Industrial Wireless


Wrapping five bottles per second

December 2016 Industrial Wireless

In Altavilla Vicentina, Italy, a Clever sleever machine places and shrink-wraps decorative sleeves on bottles at a rate of 18 000 per hour. That is five pieces per second, which means a lot of money is lost every time production is stopped to replace a damaged or broken slip ring. This was the problem facing Clever Machines.

Clever provides a wide variety of sleever machines and heat-shrink tunnel applicators. These machines can perform every type of sleeve application required by the client, at different production speeds, including linear and rotary machines suitable to apply full and partial sleeves and safety seals. The machines can be found in many different packaging applications including food and beverage, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

When a client came to the company with a requirement to reduce the downtime on its sleever machine because of the time-consuming nature of maintaining slip rings, Clever contacted Rockwell Automation. Rockwell suggested they use ProSoft Technology’s 802.11n Fast Roaming Industrial Hotspot radios and a 5 GHz radiating cable as the antenna. The hotspot supports access point, repeater, bridging and client modes and delivers fast data rates up to 300 Mbps.

Wireless technology eliminates the need for slip rings

Now a CompactLogix L36, communicates to the point I/O through ProSoft Technology’s radios, providing fast and reliable data from the rounding tables which apply the label and heat-seal them to the bottles.

The radiating cables essentially replace the slip rings, virtually eliminating the expensive downtime associated with maintaining them. A radiating cable is a long, flexible antenna with slots to radiate RF signals that can be installed around corners, along monorail systems and through tunnels to propagate wireless data signals in situations that are tough or impossible for traditional antennas. Since the radiating cable antenna can be mounted within inches of where the signal needs to be received, it isolates the wireless signal from going to other machines that may be on the plant floor. The cables can be supplied in multiple lengths to meet the needs of most applications.

For more information contact Bob Petrie, Throughput Technologies, +27 (0)11 705 2497, bob@throughput.co.za, www.throughput.co.za



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