated processing by integrating high-precision motors and high-power variable frequency drives. Combining digital input and output achieves integration and optimization of incorporated control. Through the built-in AMONet port, AMAX-2242/J2S and AMAX-2756SY can be managed by APAX-6571XPE. AMAX-2242/J2S controls 4 Mitsubishi motors revolving the conveyor belt. AMAX-2756SY receives digital sensor signals and generates output signals to control LED indicator, buzzer, switches and buttons. To get the weight information of the object, ADAM-4117 is connected through RS-485 to measure the analog signal from the weighing-scale. FPM-3120G and its resistive touchscreen functionality complete the system with flexible HMI. AMONet has been implemented to ensure time-deterministic control with 1 ms time interval. APAX system provides C and .NET API for high-performance motion and DI/O control. Furthermore, Microsoft embedded systems allows conversion and storage between the HMI and database to be easily realized, while production data can be transmitted to the back database via Ethernet.

This application focuses on high accuracy measurement and motion control. By connecting APAX-6571XPE with ADAM-4000 and AMONet motion modules, the system integration effort has been greatly shortened, improving both reliability and accuracy. By integrating a high-precision motor and high-speed data acquisition modules, the overall system cost has been greatly reduced as well, reducing the overall wiring & cabling cost. With the help of high speed computing, mass storage and versatile communication interfaces, the system now meets the requirements of rapid communication with high-precision weighing and quick data acquisition.

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

Verifying security feature on package

Improve package security by verifying all cartons in-line and reduce complaints of point of sales

For security reasons, e.g. anti-counterfeiting, a carton is (pre) printed with an invisible security marking. Before the carton is leaving the packaging machine it has to make sure that the invisible marking is present and is containing the correct information. Otherwise the carton can not be verified as authentic in a later stage in the production, logistics or point of sales.

Luminescence sensors detect marks that are only visible under UV light. This is due to fluorescent substances contained in the mark, which convert the UV light into visible light. The reflected light beam is received by the luminescence sensor and evaluated.

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

Verification of presence of pills in blister packs

Avoid unplanned production stops by verifying all pills after filling

Missing pills in a blister pack is an indication of bad quality, and is critical and crucial for pharmaceutical products. Incorrect number of pills or incorrect size of pills may lead to danger to consumer health, and will in every case lead to consumer complaints.

The Inspector is an intelligent vision solution in an easy-to-use sensor package. No matter what blister pack that comes down the line, the Inspector is up to the challenge. Without programming, but parameterization of predefined tasks, the Inspector is made easy. You don’t need to be a vision expert to setup the system.

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

Verification of date code presence on the packaging

Avoid unplanned production stops by verifying all dates after printing.

The “best before” or “use by” date are dates that have to be on all food products. The absence, bad quality dates lead to production of packages that are wasted if detected before shipping or result in consumer complaints when they reach point of sales. Moreover this can lead to a danger of consumer health. The Inspector is an intelligent vision solution in an easy-to-use sensor package.

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