For over a decade, Re-Pack, Inc. has focused on the design and manufacturing of labelling equipment. However, to stay competitive in the industry and acquire greater market share, Re-Pack needed to reduce the cost of an existing print and apply machine, yet still maintain the same repeatable quality and performance.
The first area of the machine examined was their existing programmable logic controller – a Unitronics competitor. The PLC needed to control the print and apply machine. In other words, boxes or products would be detected coming down the conveyor by a photo eye. Variable delay occurs, which then triggers the pneumatic cylinder to apply the label to the box. Upon retraction of the tamp cylinder, the next label is fed. As the box continues down the conveyor, a second product eye that trails the edge causes the next cylinder to wrap the label around the box corner.
“The unit they were using was at a much higher cost with little added value compared to Unitronics,” said Unitronics distributor Ed Brogan of Airline Hydraulics. “It was really just an analogue module, with thumbwheel switches for setting delays and no screen. Unitronics M91 model was the most cost-effective and efficient solution we could offer them.”
Not only were analogue settings available with the Unitronics M91 unit, but digital settings were now available for variables that could be used within the application. Re-Pack was also able to enjoy enhanced features such as an integrated LCD display screen that is able to display two 16-character text lines, and includes a keypad. It also gave them the ability to view error and status messages.
“The Unitronics PLC with integrated HMI did the same job as our previous unit for less money and enhanced user-friendliness.” – Rick Surprise, President of Re-Pack Inc.