WestRock Linkx Systems and Elesa reduce packaging machine change over times – reduce errors - giving repeatable savings

WestRock Linkx Systems manufacture machines and integrated lines for shelf-ready packaging. Solutions include BoxSizer® automatic and semi-automatic warehouse dispatch 3PL ecommerce packaging lines. They also manufacture labour saving semi-automatic re-packaging solutions for Contract Pack and 3PL companies.

Following a customer viewing of the Elesa RF wireless electronic position indicator system on their PPMA stand a couple of years ago, subsequently the customer asked WestRock Linkx to trial this system in order to speed up machine changeovers while ensuring reliable, repeatable accuracy. After the PPMA show Elesa brought the RF system to finalisation and provided a package to WestRock Linkx – which proved to be a like for like fit in place of the position indicators previously installed. This enabled faster re-sets by use of an automated controller via the machine PLC, reducing operator time and operator error.

Customer satisfaction was high across a range of machine installations leading to an end user comment that “this cost-effective upgrade was added to our machines in under 2 days, and has already made huge improvements to product change overs and set-up times.”  The team at WestRock Linkx was likewise impressed such that the RF system has now been adopted as a standard option across their range.

Explained Tom Whatling, Technical Sales Manager at WestRock Linkx:

“Our use of the Elesa RF wireless electronic positioning system stemmed from a customer demand for faster, more accurate, repeatable changeovers – a demand we were delighted to meet.

Here at WestRock Linkx Systems Ltd we believe in putting the customer first, our philosophy is to work in partnership with every customer to achieve innovative machines that meet their exact needs – an approach which is completely mirrored in our supplier relationship with Elesa.

We have the ability to design and manufacture compact, flexible and upgradable automated packaging solutions that are suitable for 24/7 production and warehouse applications – using the Elesa RF wireless electronic positioning system exactly compliments that manufacturing model.

The Elesa wireless electronic positioning system enables faster and more reliable machine setup by use of a wireless connected profile controller, which displays the initial setup values on each of up to 36 electronic position indicators.

The Elesa system is now a mainstream option on all our machines and can be retrofitted to our installations – even to other manufacturer’s machines where we are upgrading a complete facility. WestRock Linkx Systems can install the new wireless electronic positioning indicator system to new machines or retrospectively as an upgrade to compatible PLCs.”

By removing excess packaging material, BoxSizer and WestRock’s other right-size technology solutions help customers reduce their shipping, warehousing and environmental costs – the Elesa RF system enables faster, more accurate machine switchovers greatly adding to the way they can meet customer needs.

Interestingly, and in confirmation of this novel approach, this Elesa RF indicator system won runner up in the “Innovative Ancillary Equipment” category at the PPMA Group Industry Awards 2019.

Elesa’s RF electronic positioning system is unique in the market; the communication with the PLC is wireless resulting in faster, more efficient machine set-up and change over processes. The wireless electronic positioning system enables quicker and more reliable machine set up by use of a wireless connected profile controller, which displays the initial set up values on each of up to 36 electronic position indicators. The operator can simply choose the appropriate menu then quickly re-set each spindle to its correct start position and the machine is “good to go”. This saves time and takes out much of the possibility of human error.

Elesa DD52R-E-RF position indicators are networked to the UC-RF control unit by radio connection thus enabling an easy and quick installation. Current and target positions are transmitted by RF to and from the control unit, facilitating rapid machine set up.

The system consequently saves time during the format alignment process. Once the setup profile has been called up by the PLC, the control unit UC-RF transmits the target position to each DD52R-E-RF position indicator. The current/target position is displayed on the LCD of the DD52R-E-RF. The operator manually sets the position of the spindles following the arrow displayed on the LCD (clockwise/counter-clockwise rotation). Once all the spindles are correctly set, the UC-RF control unit communicates to the PLC of the machine that the setup has been completed - the system prevents the start of the machine until the set-up has been completed, for safety reasons and to prevent loss of production from incorrect settings.

The UC-RF controller can network with up to 36 position indicators and is compatible with PLC Interfaces: RS232, RS485, Ethernet/IP, Profibus and Modbus. The DD52R-E-RF (IP67) position indicator 6-digit display mode can be selected by the operator.

Further information regarding Elesa products may be found at: www.elesa.com.