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AC890 variable-speed drives from Parker Hannifin are being used in a control system developed for a refurbished web laminating line operated by the API Group.

The control system was designed and produced by Blackburn-based Optima Control Solutions, and in conjunction with the AC890 drives, has enabled availability of the laminating line to be significantly increased.

The system has improved production flexibility for API, while increasing line functionality and reducing overall energy consumption.

The system developed by Optima replaced the common mechanical drive system with a series of individual drives, each controlling its own roller section with discrete control loops.

The drive system configuration included 13 closed-loop AC vector motors, each controlled by Parker AC890 variable-speed drives, with a common DC bus, generated from a further AC890 Series active front end.

This arrangement provides highly efficient power management, with energy for the drives and motors being naturally balanced between units that are motoring and those that are regenerating when braking.

The control capabilities of the AC890 drives also enabled Optima to specify a smaller PLC than would otherwise have been required, to manage the overall machine control.

Optima Control Solutions managing director, Michael Hill, says: ‘We’ve worked closely with Parker to ensure that the system is as energy-efficient as possible and have managed to reduce the machine’s power consumption by around 45 per cent.

‘Additionally, the AC890 drives have helped us make considerable improvements to machine functionality, to reduce set-up times and make it easier to operate.

‘For example, the drives are supplied with powerful tension control functionality as standard, and the ability to control line speed set-points and set speed ratios between drives.

‘They also have onboard I/O, which we used for speed set-points or load cell signals.’ The system has made changeover between products quick and simple, by using recipes stored in a touch-screen HMI.

Operators can now control individual web tensions in each section of the machine, with flexibility and accuracy.

These enhancements enable API to run a far wider range of materials through the refurbished laminating line, now including holographic foils and biodegradable metallised films.

The complete system was installed and commissioned in just three weeks.

To minimise production downtime, Optima carried out much of the mechanical and electrical work in advance, with the flexibility and ease of configuration of the AC890 drives enabling them to be pre-programmed and tested off-line.

Parker Hannifin – Electromechanical and Drives

Parker Hannifin is the world’s leading diversified manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, providing precision-engineered solutions for a wide variety of mobile, industrial and aerospace markets. With a comprehensive portfolio of electromechanical actuators, servo motors, servo drives, operator displays, communications devices and variable speed AC and DC drives, the Electromechanical and Drives Division are uniquely placed to meet all of your motion control and drives requirements.

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