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Post at 30 Aug 2017

Background

Specialty converter Wausau Coated Products puts its process manufacturing ideas into motion. Literally. The manufacturer of pressure-sensitive label materials, fl exible packaging and custom-engineered coating technologies has designed and built its own laminating coater lines since 1987.

Initially, the company’s motive was to create a machine and bring it online faster and less expensively than the conventional specify-and-purchase route.

As Wausau Coated continued to design and build most of its machines in-house, the lines increased in sophistication and complexity. Along the way, the primary goal became keeping the competitive edge that in-house knowledge provides in developing custom-designed, non-commodity solutions across multiple industries, applications and printing technologies.

Designing and building the company’s newest line – the largest, fastest and most complex machine on the plant fl oor – presented the most ambitious control and drive system challenges Wausau Coated had faced to-date. The objective was “a very special machine” capable of handling a wider range of applications, at faster speeds, to meet customer demands now and in the future, said Chris Stogbauer, vice president of technology for the company. “We needed to control and drive an advanced converting line with the versatility and performance to take on diffi cult opportunities and manufacture products that other machines and suppliers can’t handle.”

Challenge

Expand capabilities to meet a wider range of applications, at faster speeds and to meet new customer demands.

Solutions

Drive System Designed and Delivered by Rockwell Automation Global Solutions

• Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 755 AC drives provide advanced control capabilities across complex combinations of coating application, web tension and winding control.

• Allen-Bradley ControlLogix programmable automation controllers provide advanced processing capabilities, while continuously collecting critical operating data.

• Tightly integrated HMI using Allen-Bradley PanelView Plus for instant access to real-time production information, and streamlines setups and changeovers.

Results

Speed, Effi ciency and Flexibility

• Single-pass application of four diff erent coatings reduces production time on complex, multilayer specialty products.

• Precise web tension control and tight coordination between machine sections enables running the line at higher speeds, more consistently, during web transfers.

• Drive programming and recipe management simplifi es changeover between complex, multivariable product constructions.

Category: Rockwell Software