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Meltech has eliminated the need for a separate PLC on its semi-automatic plastics inline coiling equipment and reduced maintenance by switching from DC to AC drives from Control Techniques.

The manufacturer of extrusion, winding and coiling equipment for the metals, wire/cable and plastics industries chose to switch to Unidrive SP AC drives – four for each coiler – with each drive featuring a powerful programmable onboard plug-in SM Applications module.

This has eliminated the need for a costly separate controlling PLC and removed a considerable amount of wiring between the PLC and the drives, cutting build time and an area of potential weakness.

The Meltech semi-automatic plastic coiler features two reels mounted on a transfer disc.

When the active winder is full, the disc is rotated 180deg and the extrusion is automatically transferred and attached onto the empty reel to allow continuous uninterrupted operation of the extrusion line.

Depending on the product to be wound, the machine can operate at line speeds of up to 300m/min on a variety of drum and coil sizes.

The winding drives are both 1.1kW Unidrive SP AC drives in speed control, the transfer disc is controlled by a 1.5kW Unidrive SP in open-loop vector mode and the traverse is controlled by a 0.37kW Unidrive SP in servo mode, twinned with a Control Techniques Unimotor FM servo motor.

All four drives communicate with Control Techniques’ own high-speed network, CT-Net, facilitated by the SM-Applications Plus modules in each drive.

The entire machine application control programme is on just one of these units.

Meltech engineers used CT-Soft, Control Techniques’ software configuration tool for setting up and to parameterise the drives and Syptpro for programming the PLC machine-control programme.

The Unidrive SP ’solutions platform’ AC variable speed drive range spans 0.37kW to 1.9MW.

It is configurable into five operating modes – open and closed loop, vector, servo and regenerating modes.

With a range of plug-in module options, its onboard PLC can be supplemented with programmable and specialist feedback and communication modules.

The SM Applications Plus module provides programmable automation from simple start/stop sequencing of a single drive to more complex machine and motion-control applications.

The module gives high-speed drive-to-drive communications via CT-Net and fast I/O.

Control Techniques

Control Techniques, an Emerson Industrial Automation company, is a world leader in the design, production and marketing of electronic variable speed drives for the control of electric motors. Our strategy is to concentrate on delivering drives and servo products that enhance the productivity of our customers’ machines and processes.

We operate through a global network of drive and application centres that both distribute product and add value by building our drive products into custom designed systems and by offering the highest levels of customer service.

Our Control Techniques drive centres also provide us with invaluable feedback and market intelligence so that we can further improve our products and service. This customer focused strategy will enable us to continue to grow profitably.

Our competitive edge is based on our unique focus on drives, our strength in research and development, our investment low-cost manufacturing and an effective worldwide marketing strategy.

Emerson Industrial Automation, a business of Emerson, is a global technology provider that enables productivity, efficiency and quality gains for customers across a spectrum of industries. Our products include alternators, electric motors and drives, electrical distribution devices and mechanical power transmission, fluid automation and ultrasonic joining solutions. Visit our website for more details.

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