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Drives boost productivity of automatic cable winding machines

04 July 2016

Parker Hannifin has been selected to supply the AC890 family of drives. Meccanica Nicoletti, a leading Italian designer and manufacturer of automated machines for winding and unwinding cable, has partnered with Parker to help the company improve winding performance on its latest generation of Automat 300 machines (from 70 to 500 m/min).

The Automat 300 automatic rewinding system delivers fully flexible winding control

The AC890 drives were selected because Parker was a supplier that could guarantee the performance of winding/unwinding and stretch control at very high speeds.

Faced with a recent requirement to increase the winding speed performance of its Automat 300 series machines to 500 m/min, Meccanica Nicoletti turned to Parker Hannifin, which it had successfully partnered with on previous occasions. 

The Automat 300 automatic rewinding system delivers fully flexible winding control, accommodating reel diameters up to 1600mm and cable diameters from 4 to 60mm (up to 3000kg in weight). The AC890 family of drives from Parker Hannifin in DC bus configuration (890CS-CD), combined with high performance AC motors, now enables the Automat 300 to deliver winding speed of 500 m/min – a more than two fold increase over the previous capability. Furthermore, the specifically designed AC890 application software accurately controls feed rates based up on the reel and cable diameter, as well as the speed and torque of the motor. 

Before selecting Parker, extensive tests took place with several other major manufacturers of high performance AC drives. Tests were performed on ‘soft’ cable processing – with silicone insulation and small reel diameters – at high speed, looking for any signs of damage to the outer coating.

Parker Hannifin proved to be a supplier that guaranteed the process performance of winding/unwinding and stretch control at very high speed. Meccanica Nicoletti’s requirements were fully met thanks to the powerful algorithms of the AC890 drive, in combination with the inherent ease and flexibility of software programming. 

As a global motion and control partner, Parker worked closely with Meccanica Nicoletti to design and engineer a system that allowed improved reeling of the cable at high speed by replacing the existing pneumatic dancer. All automatic systems produced at Meccanica Nicoletti are equipped with the new ‘motorised dancer’ from Parker Hannifin, a solution which comprises two linear belt guides that are connected mechanically and driven by a brushless servo motor – complemented by the suitably configured AC890. Along with an increase in speed, the solution devised by Parker has allowed the minimum working cable diameter to be reduced from 12 to 4mm.

The project has seen productivity increases in the range of approx. 20-25 percent. Also, as a consequence of this improved performance, Meccanica Nicoletti are attracting more enquiries from large cable retail customers. These influential clients are responsible for up to 80 percent of the cable sold in Italy using Meccanica Nicoletti’s automatic systems (customer forecast 2015).

Giulio Nicoletti owner at Meccanica Nicoletti said that the company chose Parker based on its reputation for high quality and the reliability of its products, furthermore, the continuous program of innovative updates allows them to constantly improve and optimise the performance of its own product ranges.


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