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Doc N APNJ001-EN-03

Horizontal Flow Wrapper Machine


Automated with next Omron products:
Model:
R88D-KN@@@-ECT Servo Drive
NJ @-@@@ @ Machine Controller
3G3MX2-A @@@@ -E Inverter

APPLICATION NOTE

Omron ATC-Europe
Application Notes

Omron ATC-Europe
Application Notes

CONTENTS
1. INTRODUCTION
2. MACHINE OVERVIEW: The horizontal flow wrapper.
a. Which kind of package.
b. The machine general description.
c. The necessities and requirements for the motion control
d. The Omron solution with SYSMAC NJ
General overview of the solution
How the Omron solution match the machine requirements.
Part list and product description.
3. MACHINE SECTIONS: Detailed description.
a. The main conveyor.
Description and technical issues.
How to solve this with Omron.
b. The longitudinal sealer.
Description and technical issues.
How to solve this with Omron.
c. The press belt. Optional part.
Description and technical issues.
How to solve this with Omron.
d. The transversal sealer
Description and technical issues
How to solve this with Omron
e. The unwinder. Optional device
Description and technical issues.
How to solve this with Omron.
4. THE MACHINE OPERATION. State diagram and user interface.
5. ADVANCED MACHINE OPERATIONS:
a. No product no feed.
b. No gap no seal.
6. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION.

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1. INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this document is to provide a description about how a typical
horizontal flow wrapper machine operates, to describe the main functional operations
of the machine and a possible practical implementation.
Later it is explained how Omron can meet the requirements and offer a solution that
fits the application.
Every part of the machine is discussed in detail, it is explained the operation itself and
how to program this operation with the Omron solution. Some example programs are
provided too so, this document is an useful tool to help both, to select the suitable
Omron products according to your machine, and to program the products as the main
subroutines are pre-made.

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2. MACHINE OVERVIEW
a. Which kind of goods is packaging.
The horizontal flow wrapper machine is designed to pack:
Solid individual pieces like cookies, cakes.
Cosmetics & sanitary.
Etc.
The pack is a soft plastic bag made from a roll of plastic film. See some
examples in the picture:

Fig. 1

The products are solid and they come at a fixed separation on top of a
conveyor in the horizontal direction. The plastic film is wrapped around
the film while the product is feed at a constant speed. The product flow
is continuous and for this reason it is possible to get high production
rates.

b. The machine general description.


Although there are many variations and every machine has differences
from another one due to the OEM technology, the packaging material
and the goods to be packed, we can say that the horizontal flow
wrapper is one of the most standard machine into the packaging
market.
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Here you can see a general diagram of a typical machine:

UNWINDER

Sensor for
empty coil

LONGITUDINAL
SEALER
External
encoder for slip
compensation

TRANSVERSAL
SEALER

Registration
mark

PRODUCT
INTRODUCTION

PRESS
BELT

MAIN CONVEYOR

Fig. 2

Some parts of the machine must always be present; some other varies
depending on the material used in the bags and on the goods to be
packed.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION:
The bag material comes from a plastic film coil that is unwinded. This
plastic film is wrapped around the product by some mechanical
elements called formers while the product is moving. This plastic film is
fed by the longitudinal sealer in synchronization with the product at the
same time that it seals the film creating a tube with the product inside.
This tube with the products inside must be sealed transversally (and
cutted transversally too) to form the individual bags. This sealing is
done on the fly.
*

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THE MAIN CONVEYOR


The main conveyor is the responsible to feed the products to the rest of
the machine with a constant separation. Typically consist on a conveyor
with some spacers that are running at a constant speed called the line
speed. In each spacer there is one product so, the position of every
individual product is perfectly known.
This part of the machine usually runs at the commanded speed with no
corrections.
The main conveyor is driven by a servomotor or, in the most simple
machines, by an AC motor with an external encoder.
*

THE PRODUCT INTRODUCTION


This part is the responsible to put the products from the production line
into the main conveyor. This device puts one product between two
spacers in the main conveyor.
In most of the cases this product introduction is a separate machine and
has been specially designed for a certain kind of product. In fact, in
some cases, the product introduction can be even more complex and
expensive than the flow wrapper machine itself.
One quite common configuration of a product introduction is a series of
small conveyors driven by servomotors running at different speeds that
separate the products and feeds them in synchronization with the main
conveyor. To know the position of the products it is necessary a
photocell in each individual conveyor.

PRODUCT INTRODUCTION
Sensors for product
adjustments

Products from the


production line

Product separators
Fig. 3

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You need to have as many of those separators as number of products


that fits in one single separator.
* * *
THE FILM FEEDER AND LONGITUDINAL SEALER
The film feeder, consist in two pre-heated wheels driven by a
servomotor that seals the plastic bag longitudinally while, at the same
time, it is feeding the plastic film.
When the plastic film is of a single color or has a random design, the
movement is just a synchronization with the main conveyor but, if the
film has an specific design that must be in a defined position on respect
on the product, in this case it is necessary to superimpose a correction
to the synchronized movement, depending on the detection of a printed
mark in the film pattern.
Design with Mark

Design with no Mark

Fig. 4

Another topic to consider is the slip. When the longitudinal sealer moves
one turn, the plastic film usually moves a bit less than the sealer wheel
perimeter, and this difference depends on several factors as:
- The adherence of the material to be feed.
- The mass of the material to be feed, this factor is very
important when there is no unwinder system.
- The line speed. The faster speed, the more slip.
In some machines, this slip is partially compensated increasing slightly
the synchronization ratio according to the operation characteristics: The
approximate slip is known depending on the plastic material and the
speed and, then, it is compensated following a table or a simple
mathematical operation like:

Synch _ Ratio = 1 + K material VLine _ speed


Where Kmaterial depends on the plastic film material.
Another way to compensate the slip is to use an external encoder to
measure the real movement of the plastic and to make the

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synchronization considering this external encoder instead of the


servomotor encoder.
If the slip is compensated in one or other way, the corrections for the
mark will be very small. This is the desired behavior.
The last comment is that a few machine makers consider this axis as
the machine master axis, and the correction is done in the other axes.
This is not the most usual way of doing it, anyway.

THE PRESS BELT


The press belt is synchronized with the Main Conveyor. It consists in an
upper belt (and sometimes a lower belt too) that guides the bag and the
product from the longitudinal sealer to the horizontal sealer.
The mission is to guide the product, this is specially important when the
machine is packing products that can move or roll easily because of
their rounded shape or its low weight.
*

THE TRANSVERSAL SEALER


The horizontal sealer consists on two rotary cylinders that have one, two
or four heated seal heads (in some machines this can be changeable to
pack a wider product range). A servomotor drives this cylinder.
This axis must be synchronized with the main conveyor during the angle
where the sealing is done, and must change the speed in the other
angles in such a way that during one sealing cycle of the sealer, the
main conveyor has fed one product.
This movement changes when the product length changes and/or the
number of seal heads changes.
*

THE UNWINDER
One optional device is the unwinder. For the smaller machines, the
longitudinal sealer is, at the same time, unwinding the plastic from the
coil. But this system is valid if the plastic coil is not very big and the
plastic is rather rigid so, it is not deformed by excessive tension during
the acceleration. Usually it exists some kind of accumulator system.

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For bigger plastic coils and delicate material it is usual to have some
kind of unwinding system and a material accumulator. Those unwinding
systems tend to be very simple as no precision is required. Normally it is
used an AC motor with a frequency inverter in speed or PID control.
Another possibility is to have a servo unwinding tangentially in
synchronization with the longitudinal sealer. As the machine is running
continuously, that servo has small size and the accumulation system is
not needed.
*

SPECIFICATION EXAMPLE:
A typical specification of a horizontal flow wrapper machine can be as it
is shown in the table below:

ITEM

VALUE

Bag Width
Bag Length
Bag high
Machine Speed

10 mm minimum up to 300 mm maximum


40 mm minimum up to 410 mm maximum
1 mm min. to 90 mm max.
120 pack/min (Single Horizontal sealer Jaw)
200 pack/min (Double Horizontal sealer Jaw)
220-240Vac single phase, 4.5 KW
650 mm
350 mm
Stainless Steel
4440mm L x 965 mm W x 1820 mm H
Film feed (Unwinder)
Print registration system

Power Requirements
Film Width
Maximum Roll Diameter
Machine Finish
Machine dimensions
Available Option

c. The necessities and requirements for the motion control.


The machine consist on the next axes
Main conveyor.
The longitudinal sealer.
The press belt.
The transversal sealer.
The product introduction (necessary, but can be considered a
different machine).
Unwinder (optional)
The unwinder, if it exists, is usually one inverter with an embedded PID.
The PID is executed in the inverter and the setpoint is set from the
Motion controller (although it tends to be a fixed value). In modern
systems, inverter are controlled in similar way than servos using a
common motion bus.
The movements of the machine are basically synchronized movements,
that is, the position of one axis (the slave) depends on the position of
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another axis (the master). All the correction must be made On the fly,
that is, while the machine is moving.
The next diagram shows the sequence of a complete cycle:

Main
conveyor
Speed

Longitudinal
Seal Speed

MASTER

Registration

Registration

Time

Press belt
Speed

Time

Transversal
sealer speed

Fig. 5

Time

1 Prod

Time

The Main conveyor is usually considered as the machine master and is


moving at a constant speed defined by the machine operator.
Nevertheless, it usually gives better performance to define a virtual axis
as master of the machine and to link the Main conveyor to this virtual
master with a ratio of 1:1.
The rest of the axes will make their movements following the (virtual)
master. So, for the virtual master we need
Speed control
And for the main conveyor we need
Synchronization (to the virtual master)
The longitudinal sealer is working in synchronization with the virtual
master, needs to have the possibility to superimpose a correction based
in a printed mark and to connect an external encoder to make the
synchronization based in the real plastic position. So:
Synchronization.
Mark correction.
Superimposing movements.
External encoder connection (full closed encoder).

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The Press belt is running in synchronization with the virtual master axis.
So:
Synchronization.
The transversal sealer has the most complex movement. Needs to be
synchronized with the products during a certain angle (the angle during
which the seal heads are sealing the bag) and speed up or slow down
in coordination with the master depending on the bag length. So:
CAM table
Possibility to change the CAM during program execution.
The product introduction uses to be a separate machine. There are a
wide variety of product introductory systems, depending on the product.
As an example we will propose a system based in belts and
registrations. This introductory consist on three different conveyor belts:
The first one is full of products coming from the production line. The
second one is running at a higher speed than the first one to separate
the products, and the third one detects the product and position it in
synchronization with the main conveyor. Nevertheless,
product
introduction is a separate machine and, so, it out of the scope of this
document.

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d. The Omron solution with SYSMAC NJ


-

General overview of the solution.


This is the proposed Omron solution for horizontal flow
wrapper machines.
NS5-SQ11B-V2

MX2
UNWINDER

ETHERNET-IP

NJ301-1200

E
ETHERCAT

G5-ETHERCAT
PRESS BELT

G5-ETHERCAT
LONGITUDINAL
SEALER

G5-ETHERCAT
MAIN CONVEYOR

G5-ETHERCAT
TRANSVERSAL
SEALER

Fig. 6

The proposed solution is based in the SYSMAC NJ motion


controller.
-

How the Omron solution match the machine requirements.


The solution based in SYSMAC NJ match perfectly the
machine requirements.
Regarding the performance, the SYSMAC NJ is an advanced
machine controller that supports registration correction,
external
encoder
and
advanced
movements
as
synchronization, CAM profiles, virtual axes, etc..

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Besides, the SYSMAC NJ can also handle the machine


sequence by the addition of remote I/Os. It has a variety of
possible communication interfaces to communicate with any
upper controller or other third party components in the
machine, although the Embedded Ethernet-IP is the
recommended one
The SYSMAC NJ is programmed using IEC61131-3
programming standard, supporting Ladder & Structured Text
languages with standard PLC-Open motion blocks.
The SYSMAC NJ controls the servomotors using the high
performance Ether-CAT motion bus. EtherCAT sends
cyclicaly and deterministically the position reference to the
servodrives. The system dramatically reduces the wiring of
the machine because the connections to the servodrives is
done by using cheap and widely available standard EtherNET
cables (Category 5 or higher). That reduces cost of cables
and installation manpower compared with the traditional pulse
or analogue solutions. In addition, EtherCAT adds additional
performance as you can access to all drive features from a
single connection point, including read/write parameters,
tuning, trace, diagnostics, etc.
The inverter also is connected to the same Ether-CAT
network and is handled in the same way than a servodrive (in
speed control in this case), this simplifies also the wiring and
the engineering hours.
The ACCURAX G5 servodrives with embedded EtherCAT
interface (R88D-KNxxxx-ECT) controls the servomotor. The
position loop is performed in the servodrive so, it is quick and
independent on the number of axes. Besides, it has
registration input and connection for the external encoder for
the slip compensation. All this without additional boards.
ACCURAX G5 is the servo with the highest bandwidth (faster
dynamic response) in the market (at January 2012).
The servodrives also have embedded Safety (STO) to match
the safety regulations in a simple way. Up to 8 servodrives
can be connected to a single safety relay.
The MX2 Inverter, with the EtherCAT interface module has an
embedded PID that is used to control the unwinder so, the
motion controller simply gives the PID reference and the
sequence commands (run, stop, reset, ) via EtherCAT.

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Application Notes

The user interface typically is an NS touch screen HMI that


provides a friendly graphic and intuitive environment to the
machine operator. Besides we can make all the necessary
machine adjustments, have a complete diagnostics and make
all the operations from this single point. The HMI is
connected to the SYSMAC NJ via Ethernet-IP protocol in a
transparent way for the programmer.
-

Part list and details about the products:


MOTION CONTROLLER
1x
1x

NJ301-1200
NJ-PA3001

Machine controller
Power supply

SERVO SYSTEM
4x

R88M-K75030H-S2

4x

R88D-KN08H-ECT

4x
4x
4x
1x

R88A-CAKA005SR-E
R88A-CRKA005CR-E
R88A-FIK107-RE
R88A-CNW01C

4x

R88A-CSK003S-E

750W,3000rpm
servomotor
800W, EtherCAT
servodrive
Motor power cable
Motor encoder cable
Filters
IO connector (to
connect the
registration)
Safety connector cable
(3m)

INVERTER
1x
1x

MX2AB007-E
3G3AX-MX2-ECT

MX2 Inverter 1.1KW


EtherCAT interface

NS5-SQ11B-V2

HMI with Ethernet

1x

E3M-VG16

1x

G9SB-2002A-24V

Fast photocell for


registration
Safety relay

HMI
1x
OTHER

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3. MACHINE SECTIONS.
In this section it is described in detail the different sections of the machine and
the way of solving it with the Omron products. It includes technical description
of the different topics and references to the different program examples.
a. The main conveyor:
The main conveyor consists on a belt where the products are traveling
in predefined position. In most cases, this distance is guaranteed by
some
mechanical
spacers in the belt
(see the picture).
Product to be
Spacer
That means that, for
packed
changing
the
product format, it is
necessary to change
those
mechanical
spacers. In some
other
cases,
a
product introduction
system
is
the
responsible to do
that action. This axis
is
the
machine
Fig. 7
master,
and
is
working in speed
control. The speed of the machine is usually described in bags/minute
and is selected in the HMI. The rest of the axes in the machine are
making their movement in synchronization with this axis
In the more simple machines, this main conveyor is an AC motor with
an encoder, in this case, Trajexia reads this encoder, that is the Master
encoder. In the more complex machines, the main conveyor is a
controlled servodrive.
In practice, it is better that the machine has a virtual master and the
main conveyor is linked 1:1 to this virtual master.
The program is as simple as a SPEED function (see the program
example below).

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The speed is updated via a variable written from the HMI


The entire machine is referred to the product position so, it is necessary
some kind of homing or start sequence to be sure that the machine start
with the products in the right position.

TECHNICAL HINT
What is a virtual axis?
A virtual axis is one axis that exists internally in a motion controller for computational
purposes. You can order any movement to this virtual axis as it was a real one and you can
read the position that is updated every motion cycle. In fact, a virtual axis can be considered
just a profile generator, based in the motion commands, a command position is generated
every motion cycle. As there is no position loop, the feedback position is equal to the
command position and the following error is zero.

VIRTUAL AXIS
MOTION
COMMANDS FROM
PROGRAM
MOVE...
CAM...
JOG...
PROFILE
GENERATOR

COMMAND = FEEDBACK
POSITION
POSITION

The command position in the virtual axis is used in the program for calculation, to add this
profile to a real axes, etc.
The actions that require the use of an external input (Latch, Pot/Not, ) are not available in
a virtual axis.

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TECHNICAL HINT
Why we need a virtual machine master
When, in a machine, all the axes make movements linked to another axis that is the master,
we have two potential problems that are solved by the use of a virtual axis.

LONG.
SEALER

MAIN
CONVEYOR

PRESS

TRANSV.
SEALER
Transmitted vibration
If the Master has some undesired vibration, this vibration is transmitted to the slave.

Master
Speed

Ratio 1:1

Slave
Speed

Time

Time

There is vibration

Vibration is transmitted

The master axis tends to be a low rigid axis (material feed, conveyor) so, the vibration is
smoothed but the slave axes tends to be high rigid axis so, a small vibration tends to be
amplified.
Synchronization delays:
When a slave follows a master the slave always has a certain delay due to bus
transmissions, conversions and adjustments.
The slave is delayed by a number of cycles compared to the master (although this can be
minimized by synchronizing with the master command, in case the master is a controlled
axis)
Master
Speed
Time
Ra tio 1:1
There is Delay

Slave
Speed
Time

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TECHNICAL HINT
With the use of a virtual axis, Those potential problems can be eliminated.

LONG
SEALER

TRANS
SEALER

VIRTUAL 1

PRESS
BELT

MAIN
CONVEYOR

Transmitted vibration.
If we use a virtual axis as Master There are no vibration at all!
Ratio 1:1

Real
master
Speed

Master
Speed
There is vibration

There is no vibration

Time

Slave
Speed

Vibration is not transmitted

Time

Synchronization delays
The Real master and the slave have the same delay so, no relative delay
Virtual
Master
Speed
Time
Ratio 1:1
There is Delay

Real
master
Speed
Time
There is NO Delay
Slave
Speed

Time

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This is the code if we have a Virtual master axis and the Main conveyor
follows it

b. Longitudinal sealer
The longitudinal sealer has two working modes: Without registration
mark and with registration mark.
When the plastic film is
of a single color or has
a random pattern there
is no need to position
the plastic in a certain
position relative to the
product, then we are
working
without
registration mark. In
this
case
the
movement is simply
synchronization
1:1
with the master axis.
To compensate the
effect of the slip we
have two options: to
change
the
synchronization ratio,
as explained in section
2.b. or to keep the ratio
1:1 and to use an
external encoder in a
Full
closed
loop
Horizontal flow wrapper machine

Plastic film

External encoder
for slip
compensation
E
Printed
mark

Mechanical
mandrel for bag
forming

Page 19 of 48

Bag and
product in the
right position

Longitudinal
sealer.
Fig. 8

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Application Notes

configuration.
If the plastic film has a certain design we have to put the design in a
certain position relative to the product, for this we need:
To detect the difference between the real position of the
design and the expected position.
To apply the correction while keeping the synchronization
A registration mark allows to capture the position of the reference mark
exactly in the moment it occurs with microsecond delay. Comparing this
position with the expected position (fixed value) we have the error to be
corrected.
To apply the correction in the fly while keeping the synchronization we
have a Motion Function block specially designed for this:
MC_PHASING. This block behaves like in Figure 9

Longitudinal
Seal Speed
Total
movement

COMPOSED MOVEMENT
Registration

Registration

Time

=
Longitudinal
Seal Speed
Synch. With
master

SYNCHRONISATION

Time

Phase
correction

PTP MOVEMENT
Time

Fig. 9

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TECHNICAL HINT
Why the registration is needed?
When we have a design that must be centered in the pack, showing the brand logo, etc,
we can never guarantee that the design length is exactly same that the product length.
Note that we use the word product length but it includes the gap between products too.
Of course, both lengths are nearly same, but the precision is never infinite And the
error is accumulative!!
For example, if the product length is 100mm (guaranteed by the spacers) but the real
pattern is 100.1 mm and we have no correction, we are accumulating an error of 0.1mm
per pack. Of course, in a few packs we will not note the difference but, after 500 packs,
we will have an error of 50 mm!!!
Using the mark, every pack we correct the difference between the desired position and
the real position of the mark respect on the product. The correction is very small and do
not affect to the dynamics. And besides, if we loose one mark some other time, nothing
happens, the error in one bag is very small and will be corrected in the next one.

50d

500d

When the mark


is detected
here...

After 1 pack After 50 packs After 500 packs


WITHOUT CORRECTION
the product is
supposed to be here. Any
difference must be corrected.

Fig. 10

In Fig.10 you can see the displacement in the printed pattern when the
product is packaged without the print correction.

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TECHNICAL HINT
How the G5 captures the registration?
The G5 has three fast registration inputs with a delay of about 7s and two hardware latch
circuits (that means that we can capture two of them at the same time). This latch captures
in real time the position of the axis in the moment that the latch input has a rising edge.
The encoder in the motor is a serial encoder that sends its position every 82s to the drive.
The position of the motor in the precise moment in which the mark arrived is the result of
the interpolation between two consecutive samples. The result is very accurated.
This value is sent to the motion controller via EtherCAT to apply the correction in a
transparent way for the user.

Position

Time

82s

In all the cases, there is a synchronized movement to the master axis.


When the registration is used, we register the position of the
longitudinal sealer axis in the moment that the mark is detected by the
sensor.
It is not necessary to correct against the product because it comes in a
known position.
The difference between the registered position (Where the mark is)
and the theoretical position of the mark (where the mark was
supposed to be) gives the phase that we must advance (or delay).
MC_PHASING superimposes a point-to-point movement that
correspond with that phase. Many times we correct just a percentage of
this phase for stability reasons. See the program below.
The correction is expected to be small so, we put limits to the maximum
correction distance and also to the speed of this correction (not included
in the example in order to keep the code simple).
Sometimes some parts of the bag design are detected as marks. To
distinguish between the design patter and the real mark it is possible to
use windowing, that means that every mark detected outside a set
window position is ignored.

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Note: All the pieces of code in this document have been tested and are
supposed to be correct but in order to guarantee a good
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understanding of the main movements, the programs have been


simplified. In a real machine, the user must add the necessary
sequence handling, HMI interface, manual modes, stop/start
sequence, etc.
As the axis is counting always in the same direction, the position
counter is always counting up.
If the mark, for any reason, does not arrive, the feeder moves the
theoretical bag distance with no correction. One missing mark does not
affect to the operation of the machine because the error is small so it
continues working. But if we start missing many consecutive marks, that
means that something goes wrong (broken paper, dirty photocell, )
and the machine must stop. For this, we keep a counter of missed
consecutive marks that is resetted when a valid mark is received.
As the position is always counting-up, the expected mark position and
the window are increased by the bag length (including correction) every
cycle. We also consider the case where the position overflow occur
when the axes reaches the maximum modulo.
TECHNICAL HINT
How the Full closed encoder works?
In many application we have a servomotor that is moving the material via a mechanical
transmission. Due to this mechanical transmission, the movement in the material do not
corresponds with the movement in the motor so we want to put an external encoder that is
measuring the real position of the material, and to make the positioning using this external
encoder as feedback.
The position loop uses the external encoder, but the other loops (speed loop and torque loop
follows the motor encoder, as it is shown in the drawing.
As a recommendation, if the slip is quite big, it is recommended to decrease the gains in the
position loop.
External Encoder
Speed Loop
-

+
P

Position
Reference

Torque Loop

PI
-

Position Loop
Motor Encoder

Connecting the external encoder is very easy. The G5 has connector


CN4 encoder.

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To activate the Full closed encoder in the G5, you have to change
next parameters:
Pn001 (Object 3001.00hex)=6 Enable Full closed control
Pn323 to Pn328 for the external encoder setup
See the G5 manual for
details.
There is no necessary
to make changes in the
application program.
Note, to change from/to
Full closed control and
other
modes
is
necessary to power offon the drive after
changing
Pn001
parameter

Fig. 10

The program is exactliy same than using the motor encoder.


c. The press belt.
The press belt is moving simply synchronized with the virtual master at
a ratio of 1:1. The mission is to keep the shape of the bag and to avoid
that the product is moving on respect on the paper, as at this point of
the machine there is no spacers
that keeps the product in the right
Plastic film tube
Product
position.
This
is
especially
important with products with round
shape that can roll.
The high of this axis is
mechanically adjustable to adapt
to the bag high.
As in the longitudinal sealer, it is
better to synchronize with the
virtual master to eliminate the
synchronization delay due to the
motion bus.

Press belt

Fig. 12

The final program is as simple as a single MC_GearIn command:

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An improved version will be to use a MC_PHASING instead so, apart


from keeping the synchronization we can make small advancements or
delays in order to keep the right tension in the plastic firm.
Of course it is necessary to add all the sequence to start, stop, etc, but
the motion part is just this one.
d. The transversal sealer.
The transversal sealer has to seal the bags in the transversal direction
while the packs are moving in the
Sealer with two
conveyor so
the pack
is
seal jaws installed
completely sealed (and, normally,
cutted at the same time).
Some machines allow a variable
number of sealing Jaws: 1, 2 or 4
Jaws, increasing the number of
Jaws allows the machine to go
faster when the bag length is
small.
The movement of the horizontal
sealer is rotatory and has a
natural length that is the
perimeter of the horizontal sealer,
divided by the number of Jaws,
that is:
Natural _ sealer _ lenght =

Pack completely
finished

Transversal sealer

Fig. 13

2 JawRadius
N _ Jaws

The conditions that the movement must match are:


- While the main axis moves one bag length, the sealer
moves one natural length (that is, one turn in case of
using one Jaw).
- During the angle where the Jaw is sealing the bag, the
movement must be synchronized 1:1.

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So, if the product length is longer than the natural length of the sealer,
after the synchronization area the sealer must decrease its speed or
even stop.
If the product length is shorter than the natural length of the sealer, after
the synchronization area, the sealer must increase its speed.
And if the product length is equal to the natural length, the movement is
a synchronization 1:1.
See that graphically in the next figure:
Synchronization
during sealing angle
Sealer Speed

Speed

Master Speed

Time

Area: Sealer
natural length

Speed

Area: Product lenght

Natural_Lenght > Product Length

Time
Speed

Natural_Lenght = Product Length

Time
Speed

Natural_Lenght < Product Length

Time
Speed

Natural_Lenght << Product Length

Time

Fig. 14

The limit condition between the last two cases (decreasing speed to
completely stop depends on the selected ramps but, in the limit,
considering linear ramps it is:

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2 Natural _ Lenght Synchronisation _ area = Pr oduct _ Lenght


Speed

2*Natural_Length-Synch = Product Length

Time

Fig. 15

To make this kind of complex calculation we will use CAM movements.


The different CAMs will be pre-calculated but a scaling will be
necessary to adjust to the different bag lengths.
In practice, the shapes are not trapezoidal but S-shaped for smooth
movement. We draw trapezoidal profile just for the simplicity of the
explanation
The program that perform that operation is something like:

As the Bag length can be whatever and can be changed depending on


the production needs, the CAM cannot be fixed and needs to be recalculated everytime the bag length is changed.
We do not show here the complete calculation, but we will give a couple
of hints about the best way to do it (a complete example is available on
request. Contact your Omron representative for it):

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As in the longitudinal sealer, the strategy is to separate one complex


movement in two simple ones. One movement is the synchronization,
and another one is the difference between natural length and product
length:

Speed

Total movement:
Natural length<Product length

=
Speed

Time

Synchronization:
Natural length=Product length

+
Adjustment=

Speed

Time

Natural length-Product length

Time
This Movement starts just
after the synchronization

Fig. 16

In the calculation of the CAM we can sum 2 curves, one that is


SLAVE=MASTER and the other that is the correction.
In the program we distinguish three different situations
a)
Product length>sealer perimeter
b)
Product length<sealer perimeter.
c)
Product length<< sealer perimeter (stop is needed)
The correction is calculated differently in every case.
The simple way is to use a trapezoidal profile, as the mathematics is
simple, but we recommend to use a 3 degree polynom, as the profile is
more smooth so the mechanics does not suffer so much.

The Horizontal sealer needs to know the absolute position inside one
turn so it needs a homing system. One good alternative to the homing
system is to use absolute encoders, the big advantage is that it is
possible an automatic restart of the machine after an emergency stop.
Registration (mark correction) is not needed in the sealer as it is done in
the longitudinal sealer so, it is guaranteed that the film arrives in the
right position.

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e. The unwinder.
The unwinder is an optional device that not all the machines have. If
this device is not existing, it is the longitudinal sealer who is unwinding,
at the same time that feeds the plastic film.
An unwinding is convenient when the plastic film is delicate and can
stretch due to the tension or when the coil diameter is very big.
There are different possibilities for the unwinder:
- One servodrive running synchronously with the
longitudinal sealer. Although a servodrive is more
expensive than an AC motor, the advantage of this
system is that does not need any accumulation system so
you save in the mechanics price.
- One inverter with an accumulation system, running with a
PID system or other similar.
Next diagram shows a diagram of a MX2 inverter working with a PID
System.
Here you can see a diagram showing this last configuration: Unwinding
with a PID.

PID

Inverter

Calculation

Setpoint

External
Process

P gain
A72

Error

Freq.

I gain
+

A73

Motor

D gain

Sensor

A74

Process Variable (PV)


Fig. 12

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PID diagram in MX2 drive

Setpoint
via
EtherCAT
and
application
program.

Fig. 13

The principle of operation is next:


You adjust a potentiometer in the dancer arm in the
accumulation in such a way that when the accumulator is empty (arm in
the top in Fig. 12) the voltage is zero and when the accumulator is full
(arm in the bottom in Fig. 12) it gives 10Vdc. We connect this input to an
analogue input in the MX2 inverter and we configure it as PID feedback.
We adjust the PID target to a fixed value, for example, 50%. If
the potentiometer gives less than 5V, the accumulator is becoming full,
the error is negative and that means that we have to decrease speed.
If the potentiometer gives more than 5V, the accumulator is
becoming empty, the error is positive and that means that we have to
increase speed to fill it again.
As that process uses to be slow, we will program small gains to
have smooth movements without sudden speed changes.
The advantage of one configuration like this one is that the unwinder
works independently of the rest of the machine.
In addition, all system, independently if they have unwinder system or
not, have a sensor to detect if the coil is empty. The machine stops the
operation if the coil finishes.
The control of the inverter in Trajexia is like an axis in speed mode
(SERVO=0 so, the position loop is disabled). We will program the
inverter to activate the PID so, the speed reference is not taken as
speed but as PID setpoint.
The settings in the MX2 are:
A.71=1 to enable the PID
A.76=1 to select the feedback signal as Voltage analogue input
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A.78=100 (or other value) to select the limit level of PID effect

And the Variable name is defined in the IO map in Sysmac Studio:

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4. THE MACHINE OPERATION AND CONFIGURATION:


To program and configure the application you need to use Sysmac
Studio.
With this software tool you can make your application programs and
also you can access to the servodrives and inverter parameters from a
single connection point. It is also possible to make tuning, traces and
even frequency analisi in the servodrives.
We have EtherCAT connection for the servodrives, inverter and, if
necessary, IOs and EtherNET connection for the HMI, software tool
and possible upper controller.
All parameter in the application like: operation speeds, lengths of the
movements, wait times, photocell offsets, etc are programmed as global
variables that can be set and read from the HMI (those selected as
Publish Only).

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THE MACHINE OPERATION AND FLOW DIAGRAM.


To control the sequence of the machine we propose the next simplified
machine state:

As you can see from section 3, making an application program for a


Flow wrapper machine is not complicated. Sometimes it is more time
consuming to program all the sequence around the cyclic machine
operation, that is:
To make the necessary configuration after power-up.
To take care of the fault handling: stop the machine in the
right way and report alarms properly.
Change from different modes smoothly (manual
automatic).
In order to simplify this operation it is necessary that the machine flow
diagram is very clear. We propose the flow diagram shown in Fig14.

The state machine we propose consists on next 5 states:


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Initialization: Only one time after power on to make sure


that all variables have right values and make the initial
checkings that the application requires..
Stop without alarms: No movements and no alarms.
Machine is waiting for commands.
Stop with Alarm: No movements, no Power in servos
and one or more alarms. If it is necessary some diagnostic
routine, include it here.
Automatic mode: Machine working according to the
receipe. The data of the receipe is usually entered via the
HMI or via factory supervision system.
Manual mode: Manual movements or individual
movements like manual feed to adjust and prepare the
machine

And the next transitions:

From Stop without alarm to Automatic mode:


Consist in enabling the servos, activate the unwinder and,
when ready, change to automatic mode. This transition is
enabled if we match some conditions.
From Automatic mode to Stop without alarm. Wait
until the cycle of movements is finished and disable the
servos
From Stop without alarm to Manual mode: Enable
manual movements if the conditions for this are matched.
From Manual mode to Stop without alarm: Cancel
all manual movements and disable servodrives.
From any state to Stop with alarm: Cancel any
movement and disable all servos.
From Stop with alarm to Stop without alarm:
Reset all alarms.

Then, you can focus all your efforts in the machine operation itself.
Of course, the details change from one machine to another.
After power on, the machine goes to Standby mode, that is, all the
motors stopped and no movement. The machine operator can select
either to go to manual mode or automatic mode.
Manual mode is the mode used to prepare the machine (for example, to
pass the plastic film through all the machine) the operations that can be
done in this mode are:
- Homing the transversal sealer and the main conveyor.
- Jog the longitudinal sealer (forward & reverse) and stop
after the mark (not explained in the examples) and the
rest of the axes
- Make an individual bag operation
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Return to start position


Start/stop the unwinder manually

All those axes movements can be commanded from the HMI just by
setting the suitable bits, or can be commanded internally from an NJ
program.
Automatic mode is the automatic operation explained in detail in this
document. This automatic operation is programmed in NJ.
If the machine operator push the stop button or other stop condition
occurs (as the empty coil sensor), the machine returns to Standby.
If any error occurs, the machine performs an emergency stop and goes
to alarm status. When the error is corrected and resetted the machine
returns to Standby.

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5. ADVANCED MACHINE OPERATION


In this section we are going to discuss two advanced functions that the most
advanced machines have, that improves the performance of the machine and
add more functionality. That functionality is rather easy to implement with
SYSMAC NJ.
a. No product no feed.
Packaging certain products, the wrapping material can be even more
expensive that the product to be packed. In order to save material, if
one product is not coming in the main conveyor, we do not want to feed
the plastic film corresponding to this product and have an empty bag
without product.
A product can be missed for several reasons: An error in the product
introduction, a rejection during the quality checking, etc.
NORMAL OPERATION
A product missed in the main conveyor
means an empty bag after the
longitudinal sealer.

NO PRODUCT NO FEED OPERATION


A product missed in the main conveyor
but all the bags are full after the
longitudinal sealer.

Fig. 22

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There are 2 possible strategies:


- The main conveyor speeds up for a moment to advance the
lost product.
This strategy is valid if only one product is missing (so we do not have
to advance a big space in a short time) and the machine is not going to
full speed (so we have a margin to accelerate and speed up the main
conveyor.
- The rest of the machine stops and waits that the empty product
passes and re-start when the new one is coming.
In this document we will study the second alternative.

The easier way to implement this function is to use a new intermediate


virtual axis. The main conveyor synchronizes with the new virtual
master, the rest of the axes synchronizes with the old virtual master,
and the new virtual is slave of the old virtual master. So, if the products
comes normally, the new virtual is synchronized with the old virtual and
the machine works normally as before. If the product is not coming, the
new virtual axis disengage from the old (and then, all the axes
connected to it will also disengage). When a new product comes we
establish the connection again.
The distance without synchronization must correspond with one product
length.

LONG.
SEALER

VIRTUAL
MASTER

PRESS BELT
AUXILIARY
VIRTUAL

MAIN
CONVEYOR
TRANSV.
SEALER
Fig. 23

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Main
conveyor
Speed

VIRTUAL
MASTER Speed

No product

Time

Time

AUXILIARY
VIRTUAL
Speed

SYNCHRONIZATION

Time

Transversal
sealer speed

Fig. 24

1 Prod

Time

The best way to establish and disconnect a synchronization controlling


exactly the point and distance is by using CAMS.
- During normal running the CAM is 1:1
- During disengagement the CAM is deceleration & Stop
- While no product is coming we keep stopped
- During engagement the CAM is acceleration to synchronization.
The CAMs are scaled by the length of one bag.
In the program we add a new auxiliary axis

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The Main conveyor part remains as before. The code for theTransversal
sealer and press belt is the same with the only difference that, now, the
Master is the new Auxiliary Virtual master.
This is just one illustrative part of the changed previous code.

b. No gap no seal
It is possible that, occasionally, the product can move inside the pack
before the horizontal sealing is done. The reason why this may happen
can be, for example, that the product is defective, that the press belt is
not properly adjusted, etc.
If, in that situation, the sealing is done, the machine will be stopped
because the sealer crashes with the product. The possible effects
depends on the machine and the products to be packaged, but can be
serious like:
-

The sealer motor will trip by an overload and stop.


The seal jaw will be dirty with the product and you have to
clean it. Considering that the jaw is warm and the product
can be burn or melted, this represent quite a big mess.
If the Jaw is delicate and the product hard, you can even
damage the Jaw.

It is clear that, although this effect is not likely to occur, if this happens,
it is a big trouble that can stop the production during a long time so, it is
clever to find a way to avoid the situation.

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STOP

If it is detected that there is a


product in the gap, the
transversal sealer must skip
one sealing cycle.

Fig. 25

The solution is to detect the gap via the suitable sensor. That mean, to
verify that in the space dedicated to the sealing there is no product. In
this case the standard sealing is done.
On the contrary, if the gap is not detected, that mean that there is a
product in the sealing zone and we must skip one sealing operation:

Detection of next
product inside the
GAP
Main
conveyor
Speed

The next movement


must be a stop
during a product
length

MASTER

Time
Go to Stop position
Wait
Accelerate to
synchronization

Transversal
sealer speed

Fig. 26

1 Prod

Time

For programming that, we will follow similar strategy that for the no
product, no feed functionality, that is, we execute a certain CAM table
that, normally is the normal cycle for the cut and, depending on the
information from the gap sensor when the current cycle finishes, we
will change the current CAM by a new one.
The different possible cases are:

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Horizontal flow wrapper machine

Gap OK: CAM for normal cut cycle


Cutting and next product has no gap: CAM for
Deceleration to stop.
Current product has no gap and next one also has no gap:
STOPPED during a bag length.
Current product has no gap but next one has: Accelerate
to continue normal cut.

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In the example above the signal for the gap detection is a local variable.
Use the suitable signal in your machine.
When designing the different CAMS, the sequence and the start
position of the sealer, consider that in the Stop position, the sealer
does not have mechanical contact with the product.
When a bag with no gap is coming we stop to a safe position and keep
stopped while products without gaps are coming. When the gap comes
again, we start a new movement considering the current stop position
and continue the cycle normally.
In fig 27 you can see a drawing with the movements in case of a no
gap no seal movement. In the example we draw a sealer with two Jaws
so, the natural length corresponds with 180 of the sealer cylinder.

End of sealing
synchronizatio

Go to Stop
position

Wait for next


product.

Accelerate to
synchronizatio

Transversal
sealer speed

1 Prod
Fig. 27

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6. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION


Omron is the right partner to support you in automating your horizontal flow
wrapper machine.
The system is easy to install and to program. This shortens the machine
production time and simplifies the commissioning.
Omron has a deep knowledge an experience in the packaging industry and we
will use this to support you.
The program examples are available and can be used freely with the
understanding that are simply examples and the code can be used as a
guideline but needs to be adapted to the particular machine needs.

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NOTES

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REVISION INFORMATION
Rev. Date

Remarks

1
2
3

Original version
Small errata corrige
Change fonts in Technical hints in section 3.a
Changing example in section 3.b (longitudinal sealer). Remove MC_SET_POSITION and calculate
new expected mark position and windows.
Small text improvements.

April 2012
August 2012
January 2013

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Application Notes

Omron ATC-Europe
Josep Pla 2, Building B2, 10th Floor.
E-08019 BARCELONA
Spain

January 2013