Sacmi’s Injection Preform System (IPS) 300
Recently boosted by the launch of the new IPS 300, Sacmi’s platform incorporates a new approach to the vision concept, paving the way for total quality control. This is achieved via software-controlled systems that make full use of the latest AI, states Sacmi.
Sacmi is well known for its rigid packaging solutions. In 2012, Sacmi started diversification in the preform field by developing the IPS platform. The first solution in the family, specifically designed for bottlers, was the IPS 220. This was followed by the IPS 400, developed for converters and designed to maximise performance in terms of productivity and versatile utilisation of different mould types. Now, 10 years later, 140 Sacmi systems running worldwide.
The new IPS 300
The decision to develop the IPS 300 was driven by a need to optimise the process on current needs of the industry. Like the IPS 400, what makes this machine special is the interchangeability of the moulds, including those produced by third parties, provided they are equipped with external air and coolant connections.
Flexible and modular, the machine can mount the plasticising unit that best suits the preform type being produced (from 625 to 1,220 kg/hour). It has also been designed to drive down specific consumption, which remains below 0.2 kW/kg. Several options are available to design solutions based on individual production needs; these include the dye and additive mixer, the injection cycle completion kit (in the event of a power outage) and the piping and water filtration process control sensor kit.
The latest generation of IPS machines feature a Beckhoff TwinCat architecture with EtherCat fieldbus. This ‘infrastructure’ takes process control to advanced levels, opening the industry to IoT opportunities (self-learning and predictive checks). The solution adopted for the aftercooler allows the vision system – the PVS 156 from the Sacmi computer vision range – to be installed directly on the machine. This results constant product quality monitoring, for example on the 96-cavity solution the check time for an entire moulding is cut to about 5 minutes. This latest development aims to increase the coverage and accuracy of routine checks. It performes in a set time according to the quantity of preforms present and the complexity of inspection and allows the company to integrate preform quality control directly on the line. This differs from the common practice of post-production inspection, which carries the risk and relative cost of having to re-check entire, potentially faulty batches.
Preform Vision Systems (PVS)
Featuring a patented polarised light inspection device and AI, the PVS systems have been developed to provide comprehensive production tracking; this allows users, for example, to read the cavity number and correlate statistical data concerning potential defects. Hence, alongside the new PVS156, Sacmi provides the PVS002, a comprehensive unit designed to help technicians carry out routine production checks in quality control labs. It can perform all-round inspection of the mouth, finish, bottom and body, measure weight and read cavity numbers. The PVS003, instead, is an in-line solution downstream from the press that provides inspection rates up to 90,000 pph.
The PVS10 off-line unit, operating at up to 72,000 pph, complements the new self-guided Sacmi D.R.I.V.A. system, which performs automatic on-line size recognition and change-over (PVS10 and Sacmi PLO030 positioner); this solution shriks size changeover times to under 1 minute, streamlining the operator’s work. The software platform offers the latest CVS 22 version and enables interoperability with the Sacmi Computer Vision family of PVS systems.
Focus on moulds
The new IPS 300 can mount moulds with 24 cavities for 48 mm necks or as many as 96 cavities for 30 mm necks. Thanks to the nano-pitch patent, co-developed with partner company MHT, the Sacmi range features the ability to increase productivity on small formats as it allows as many as 144 cavities on the IPS 400 and 128 on the IPS 300.
The IPS 300 combines short lock-to-lock times with 2.1 s with the Cool+, the inside cooling system; The cooling system improves the thermal efficiency of the cooler, especially with thick-walled preforms. The user-friendly press interface simplifies the worker’s tasks, especially start-up and changeovers. All auxiliary units can be controlled remotely and, thanks to the new Smart Care packages, machine data can be linked to Sacmi servers to implement proactive scheduled maintenance services.
Integrated design services
In its long history, Sacmi has developed over 500 cap and preform designs for customers worldwide. A sharp focus on design and personalisation provides further opportunities for customers, as the lab’s know-how lets them thoroughly test materials and solutions prior to actual industrialisation, ensuring their investment yields the anticipated results.
Recently, the Sacmi Rigid Packaging Technologies BU established the new Packaging Center. This operates in concert with Sacmi Beverage to provide customers with close support for every aspect of preform design, in synergy with all the upstream and downstream aspects of the process and in keeping with today’s sustainability, quality and customisation goals.