Press Release

15th March 2011
Beckhoff at Interpack 2011 in Düsseldorf, Germany: Hall 15, Booth D25/E26
MULTIVAC handling module based on PC- and EtherCAT-based control technology from Beckhoff
TwinCAT Kinematic software controls highly dynamic pick-and-place robot for the handling of packaging
Beckhoff is presenting its control technology for packaging machines at Interpack 2011. The highlight of the live presentations is a highly dynamic handling solution for products and packaging from the foodstuffs industry. The H 130 handling module combines high-tech mechanical engineering from MULTIVAC with state-of-the-art control technology from Beckhoff. The pick-and-place robot is based on TwinCAT automation software and EtherCAT as the fast communication system. The FDA-compliant Beckhoff stainless steel operating panel and servomotors are specially designed for the stringent hygiene requirements in the food industry.

MULTIVAC, specialists for packaging machines based in Wolfertschwenden, Germany, use PC-based control technology from Beckhoff in all of their fully automatic machines. The H 130 handling module functions either as an autonomous pick-and-place robot, or it can be fully integrated into MULTIVAC’s automated packaging lines. It automates a wide range of handling tasks in packaging processes and is characterised by high speed and precision, fast convertibility and a consistent hygienic design.

The PC controller in the H 130 consists of a compact CX1020 Embedded PC with integrated I/O terminals for the coupling of sensors and actuators as well as TwinSAFE terminals for the safety equipment. MULTIVAC uses Beckhoff type AX5000 Servo Drives for accurate positioning tasks. The basis for the fast process communication and highly dynamic regulation of the drive axes is EtherCAT, the Industrial Ethernet system. The four axes of the MULTIVAC handling module allow exact spatial positioning as well as orientation in the vertical axis. This allows products weighing up to 1000 g to be picked up and orientated as desired.

All in one: Robotics and Motion Control on one platform

The PC-based control system from Beckhoff combines PLC, Motion Control and Robotics on one hardware and software platform. The “TwinCAT Kinematic Transformation” software integrates itself transparently into the existing Motion Control world, allowing Robotics and Motion Control functions to be optimally synchronised. For example, the 3-D Delta kinematics can be coupled simply with the “flying saw” function in order to synchronise to conveyors and to pick up or set down packaging (Conveyor Tracking).

The FDA-compliant and hygienic stainless steel design of the handling solution enables the wet cleaning of the entire unit. MULTIVAC chose the Beckhoff Control Panel in a high-quality stainless steel finish for this. The control units and operating devices comply with the stringent hygiene requirements in food technology. The stainless steel panels with IP 65 protection feature virtually gapless housing design with flush-mounted touch panels. The servomotors for the pick-and-place unit are also designed for the food industry. The AM3000 servomotor series with a white surface coating is FDA-compliant. The coating is suitable for use with foodstuffs and is resistant to aggressive cleaning agents.

MULTIVAC – Better Packaging

MULTIVAC is celebrating a major anniversary this year. 50 years ago, in 1961, the founder of the company, Sepp Haggenmüller, built the first vacuum chamber machine in a small garage. Today, as a multinational company with over 3,000 employees, MULTIVAC serves customers in more than 140 countries all over the world. MULTIVAC is synonymous with innovative packaging solutions: Multivac's thermoformers, traysealers, chamber machines and special machines package foodstuffs, industrial products and consumer goods as well as medical products and pharmaceuticals safely, reliably and hygienically. Every year Multivac produces over 1,200 automatic packaging machines and more than 4,200 semi-automatic machines and is a worldwide market leader in the thermoformer sector.

MULTIVAC at Interpack 2011 in Düsseldorf: Hall 05, Booth E23/E37

Press picture

  • <p>MULTIVAC handling module with PC and EtherCAT-based control technology from Beckhoff (picture credits: MULTIVAC)</p>

    Picture caption:

    MULTIVAC handling module with PC and EtherCAT-based control technology from Beckhoff (picture credits: MULTIVAC)

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