Siemens helps SencorpWhite enhance motion and heat control in Ultra 2 inline thermoformer | Automation.com

Siemens helps SencorpWhite enhance motion and heat control in Ultra 2 inline thermoformer

Siemens helps SencorpWhite enhance motion and heat control in Ultra 2 inline thermoformer

May 4, 2018 - SencorpWhite is a specialist in thermoforming machinery and one of their recent innovations was the Ultra 2, a production steel rule die inline thermoformer for the global plastics industry.   On the machine, which has a footprint of 50’ x 11’, the process tonnage of 35 tons for form and 130 tons for trim is generated entirely by electric servo motors and with a steel rule die inline arrangement.  Onboard, 44 zones of heating are being controlled by a monitoring system supplied by Siemens, who also supplied the servos and other motion control components for this machine. 

In creating this machine, as Brian Golden, product manager for thermoformers at SencorpWhite, explains,  :The Ultra 2 has a 34” x 48” forming area.  Typically, such a large machine would involve major challenges in motion and heat control, especially when running at higher production speeds.”  As a result, Golden notes, the SencorpWhite engineering team, led by Greg Danti, turned for assistance to its longtime supplier Siemens. 

Overall, this machine was in development approximately 2-1/2 years, with the bulk of the engineering focused on the electrical and electronic controls. 

Siemens also assisted in the development of the proprietary off-loading system on the Ultra 2, introducing the SencorpWhite team to its Simotion D motion controller, which runs the system in 100% servo mode.  By use of the supplier’s Scout system, the builder here was able to “test drive” a number of drives to select the optimum combination of features and price point.  This new system utilizes stationary motors, driving the need for coordinated motion control.  The Scout system provided the technical solution for this requirement. 

Parts produced on the Ultra 2, given its combination of volume, speed and accuracy, range from HBA and medical packs to clamshell and high-capacity containers or very high-volume jobs, where the increased number of parts per shot has tactical market advantages for customers. 

On the HMI side, the selection of the Panel Pro IP67 gave the SencorpWhite team the solution for a display that could withstand any anticipated working environment. 

For heating control on the machine’s 44 temp zones, the choice was the Siplus HCS4300 control system, with detailed diagnostics that can detect internal faults in the load circuit, blown fuses, and defective heater cable.  Network voltage and internal temperatures are also monitored per zone.  The heating on the machine is radiated top and bottom, with individually controlled zones for form and trim. 

All communication is run over ASI Profinet.   CAT3 safety compliance is provided.

On the proprietary off-loading station, the off-loader feeds a parts stacker via a specially designed 5-axis servo and 3-conveyor motion handling system.

Visitors to the upcoming NPE in Orlando can see the Ultra 2 in action at the SencorpWhite booth W591.  

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