Based in Rahden around 50 kilometres north of Bielefeld, Germany, Kolbus GmbH is the world market leader in the manufacture of bookbinding machines, and also produces complete in-line production systems for book manufacturing, commercial printing and luxury packing.
During the development process of its new automatic DA 290 casemaker for fully automatic production of book cases, files, display cards, calendar backs and game boards in extra large format, Kolbus relied on servo drives, motion control and a modular multi-touch operating concept from Siemens and ensure minimal resetting times, high quality and low piece costs. The overall package was designed to simplify engineering, improve efficiency and quality and also reduce machine resetting times.
Kolbus has been producing machines for packaging material production and print processing at its location in Rahden since 1775. Using the DA 290, Kolbus is able to cover large-format semi-finished components for high end slipcases and displays fully automatically at economical cost, enabling production without the need for additional product-specific forming tools.
Individual drives for simplified engineering
The DA 290 is designed for case sizes from around 300 x 200 millimetres up to 1050 x 735 millimetres, and delivers up to 40 covered cases a minute with turned-in edges on all four sides. When working with large format cases, rapid, quantity-optimised glue application is essential in order to guarantee good adhesion without material warpage (dishing). To ensure the required high gap size accuracy along the width of the covering, the gluing unit is fitted with two Simotics servo motors, a frequency controlled individual drive and additional adjustment drives. Thanks to servo drives at the rollers, the two application rollers can achieve precisely coordinated speeds, allowing the gluing process to be adjusted for different products. Two suction bars which can be traversed individually or together using servomotors lift and move the glued cases for wrapping. The benefit of individual drives is that they eliminate the need for complex couplings and gearboxes, improving access and speeding up the engineering process.
High performing and intuitive
All the sections of the machine are controlled by the high-performance Simotion D445-2. A virtual master axis integrated in the controller provides the clock generator for the entire system. Linked to it are additional virtual
master axes for the individual sections, which are ultimately linked to the real axes. To facilitate operation, Kolbus developed a modular human machine interface (HMI) for standardised screen masks and operating sequences, the Kolbus Copilot. The central component of the system is the Simatic industrial PC IPC477D integrated in the machine, which enables multi-touch operation using intuitive familiar operating functions. The drive, control and operating package from Siemens allow Kolbus to operate the new automatic casemaker with the utmost efficiency while complying with stringent quality requirements and simplifying the engineering process.
New in Simotion: scope for further improvement
Using Simotion also allows Kolbus to benefit from the new integrated functions in the future. An example is Learning Error Compensation (LECo), a self-learning control algorithm which is capable of detecting and automatically
compensating for cyclical disturbing influences on the drive control behaviour – usually after only a single cycle. LECo is based on the open architecture interface from Simotion. Additionally, Simotion Scout V5.1 contains the scope for object-oriented programming (OOP) and also the simulation environment Simosim, which allows programs to be tested without the need for actual hardware.
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