Creams, tablets or tobacco: the list of products that are packaged and filled with the help of machines from Merz could go on and on. The company focuses on high-quality packaging machines and special machines for stick packs. The drive solutions required for this have been realised together with KEB Automation for about two decades.
The goods are protected from damage, kept fresh for a long time and prevented from contamination. The machines required for packaging and filling are manufactured by Merz Verpackungsmaschinen based in Lich, Germany. Meanwhile, 90 employees are responsible for designing, developing, manufacturing and selling packaging machines and special machines/constructions for stick packs and 3-/4-side sealed bags. Founded in 1971 as a design office, Merz today supplies industries that are as diverse as the machine portfolio itself: Customers from the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, chemical, tobacco and food industries rely on the machines.
The cooperation with KEB Automation has proven its value for a long time. For example, many machines contain entire systems from KEB and ensure reliable and highly efficient performance with drive controllers and control systems, among other things – as the “heart” of the machine. A concrete example: the SB18-2T snus packaging machine - a form, fill and seal machine for smokeless oral tobacco portion packs in filter foil.
“The SB18-2T operates fully automatically and processes types of fleece from the flat film roll. Since it has an output of up to 900 sachets per minute, we need a system solution in which individual components are matched to each other and work smoothly. In the machine, we therefore rely not only on the C6 Smart control system but also on the S6 Servo Drives, servo motors and the C6 Routers from KEB Automation,” says Tobias Merte, head of PLC programming at Merz.
Artur Albring, sales engineer at KEB, adds: “Normally, a control system as well as at least three servo drives and three servo motors from us are always used in the machines from Merz. We work out the desired drive solution together in order to meet the requirements of the machines in the best possible way.”
These requirements include, for example, the operation of the servo drives, high dynamics and the powerful performance of the drives. It is also important to keep the control cabinet compact. The book format of the KEB Drives is suitable for this, whereby several drive controllers can be arranged next to each other in a space-saving manner. The control system is also responsible for several tasks: “The C6 Smart handles communication via Profinet and enables machine control and operation. Above all, however, our C6 controller is responsible for motion control and cyclical positioning in Merz packaging machines. For example, in the SBL50-2 stick pack machine,” says Albring. The safety aspect, which is important for Merz' machines, is also mapped with the STO function (Safe Torque Off) via the drive controllers.
“We put our packaging and dosing machines into operation in numerous industries all over the world. This also means that the requirements placed on our machines sometimes differ significantly. It is then a great advantage for us that we can fall back on customised drive solutions from KEB,” says Volker Hedrich, Head of Electrical at Merz.
*Merz packaging machines