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Case History • 5 Minutes Changeover

IMA has recently developed a fully automated line with automatic changeover taking as little as 5 minutes and almost no need for external intervention.

Post published on 19/01/2018

5 minutes changeover: setting the bar in the world of industry 4.0

Automation is paramount to the development of IMA machines and plays an increasingly important role in the world nowadays. Recently IMA BFB developed a fully automated line for the personal care industry, with automatic changeover taking as little as 5 minutes and almost no need for external intervention. The operator’s efforts have indeed been reduced to a minimum set of activities, as the robot-controlled machine can now independently execute most of the process.

The line consists of:

  • MS280 Shrink bundler with T600 tunnel
  • CPV20R Case-packer

The set goal for this “Pilot line” was the achievement of a 5 minutes changeover: an ambitious target that challenged us to redesign our standard line procedures and take a radically different approach for this innovative integrated line.

It’s been necessary to reduce the number and complexity of all changeover parts to a minimum. The feeding system for both IMA components is designed so that all adjustments are implemented directly by the machines’ HMI, completely removing possible human error from the equation.

Machine-connected ancillary equipment has also been designed to reduce changeover time, with self-adjusting conveyor belts, checkweigher recipes and barcode reader cameras directly operated by the machines themselves.

The most innovative automation features can be found in the CPV20R case-packer changeover system, entirely performed by the Fanuc robot thanks to cutting-edge equipped tools allowing the simultaneous execution of up to four different tasks traditionally carried out by operators: the replacement of hopper, two case support plates and gripping unit.

Not only was the 5 minutes changeover achieved; the high repeatability level compared very favorably to that obtained by standard manual adjustment, making our initial quest entirely successful.