The PPMA show this year was very successful for Mitsubishi Electric, as the company demonstrated the benefits of advanced automation systems and solutions for packaging machinery. Taking centre stage visually was a Proseal GT0 automatic in-line tray sealing machine, equipped with high-speed heat sealing technology, touch screen HMIs, PLCs, drives, servo control and robot handling.
Together, the products form a platform of compatible technologies offering simple integration and ease of programming that deliver tangible benefits for machine builders looking to gain a competitive edge. A full library of software function blocks reduces the burden of programming; instead, machine builders merely need to set parameters within the software blocks to implement key functions. All this leads to faster development and delivery for advanced packaging automation solutions.
Something that certainly caught the attention of visitors to stand was a SCARA robot on the Proseal GT0’s infeed/outfeed conveyor system, demonstrating the ease of integration for adding robotics into packaging lines to increase speed and accuracy while taking-up very little actual floor space.
Visitors to the stand were able to learn about Mitsubishi Electric’s commitment to the OMAC PackML standard, with demonstrations showing how it brings benefits to machine builders and end users alike. Machine builders are increasingly being asked to offer PackML standardisation by packaging customers, who see it as the key to higher machine OEE with faster throughput, faster product changeovers and less scrap.
Mitsubishi Electric also showed how it had invested in making it easy to adopt the standard by offering templates that are PackML ready, saving time and cost in system development. These include pre-defined HMI templates and ready-made function blocks to speed up configuration.
A further demonstration on the stand covered GOT Mobile for Mitsubishi Electric GOT series HMIs, providing convenient remote access to the HMIs via webserver functionality. This represents a useful platform for monitoring and system operation and runs on standard web browsers on devices such as tablets and smartphones.
Alongside these demonstrations, visitors to the stand were also the first in the UK to see a preview of an innovative conveyor solution, combining Mitsubishi Electric’s Smart Carriage technology with the linear transfer system designed by e-F@ctory Alliance partner APT Automation. Described as ‘the world’s most advanced packaging and assembly conveyor’ the Smart Carriage solution addresses industry challenge such as improved productivity, increased OEE and greater production line flexibility. Features include on-board intelligence, real-time synchronisation with other processes and the ability to switch between vertical and horizontal tracks.
Mitsubishi Electric Marketing & Operations Group Manager Chris Evans said: “This is the first time we have attended the PPMA show and it was an enormous success. Mitsubishi Electric’s solutions for the packaging industry address the full spectrum of challenges facing the sector and meet the needs of both machine builders and end users. Machine builders can reduce development times with improving functionality, while end users benefit from machines that increase productivity.”