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25 February, 2021

Enhanced line shafting boosts cycles by up to 30%

02 December, 2008

SPS logoElau, Schneider’s packaging automation specialist, has updated the principle of electronic line shafting. At the recent SPS/IPC/Drives show, it was demonstrating a software module which, it claims, can boost machine cycle rates by up to 30% without extra programming or mechanical redesigns.

For some time, electronic line shafting has been used to improve the performance of machinery by replacing mechanical line shafts with servo axes slaved to either real or virtual master axes over a network. Elau says that its new Intelligent Line Shaft (ILS) module can boost machine cycle rates by a further 10–30% by limiting velocities and accelerations at critical points, then increasing speed in non-critical portions of the motion profile.
In electronic line shafting, software converts the position values for each axis into cam parameters. The master sets the maximum machine speed based on the axis or mechanical component with the highest load, or on how the motion will affect production quality.

Elau’s ILS software eliminates the rigid fixed-time execution of master/slave motions. During a machine cycle, the master receives feedback from the individual axes and anticipates if an axis is about to exceed set speed and acceleration limits during the next machine cycle. When the critical motion phase arrives, the ILS-enabled master reduces the speed and/or acceleration of that axis to avoid exceeding the limit. Outside the critical motion phases, the virtual master may increase the axis speed above the previous set speed.
The cycle rate can be optimised to achieve maximum speed or reduced wear-and-tear. Up to ten slave axes can be optimised within a machine cycle in terms of both maximum acceleration and speed. The IEC 61131-3 compliant ILS module is available to Elau customers free of charge.

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