United Converting required a solution that not only addressed its own design requirements – ease-of-use and simplicity – but would also adapt to different machine formats and sizes. It also needed a solution that would provide pertinent and timely manufacturing data, not only for machine and process parameter optimisation, but also for sharing with a wider connected enterprise.
For this customer and for future export potential, it also needed an automation supplier well placed in the US market and with in-depth knowledge of both the machine, its operating principles and the unique demands of the tissue industry.
The line, based on the United Converting Nexus C line, can be used for kitchen roll or toilet paper and comprises multiple individual modules, which are then interconnected to act as one production solution.
At the heart of the machine is an Integrated Architecture solution from Rockwell Automation running over an EtherNet/IP™ network. The primary automation control components comprise an Allen-Bradley® ControlLogix® programmable automation controller (PAC), which works in tandem with an Allen-Bradley GuardLogix® controller for the safety infrastructure. The main motion and rotational axes are controlled by both servo and AC motor solutions driven by Allen-Bradley Kinetix® 6500 servo drives and Allen-Bradley PowerFlex® variable-speed drives. Completing the control solution is a variety of Allen-Bradley POINT I/O™ modules and an Allen-Bradley PanelView™ Plus 6 HMI, which delivers the means for operator interaction.
The first module has three unwinders, which take large paper reels, unwind them and layer them before feeding them into a lamination unit. The three-ply paper structure is then embossed and glued together before a rewinder takes paper off the line and onto a final out roll. This roll is then transferred to a sealing unit where a line of glue is applied to seal the last part of the roll. The three metre long roll then reaches an accumulator, after which a saw is used to cut it into small rolls, which are then sent to a packing line. Next to the primary converting line there is also a machine that makes the cardboard cores for the centre of the rolls.