Brazilian machine manufacturer uses Altus technology in its packaging line

Brazilian machine manufacturer uses Altus technology in its packaging line

Agricultural activity has historically been one of the pillars of the Brazilian economy, accounting for more than 27% of the national GDP. According to the country government, it is the third largest producer of food in the world, the largest producer of sugar and coffee, the largest exporter of corn and the nation that produces the most soy, responsible for 50% of the world market for this grain. In order to store and dispose this poignant production, the local industry invests in high technology to ensure quality and integrity at different stages of the processing of these goods.

Among these steps is the packaging process, performed by machines that demand precision, performance and availability. For 40 years developing equipment and process control and automation solutions for different segments of the industry, Altus has a complete line of products capable of meeting the specifications of the most varied types of machines. Today, the main manufacturers of national packaging machines use Altus technology and engineering intelligence to guarantee the high performance of their machines.

The applied solution

Recently, our team of specialists, formed by professionals with solid knowledge and extensive experience in the development, optimization and retrofit of machines, developed the control system used in a new line of packaging machines from an important machine manufacturer in the state of São Paulo. The solution developed uses the advanced processing of the XP325, a IoT-ready PLC from Nexto Xpress line, for precise control of weight, filling, proportion of items and other important variables present in the packaging process.

Due to its high connectivity index, the XP325 PLC can communicate with different devices through the most varied communication protocols applied in the industry. To guarantee that each package will have the exact weight stipulated for it, the machine uses a weight transmitter, device that communicates with the PLC through the MODBUS-RTU protocol.

In the applied architecture, the controller is powered by a 2A source and interacts via EtherNet/IP protocol with a 10” HMI, used for entering recipes. The movement of the conveyor belts is carried out through a sequence of frequency inverters, controlled by the PLC through the CANopen protocol. The system also has a stepper motor for volume control, a device that communicates with the XP325 controller through PTO signals.

Availability and cost-reduction with Altus’ technology

In addition to guaranteeing the production of uniform volumes, the architecture applied also allowed the customer to have extremely fine-tuned control over the amount of the grain inserted into each package. This high precision in weighing each packaged unit resulted in an 80% reduction in raw material waste.

For the mechatronics technician who works in the company`s technical assistance and development area, the reliability is the product`s greatest asset. “Altus’ PLCs have been running for over 2 years and we`ve never had any problems with any parts, nor have they been sent for technical assistance”, says him. In addition to the product line, that is already in operation, our team of specialists is still helping the customer to develop a new packaging machine that will have even more precision to guarantee more productivity and economy.