Matthew Jaster, Senior Editor
A record-setting Pack Expo/Pharma Expo is expected to bring in 50,000 attendees and more than 2,500 exhibitors to McCormick Place in Chicago this week. We walked the exhibition floor on Monday November 7th to examine some of the new technologies and products at the show. Here’s a brief rundown:
Siemens Ups the Ante on Factory Automation
Binu Thomas, business developer, packaging industry and factory automation at Siemens, (N-4941) discussed Version 14 (V14) of Siemens Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) Portal during Pack Expo. V14 shortens the time to market for machine manufacturers and increases end user productivity. This automation suite offers a wide range of new functionalities including a variety of cloud-based engineering solutions. V14 also extends motion control functionality and applications within the S7-1500 controller family. The new Simatic S7-1500 T-CPUs enable Simatic users to solve advanced motion control tasks, such as gearing and camming, in a familiar environment.
Additionally, Siemens featured the new Simatic IPC477D PRO 22” and IPC477D PRO 19” industrial panel PCs during the show. These PCs may be mounted to support arms with extension components. Both models feature widescreen, capacitive multi-touch glass fronts and IP65 degrees of protection. Three versions of the panel PCs are available. The models can accommodate support arms and extension components using a standard 48.3 mm-round tube or Siemens flange mount adapter. They are suitable for support arms without extension components using a basic adapter that is included with the PCs. They may also be pedestal mounted using the included basic adapter. (www.usa.siemens.com)
Smart Robotic Solutions with Fanuc
If IMTS 2016 laid the groundwork for how companies are developing innovative, automation systems for smart manufacturing (IIoT), Pack Expo gave a preview of what the factory of the future might actually look like. Fanuc offered a variety of robotic solutions at its booth (N-6119) aimed at improving safety, providing process consistency and allowing more flexibility and freedom in package design. Many of these robotic solutions were found in other booths that featured the company’s signature robotic solutions such as the R-30iB controller, the high-speed handling M-1iA, M-2iA and M-3iA family of robots and the R-1000iA material handling robot. (www.fanucrobotics.com)
Bosch Rexroth Platform Provides Motion Capabilities
Osgood Industries, Inc. has served the dairy and food industries with filling machines for more than four decades. In order to reduce cabinet and machine size and save on energy, the company utilizes Bosch Rexroth drive technology including IndraDrive Mi cabinet free integrated motor/drives, IndraMotion MLC motion logic controller and a multi-touch HMI. “We like the Rexroth platform because of its superb motion capability and its high processing power,“ said Dalibor Bodruzic, electrical engineering manager at Osgood. By using Rexroth technology, the company has reduced waste, improved machine throughput rates and simplified its cleaning efforts. (www.boschrexroth-us.com)
Regal Offers One-Stop Industrial Solutions
PTE featured Regal’s MODSORT modular transfer station in a Pack Expo preview article in the October issue. Watching the system in action during the show confirmed what many already know; the company wants to provide a complete solution utilizing technology from its various business units including commercial and industrial systems, climate solutions and power transmission solutions.
“Essentially, we’ve taken our System Plast 2253RT roller top belt, which allows it to uniquely transfer and divert packages based on the sphere’s vector speed and direction while also featuring a one-inch, on-center sphere array to allow for very small packages to be diverted,“ said Mike Suter, vice president of marketing at Regal Beloit Corporation. “You look around our booth and you’ll find all the components that make these conveyor systems work. There’s no need to work with multiple sources, we can handle design, installation, diagnostics, etc. Everything necessary to maximize our customer’s equipment.“ (www.regalpts.com)