DTS company owner Joe Drilling says he and his team "had a 'light bulb moment' when they realized a specific market need could be addressed by a better solution." It involved the processing of thin film substrates and the need for a high-speed cut-and-stack product.
Drilling explains, “The primary challenge was to create a solution that took into consideration the unique environmental and material factors of each customer. The materials our machines process are normally very thin film products that accumulate static quite easily. Due to their structural instability, it always requires special transport techniques to convey these products from the point of cutting to the point of positioning in a counted stack.”
Superior blank control throughout the process, converting blank shapes in multiple streams and integrating the equipment into continuous print cut processes or offline converting systems further complicated the challenges. Further, the DTS team saw the industry trends toward smaller footprint equipment, greater energy savings, quick changeover and portability. Collectively, these factors presented a daunting set of circumstances to Drilling and his design staff.
DTS realized the control scheme on the machine would be vital, so they turned to their longtime partner Siemens for assistance. Through the integration of high-precision Sinamics drives and Simotion motion control, coupled with the complementary suite of Simotics servomotors and Simatic HMI touchscreen product, the VR Series of in-mold label (IML) accumulator stacker machines began to take shape.
Unique blank shapes are accumulated in 1, 2 or 3 streams on a small footprint machine requiring only 3’ x 4’ of floor space, capable of handling web widths from 13”-26”. The VR Series machines from DTS provide end users with simple matrix separation, while diverting scrap at the process start-up or as a component in the overall quality inspection system. The machines can create serialized groups through a “bottom up” stack format with total static control, so they can be utilized in a normal press room environment.
Noting the high-precision servo technology and motion control accuracy of the Siemens equipment onboard the VR Series, Drilling says, “The axes communication and control are also extremely compact and this facilitated our designing a very portable machine with quick changeover capability, something our customers consistently demand.”
Drilling says DTS further relies on the Siemens international sales and technical support teams, as this builder’s equipment is found in labeling, printing and converting plants worldwide. Drilling notes his company has received a high level of consistent service, application engineering assistance and support from the Siemens personnel and affiliated contractors.