The automation of the packaging industry began about 20 years ago when the fully mechanized equipment was equipped with a programmable logic controller (PLC) for controlling the logic functions and the mechanical power axis of the drive. However, the flexibility of the first generation of automation equipment is not satisfactory. Consumer products, especially food, shorten the life cycle, product diversification, and generate greater demand for equipment flexibility. In the later development of the second generation of automation equipment, more and more functions from the mechanical power axis to the electronic drive system, the logic function is still controlled by the PLC system.
Control and drive technology has proven to be a key technology in the field of packaging machinery. Today, the fully electronic third-generation machines have all the advantages of servo technology, while setting new industry standards. Digital packaging machinery can not only provide greater output and stronger equipment flexibility, but also adds many new features, such as: remote maintenance, integration with the company's ERP system, the assessment of production data.
The logic function originally performed by the PLC is losing its importance, and now the dominant electronic movement function. With the increase in equipment requirements, the number of servo motors is also increasing. This means that due to the different programming languages and systems, no longer need physical and logical interfaces. Since the mid-90s, some companies have driven the trend of integrated motion control and logic control solutions in the field of packaging machinery.
Top loading equipment is becoming more and more popular in carton packaging. The flexible cartoning machine is loaded from above, which is more flexible than the horizontal machine. The machine arm can be equipped with a different vacuum fixture to accommodate a wide range of products. This solution is also effective for compound packaging. For example, in pharmaceuticals, blister packs, ampoules, vials, drug descriptions and drug spoons can be packed with top loading equipment. In the area of candy snacks, the top loading device is used to put a variety of different shapes of chocolate into the deep plate. The flexibility of the top loading equipment operation is equally effective for larger packages. The machine only need to make a small adjustment, you can adapt to different container shape. This means that new product types can meet future requirements.