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High speed packaging line is the perfect fit

03 August 2016

Intigena, a leading supplier of baby and children nappies since 1984, recently turned to Optima and Rockwell Automation for the integration of a new, high speed packaging line.

Cross conveyer

Intigena was looking to increase the speed and efficiency of its production line in Eichenzell, Germany. It turned to its long-standing solutions provider, Optima, for an ungraded system. Optima, a provider of a broad spectrum of machine solutions, were able to offer the latest solution with its LS high speed stacker combined with its OS7 stack handling and bagger components. The previous LS Stacker featured a chain drive system and was able to process 750 nappies per minute from the converter, resulting in 50 packaged nappy bags per minute. Intigena’s highest output for nappies with its new Stacker is an infeed of 1,000 packs per minute, this was increased to 1,200 in tests. This resulted in 75 packaged bags per minute.

The entire machine line has control cabinets which are integrated into the cover panel, this reduces space requirements. Integrated control cabinets lead to faster installation times because the number of leads to be connected is reduced. Only the connecting leads between the individual line segments are separated and then brought together again for installation at the premises. The servo drives, for example, do not need to be reconnected.

A feature set up exclusively for Intigena is the common rejection of products that do not comply with the quality requirements. Rejected products are transported to a container via central belts. An additional quality check allows for a production speed of up to 1,200 products/min. An IS Band (Indication Status Band) is implemented throughout all functional areas. Instead of the common traffic light tower on top of the machine, an LED band can be seen across the front of the entire production line, allowing operators to quickly recognise which part of the machine has an issue.  

A quick format change is another key aspect of the machine, transport cassettes are adjusted for a change in thickness or product count. These cassettes are adjusted solely from the HMI; this way carrying out format changes saves approximately 15 minutes. The simplified format change has a positive influence on overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) meaning an increased number of changes can be carried out efficiently. The conversion of the whole machine is possible within 15 minutes and changing from the smallest to the largest format takes about 30 minutes. 

The complete production line

At the core of the application sits Rockwell’s iTRAK system. iTRAK offers a flexible, scalable system that can be configured horizontally or vertically using standard 400mm lengths. The lengths can be combined to create a racetrack, square or circle configuration to suit any processing lines. The system compromises of a series of magnets that move over independent energised coils, replacing rotary driven chains or belts. This independent function allows for fast, custom designs that are accurate and controlled with linear motors that improve the movement speed. 

The tool-less product change allows for a minimised change over time, meaning shorter production runs are possible. This allows Intigena to get closer to its target of true Just In Time manufacturing and achieve a highly flexible production schedule. 

By integrating the iTRAK system, Intigena can reduce its machine footprint. Direct drive tooling minimises the footprint and mass and the mixing of continuous and intermittent motion optimises the efficiency of the line. The reduced maintenance means a predictable schedule can be achieved with a reduced operator interaction with internal parts of the machine. 

Intigena ordered the machine from Optima in July 2014; the 1st line was ready by March 2015 and the 2nd in July 2015. The commissioning of the 2nd line needed only one week, so from start to finish the whole process was fast moving and efficient, allowing Intigena to achieve higher processing speeds in just over a year. 


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