When specialist packaging machine builder Kosme looked to adopt a new SCADA/HMI standard platform to provide control and visualisation for its new Flypack shrink wrapping machine, it turned to the XML-based HMI Movicon SCADA package, supplied in the UK by Products4Automation.
Established in 1981, Kosme is a leading producer of packaging machines, including packers, palletisers, depalletisers, blowmoulders, wrappers and carton sealers, from single machines right up to complete production lines. With its unrivalled industry insight, Kosme saw an opportunity for an innovative new style of shrink wrapper built on a modular platform, featuring a compacter unit, a wrapping unit and a heat shrinker tunnel. Built with a tray erector and a layer pad inserter module, it would also be able to handle trays and film packs.
The machine would not only set new benchmarks for performance, with speeds of up to 45ppm, but would also deliver best-in-class control interfaces for improved operator control, faster product changeover and simpler servicing. This would see the Flypack system divided into an ‘operator side’ and a ‘service side’. The operator side would provide all the handwheels for format changeovers and the operator HMI. All of the serviceable components would be located on the service side.
To deliver the level of control required by the operators with the degree of modularity required to build such flexible machines, Kosme knew it needed to reassess its control strategy, moving away from fixed format controllers. Kosme’s R&D Group was looking for an alternative approach that would deliver the increased flexibility required combined with a significantly lower cost of development, while providing the levels of functionality and graphics that are essential for enhanced and intuitive operation.
To meet these requirements, Kosme investigated Progea’s Movicon SCADA software. Movicon SCADA/HMI technology is the only package of its kind to be completely based on XML standards and emergent technologies such as Web Services, SVG graphics, SOAP, OPC, SQL, .Net and COM, and Java. Movicon promised the ability to create user interfaces with vastly improved graphics, independent of screen size and resolution, making machines much more intuitive to operate and delivery richer functionality.
A move to Movicon also delivered the level of modularity that Kosme required in order to reduce the resources that would need to be deployed in planning and maintaining not only the Flypack but also any subsequent machine designs. In addition, by providing identical graphical interfaces and functionality on both Windows XP Embedded and Windows CE platforms, Movicon would allow Kosme to adopt whichever was more suitable for a given machine design without having to worry about porting an HMI to a different platform.
Developing the machine control interface around Movicon allowed Kosme to take a modular approach to machine design for more flexible operation. The Flypack shrink wrapper can provide a choice of packaging modes that include film only, tray only, film plus tray or film plus layer pad options. The container formats are also very versatile, covering bottles, cans and containers, and can be produced in any size and supported material including PET, glass, aluminium and more.
Movicon also gave Kosme the flexibility to meet the specific needs of individual customers of the Flypack shrink wrapper, making it easy to incorporate user specific functions. These included support for dynamic language change, user and password protection management compliant to FDA CFR21 Part 11 regulations, and alarm notifications by SMS or email.
Other optional functionalities can be enabled at any time on existing installations without any modification to the project, enabling control systems to evolve easily with changing customer requirements. These features include tracking, production reporting, statistics, web connectivity for remote access to the visualisation system, and the ability to access the system as a client from a mobile phone.
The Flypack shrink wrapper is not only an innovative addition to Kosme’s product range, but has also been hailed as a breakthrough product within the packaging industry generally. With its modular design and advanced HMI system providing significant user advantages, Flypack shrink wrappers are now being delivered and used all over the world.
For Kosme, the switch from conventional fixed format solutions to the more flexible XML-based Movicon approach has delivered machines which offer new standards in functionality and ease of use, and which are simpler to maintain and easier to service. At the same time, the switch to Movicon has significantly reduced Kosme’s machine development costs while providing the ability to respond to specific customer requirements.
Products4Automation (P4A) is a specialist supplier of new and innovative software and hardware solutions to the UK market. Product ranges available from P4A include the latest touch-screen HMI’s and flat panel PCs, SCADA software and plug-ins, a wide range of SCADA enabled hardware, Alarm plug-in software for large automation systems, and a full range of Production Intelligence software solutions.