Spool changer gets automated

April 10, 2013
New automated coilers swap spools without stopping or even slowing. Controls handle two spindle servos that wind product plus three more for associated motion tasks

Tulsa Power
Yaskawa America Inc., Drives & Motion Div.

Sixto Erik Moralez is a Regional Motion Engineer with the Drives & Motion Division of Yaskawa America.

Motion-control technology helped automate spoolchanging operations on machines that coil tubing, hose, wire, and other materials.

Coiling machines from materialhandling equipment maker Tulsa Power in Oklahoma once relied on operators to swap out empty spools. The new cut-and-transfer (ACT) coilers automatically swap spools without stopping or even slowing.

Controls from Yaskawa America’s Drives & Motion Div., Waukegan, Ill., handle two spindle servos that wind product while a guide servo traverses the spool face to evenly lay 0.032 to 1-in.- wide material without overlap. An elevation servo guides material for layering.

When one spool is almost full, the turret axis aligns an empty spool with the product. Then, once the first spool is filled, a transfer mechanism cuts the product and traps its end. When the reel is full, a turret servo rotates a new spool into place and product gets wound onto it, all while running at full speed.

An MP2310iec Yaskawa machine controller is at the heart of the new automation system. It uses IEC61131-3 and PLCopen, written in PC-based MotionWorksIEC Version 2.0 Professional software. Yaskawa helped implement basic wind and traverse functions. Tulsa Power programmers also used Yaskawa’s Winding Toolbox library of PLCopen function blocks in their machine-control program.

To maintain tension, the machine controller PID loop can use analog feedback from an ultrasonic dancer — a compliant sensor-tracked roller over which the material snakes. ACTs controlling speed and tension without feedback rely on a servoamplifier and a program that tracks the changing spool diameter. Still other ACTs work in pure velocity mode. Operators can switch the system between modes at will.

Input from a single-line encoder connects to a high-speed counter on the machine controller to monitor incoming material speed. The line encoder also determines when to activate cuts, transfers, and coil switch outs.

A two-way communications protocol called Mechatrolink-II connects the machine controller and servoamps so they synch up with the Yaskawa Sigma-5 Series servos. Motion profiles from the machine controller plus line-encoder data go to the amplifiers over Mechatrolink-II; each servo has its own 20-bit absolute encoder connected to the amplifier.

EtherNet/IP connects the machine controller to a safety controller and remote block I/O. Yaskawa SigmaWin+ software plots system performance and indicates where auto-tuning must reduce settling time. One-parameter tuning then executes corrections.

© 2013 Penton Media, Inc.

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