Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Servomotors and Your Holiday Shopping

Trudging through the stores over these past few weeks, you probably didn’t give much thought to the bags you were carrying – other than how heavy they were. Now that it’s time for a breather from the holidays, though, we thought we’d take a closer look at that mainstay of the retail experience, the plastic bag. At its most simple, the plastic bag is created from an enormous roll of plastic (think in the thousands of pounds), fed through a series of processes on one machine – picture a giant web –  or several, culminating in a handy, lightweight way to carry your purchases. With more features – handles, perforations, gussets, internal seals or zippers – comes more machinery and greater need for precision, which is where servomotors and motion control come into play.

Some estimates place plastic bag usage in the United States at 60,000 per second. Obviously, production needs to occur at an incredible speed just to keep up with this demand. There can be, however, no tradeoff in accuracy. Movement and placement are critically important to ensure a uniform product with very little waste. The feedback and communication capabilities of motion control are ideal for all of these needs. Take, for instance, a heat seal process for plastic bags. This seal not only needs to be placed at precisely the same location on millions of bags – the heating element also needs to just touch the material – too much, and it will sear right through, too little, and the seal will not occur. With motion control, all elements of the process are occurring in perfect choreography, with the heat seal knowing just where the bags are on the roll, and when to lower and raise itself. Without an integrated motion control system, this just would not be possible.

Contact us or see our site for more uses of motion control, or let us know how we can help achieve your manufacturing needs!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

SPS IPC Drives 2011: Our Recap

Exhibition SPS IPC Drives Presenter

Late last month, in the German industrial center of Nuremberg, automation companies from Europe and beyond convened at the SPS IPC Drives conference to explore some of the latest developments in motion control, drive systems, software, and more – and to discuss the future of these technologies, and manufacturing at large. Fitting for a nation renowned for its efficiency, the common thread connecting all of these technologies is that they refine manufacturing to unparalleled levels of precision and repeatability, all the while enabling faster and more accurate production than could be achieved through manual or mechanical methods. While the demands of a busy manufacturing shop did not allow us at IIS to make it to the trip to Germany, our partners at ODVA, sercos, and CC-Link were all exhibitors there, and we eagerly observed the developments from the show via its informative website.

Among some of the trends that exhibitors and conference participants alike showcased were:
•    Energy efficiency
•    Wireless control and communication among devices and equipment
•    “Future-safe” machinery, or equipment designed for both forward- and backward-compatibility

In terms of upcoming, future developments for automation:
•    Integrated safety controls
•    Modular motion control systems
•    Improved motor and transmission selection steps

For more, see this link. In addition, ZVEI, the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association, shared some state-of-the-industry information. The main points? With a 13% increase in motor sales and a major, 35% jump in AC drive sales, there is great cause for optimism in our business. Great news as we continue to improve manufacturing and help production facilities worldwide do their work more quickly, safely, and accurately.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Beverage Cans as Artwork? With Motion Control, Yes!

Catchy jingles, iconic logos, unforgettable catchphrases, and eye-grabbing color schemes. To this short sampling of the many ways in which beverage companies compete for your taste buds and dollars, add another: embossed cans. Seeking to add yet another sensory differentiator for a step up on their rivals, many firms have gone the route of including raised logos and designs on their cans, branching away from the familiar uniform cylindrical shape. This Basics of Design Engineering release details the process in greater depth, and, dating from 1999, shows that the practice is nothing new. The technology described, though, is no less impressive for being several years old, and wouldn’t be possible without motion control.

In manufacturing embossed cans, two factors are of utmost importance: speed and accuracy. The embossing locations must be perfectly positioned on the can’s face, and the process must be near-instantaneous. Why? At the time the article was written, Americans consumed 275 million beverage cans per day. Mind-boggling. Obviously, can production must occur at a similarly spectacular rate, and the sheer speed of this process is the most impressive aspect – and, combined with the need for near-perfect accuracy, is what makes motion control an indispensable tool.

Get ready for this: the system for which IIS designed a servomotor produces 1,700 cans each minute. That’s 28 per second! The diagram within the above link shows the process better than any description could, but the key takeaway here is that, including time for lifting cans on and off of the embossing die, the entire process is done in 713 milliseconds for one can. Simple mechanical automation processes just don’t have the accuracy or capability to maintain the high level and quality of production necessary in an operation like this – servo motion control was the only answer. 

With superior monitoring, testing, and performance analytics, our servomotor system enabled the manufacturer to increase efficiency and reduce waste even further. For more information on our full line of motion control devices, visit the Industrial Indexing Systems website.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

2011 Looks to Be A Success For Motion Control

Great news from the Motion Control Association today: ( 3rd quarter results indicate that 2011 will show an overall increase in motion control product orders. With 19% growth through the 3rd quarter, the industry looks to end the year on a healthy note, barring an unprecedented downtown in the 4th quarter. Fortunately for anyone who follows the MCA’s reports, and those of us who can’t stand surprises, they’re in the habit of projecting outcomes for the next two quarters as well. As you might imagine, these are well-researched forecasts, and this one in particular indicates, at worst, a flat 4th quarter. With those kinds of results guaranteeing a more prosperous 2011 than 2010, the adage of recent years does indeed prove true, that “flat is the new growth.”

Of course, in the face of all this good news, we’d want better than a flat 4th quarter, wouldn’t we? Absolutely. The flip side of all this good news – and it most certainly remains good news – is that while the 3rd quarter did show growth, at 4.2%, the first quarter showed a 29% increase over 2010. Obviously, that represents a downward trend, even as the year is recorded as a success. We’re confident in a bounce-back as 2012 begins, based on overall growth in manufacturing, and our experience in market fluctuations and cycles. Stay tuned to our blog for more information!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Line Voltage and the Toshiba Machine X-Series: Keep on Torquin’

Can you imagine plugging a device into a wall outlet and not knowing how well it’ll operate, or if it will work at all? For most of our customers, this situation probably sounds like a relic of a bygone era, but in many developing countries, it’s a fact of everyday life. While voltage fluctuations may be just a minor annoyance in some situations, like watching television, they can be downright dangerous in large-scale mechanical and production processes. Besides safety, there are also the usual concerns about machine efficiency and downtime.

IIS’s Toshiba Machine X-Series driver speed torque curves, shown at right, neatly illustrate servo motor operation in a perfect world. The driver generates torque action as a result of the difference between motor voltage and driver voltage, or incoming line voltage. Torque remains constant as the motor’s speed increases, until the critical roll-off event occurs when the motor’s voltage reaches that of the driver (higher speeds increase energy and voltage within the motor).

As you can see, the intermittent torque drop is much earlier and steeper with the lower 200 VAC input – but with a consistent, reliable voltage source, it can be accounted for. In situations and locations where the line voltage is unstable, the roll-off can occur at any time, and this curve illustration goes in the trash – as might defective components produced or machinery damaged as a result of this unpredictable functioning. We at IIS are pleased to answer any questions our international or domestic customers might have about this problem. Our simplest suggestion? Consider moving up a motor size rating to ensure that applications run properly, even if line voltage dips.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Automation Technology Boosts Production Quality and Efficiency for a Broad Array of Products

Here’s a riddle for you: What do aluminum cans, Sealy mattress covers, and golf balls all have in common? These products, like dozens of other consumer items, are currently manufactured with better cost-efficiency and quality through the use of motion-control technology. A full range of single- and multi-axis controllers, operator interfaces, drives, motors, and software suites are now providing OEMs with a high-speed precision once only associated with expensive, top-of-the-line CNC machinery.

Through the use of automated technology, products can be built with greater accuracy and more consistent quality than what was once achieved through manual operations. What's more, programmable motion control devices grant manufacturers the flexibility to make numerous product variations with only one machine. Motion controllers can also perform in-process product evaluations, quickly detecting any problematic parts and providing necessary repair. This diagnostic process reduces the accumulation of any significant amount of waste, improving output quality while saving clients money.

So, what do aluminum cans, Sealy mattress covers, and other such items have in common?  Three words – servo-driven motion control!

Monday, October 31, 2011

EDrive Offers Better ESD Drive Control

EDrive – part of our advanced Emerald Series of servo motors and drives – is an innovative software tool that allows users to set-up, tune, and monitor ESD drives. With the ability to simply connect to an ESD drive through a USB or serial cable, EDrive software offers customers the ability to observe and control a wide variety of drive parameters in real time, such as:

  • Velocity command and feedback
  • Position command and feedback
  • Current command and feedback
  • Following error
  • DC bus voltage
  • Faults
  • Alarms

Users can also plot these parameters on their scope using up to 4 waveforms that can be generated either in real time or through level triggering, depending on client need. These waveforms can be saved or printed for later use. Precise measurements can also be carried out based on these waveforms. In addition, one can use EDrive to troubleshoot common hardware issues and make certain all products are hooked up correctly, without the use of a multimeter.

The advantage of this tool is that users can tweak their tuning to perfect their motion profiles. And all of these functions can be performed on the fly, creating minimal disruption in the day-to-day operations of these drives.

Contact IIS for more information about this invaluable software technology.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Is Motion Control For You?

Motion control has exploded in the last 20 years, and is now an option for almost any OEM machine undergoing design revision. Though investing in motion control technology can be somewhat costly, the growing need for faster production speeds and accurate, repeatable performance has easily legitimized the added expenditures for most manufacturers. And, due to increased standardization and growing volume, component costs are steadily decreasing, making automation technology even more accessible.

Though the benefits of automation technology are apparent, and almost any OEM machine can be a candidate for motion control, not every opportunity to update your machinery is worthwhile or even cost-justified. To determine if automating your existing machinery is the right move for you, it is important to analyze a few points:

1) First, understand the strengths of motion control – what improved efficiencies do automation technology bring to OEM equipment?

2) Secondly, examine the trouble spots of your existing equipment and decide whether this type of technology will help overcome these weaknesses.

3) Finally, consider if improving your machine functionality will help increase your business’s sales potential.

Once you have looked at all these factors and have decided that applying motion control technology to your OEM machines is right for you, then carefully choose your motion control supplier, and go for it! After all, your customers – as well as your bottom line – will thank you for it.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hilscher's NetX 50 Chip Supports Toshiba Machine’s X-Series’ Automation Bus

As part of a joint development project between IIS and Toshiba Machine Ltd. of Japan, we are now using Hilscher's netX 50 chips to support the sercos automation bus in Toshiba Machine's X-Series Servo drives. For more than 20 years, Hilscher has been providing leading edge products for industrial communication connectivity, such as interface modules, converters, and gateways. Hilscher’s netX family of network-neutral chips provides customers with complete protocol flexibility.

"It made sense for us to do this development because of our sercos background," explains IIS Design Engineer, James Carter. "Both companies recognized that Ethernet was becoming more and more popular and that we had to have it available on the X-Series Servo drive. Sercos is a popular deterministic Ethernet protocol in the motion industry, so it was an obvious protocol choice."

IIS, who has undertaken the hardware design in North America, chose the Hilscher netX 50 chip for the fact that it incorporates both a processor and dual port interface on one card, making it easy to implement the new hardware. Moreover, this chip can easily plug into the options slot of an X-Series Servo drive. Adds Carter, "The fact that a fast processor is included on the chip means we can carry out Sercos dependent motion calculations on the card itself, rather than delegating them to the processor in the drive, effectively balancing the processing load."

Contact IIS for more information about this innovative Ethernet product.

Monday, October 10, 2011

IIS Presents Our Exclusive Line of Toshiba Machine's X-Series Servomotors and Drivers

Since IIS acquired the Toshiba/Toei servo business from the Toshiba International Corporation back in 1995, we have been the exclusive sales and service provider for Toshiba servo products in North America. This partnership continues with our newest line of Toshiba servo products: the Toshiba Machine X-Series Servos.

The X-Series is composed of a broad range of servo products offered as either a single-axis servo drive, a stand-alone single-axis motion controller, or as part of a multi-axis automation solution. In addition, all products within this series are available in the USA with local stock, support, and service.

Our Toshiba brand servo drives are UL and CE certified, can be manufactured in twelve different sizes, and possess a wide variety of advanced features, including, but not limited to:

  • Six modes of operation
  • Resolver, serial encoder, ABZ encoder or absolute (with power-off) feedback
  • On-board keypad and display or PC tools for set-up and monitoring
  • TFC observer servo software
  • Separate control and servo bus power inputs

Our Toshiba servo motors can be manufactured as low- to medium-inertia models, and are available in 30W to 55Kw sizes with 1500 to 3000 RPM rated speeds. They also possess high-energy density magnets, offering customers powerful performance despite their small frame size.

The ability to provide high-quality products from top-rated manufacturers has helped establish IIS as a leading supplier of automation technology. For more information about our line of Toshiba products, contact IIS today.

Tune in next week to learn how Hilscher's netX 50 chip is supporting the sercos automation bus in Toshiba Machine's X-Series Servo drives.

Monday, October 3, 2011

How Servo Sheeters Improve Efficiency of Printed Material Output

The following blog serves as the second article in a two-part series focusing on how servo technology has improved web press operations.

In order to find a solution to the obstacles associated with mechanical sheeters, servo technology is now being used to improve sheeter flexibility. Servo driven sheeters do not have to be connected to a lineshaft, allowing a user to easily alter cut lengths or create unusual, custom-cut lengths without having to detach the sheeter from the press and perform manual modifications.

Vits America, Inc. is a leading supplier of variable repeat sheeting systems for the printing, packaging, and converting industries. With their Vits model L.P. or H.P. sheeters, the company uses servo technology to improve sheeter flexibility. "The shaftless sheeter gives you the opportunity to have mobility. You can move the sheeter from one press to another, something that was impossible with a lineshaft-connected machine,” states Robert Morelli, former sales director of Vits America. "And with servo control, make-ready time is dramatically cut. We can change cut lengths in a few minutes.” The servo sheeters also increase cutting accuracy by lowering feed rates. And by replacing the number of parts needed by mechanical sheeters, servo sheeters only cost a few percent more than their predecessors.

To demonstrate the power of this new servo driven technology, Vits America sold their first two servo sheeters to a company in China that possesses ten web presses. Using this new technology, the company is now able to take a roll off the press and cut it off-line, rather than buying individual sheeters for each press. Servo sheeters have met with such extreme customer satisfaction, Robert Morelli firmly believes that the digital sheeter will likely supplant its mechanical ancestor in the near future.

Contact Vits America to learn more about their line of servo driven sheeters.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Problems Associated With Mechanical Sheeters

When was the last time you picked up a brochure or flipped through a company catalog? For most individuals, this was probably not very long ago. Printed materials – such as flyers, leaflets, newspaper supplements, and direct mail – are essential in providing readers with necessary information. To meet a company’s mass distribution needs, web press machines have to churn out thousands of pieces of printed material per minute. Part of that process entails cutting a continuous web of paper, measuring thousands of feet long, to a defined length.

Since Johannes Gutenberg’s movable type printing press, no single invention has advanced printing processes as much as a sheeter, which slices a web of paper into sheets of a specific size at up to 1000-plus feet per minute. As innovative as they are, however, there are various shortcomings associated with mechanical sheeters that have decreased web press efficiency. Mechanical sheeters need to be permanently mounted to the web press via a lineshaft, and they always run at speeds synchronized to the pace of the press. These factors cause numerous difficulties, including:

  • The sheeter has to be removed from the press and manually re-configured to accommodate different material sizes, causing expensive production disruptions.
  • If the sheeter has been adjusted poorly, the process will result in an increased amount of scrap.
  • High-feed rates often reduce cutting accuracy.

These and other problems associated with mechanical sheeters have driven a change in the current technology: Servo motors have dramatically enhanced sheeter flexibility, allowing companies to produce custom-length materials more efficiently. Tune in next week to find out how servo systems are radically enhancing standard sheeter processes.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sercos Interface Provides Ultra-Precision, High-Speed Communication between Motion Control Devices

In an increasingly automated world, machine builders worldwide greatly depend on choosing an efficient and deterministic communication system, which provides high speed precision and interoperability between multiple devices. The interfacing of various control components, as well as the precise coordination of signals and commands sent between control modules, proves especially important in the areas of automation and motion control, where individual axes of motion must be precisely regulated to ensure that the actions of an entire system accurately follow a designated sequence.

Sercos (Serial Realtime Communications System) is an open, globally standardized interface that allows for ultra-precision communication between industrial controls, drives, and input/output devices (I/O). This communication system also provides more than 500 standardized parameters that help define the interaction between controls and drives in terms that are independent of any individual manufacturer. The sercos communication system allows industrial equipment to exchange information with each other at very high speeds, which enables machines to be accurately synchronized. Moreover, Sercos’s open, non-proprietary interface allows for the easy integration of different types of automation devices from multiple vendors.

Sercos has achieved worldwide acceptance as the universal standard for demanding industrial automation applications that require precise, multi-axis, coordinated motion. For all these reasons, IIS is a proud member of sercos North America. We incorporate sercos chips, circuit boards, and other networking components into our sophisticated motion control devices and software. By incorporating sercos technology into our components, we manufacture motion control systems that are simple to install and allow for our equipment to easily connect with other machinery (even machines from a different vendor – as long as they also use sercos interface technology). We also reduce the need for operators to be trained on the controls for each machine. As Michael Hupf, sales engineer at Industrial Indexing Systems, Inc. describes, "We chose sercos as it is the only universal bus specifically designed to meet the demanding requirements for motion control applications."

Monday, September 12, 2011

How IIS Servo Technology Helps You Get a Good Night’s Rest

Our servo-driven technology helps many bedding manufacturers provide consumers with a good night’s sleep. For instance, ABM International, Inc., a leading manufacturer of quilting machinery that produces comforters and pillow shams, has been an IIS customer since 1998. ABM International is a top distributor of the first fully automatic vertical quilting machine, aptly named the Robo-Quilter. The Robo-Quilter employs IIS servo controllers for more efficient production of quilted bedding products.

This state-of-the-art equipment uses only 1/6 of the floor space of a traditional panel quilter. In fact, four Robo-Quilters can fit into the same area currently occupied by a single, conventional quilting machine. Beyond saving floor space, the Robo-Quilter reduces labor costs by 75% and increases productivity by 25%. Servo controlled auto index conveyors provide hands-free positioning of comforters into a sewing area, while servo driven automatic racking eliminates operator interference and fatigue. Only one operator is needed to run up to three automatic quilting machines. Our IIS servos make quilting so efficient and easy, major bedding distributors— such as Serta and Sealy—use our technology to manipulate the needles that produce elaborate quilting patterns found on their deluxe mattress covers.

So, when you snuggle into bed tonight, you are most likely lying on products that have been manufactured using advanced IIS servo technology. Our automation equipment helps bedding manufacturers ensure a comfortable night’s rest for thousands of individuals. Sweet dreams!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

How Servo Systems Improve Your Golf Game Part II

This blog is the second edition of a two-part series that describes how modern IIS servo technology helps golfers achieve a hole-in-one!

Last week, we described how IIS servos help golfers keep their game on par. Gil Barfield, former President of Big Bend Machine & Tool Company, used IIS servo technology to develop the CNC Prep Machine, a buffing machine that endowed golf balls with the smooth finish necessary for proper performance. This machine manufactured balls faster than ever, employing DeltaPro units to control the movement of the balls from one stage of the finishing process to another. However, Barfield’s company also developed a more technically advanced, secondary machine, named the Big Bend Seam Buffing Machine, which added additional automation features and replaced all DeltaPro units with a Toshiba SCARA robot.

With Barfield’s Big Bend Seam Buffing Machine, the finishing process is broken down into two basic processes: one process orients the golf balls while another process trims the runners. The Big Bend Seam Buffing Machine employs a Toshiba SCARA robot, which uses a walking beam motion, to advance several golf balls simultaneously through the various orienting and finishing stages. During the orient stage, golf balls are moved through a series of inspection stations that check the orientation of all balls. If a ball is properly oriented, the machine directs this ball to a rotary index table finishing station, complete with a lathe (cutter) station and two sanders. If a ball is not properly oriented, the ball is dropped into a “bad ball” chute. Only properly oriented balls reach the turret load station for final manufacturing.

Like the CNC Prep Machine, the Big Bend Seam Buffing Machine manufactures 33% more golf balls than traditional, pure-mechanical golf finishing equipment. Additionally, Barfield claims that his servo controlled finishing machines are more durable than conventional machinery that exclusively depends on mechanical controlled systems. Relying extensively on modern servo controls supplied by IIS, Barfield’s finishing machines help golf ball manufacturers achieve a “hole-in-one” for ultimate golf ball manufacturing efficiency.

Monday, August 29, 2011

How Servo Systems Improve Your Golf Game

This blog is intended as the first edition of a two part series that describes how modern IIS servo technology helps golfers achieve that ace in the hole! This blog will be covering the CNC Seam Prep Machine. Stay tuned next week for further information about a secondary IIS automated ball finishing system that helps golf ball manufacturers streamline their process.

Scores of eager golfers will be hitting the links this upcoming Labor Day weekend, and IIS servo technology will be keeping many of their games on par. Golf balls are produced through various molding operations. After the molding process is complete, golf balls possess several imperfections, including a thin parting line and approximately 20 tiny, tubular protrusions projecting up to .04 of an inch from all directions along the ball’s equator. In order to eradicate these flaws, buffing machines are employed to endow golf balls with the smooth finish necessary for proper performance, and our automated systems help make this process more efficient.

Gil Barfield is the former President of Big Bend Machine & Tool Company, which once built golf-ball molds for almost every well-known major ball manufacturer. Seeing a need for a more efficient ball finishing process in the marketplace, Barfield designed two separate IIS servo motor-driven ball finishers which manufactured golf balls faster than ever.

With the CNC Seam Prep Machine, balls are placed in a three-row, multi-level track. This track feeds the balls into orientation cups where a 100-W servo motor, run by a DeltaPro Single Axis Positioning Controller (manufactured by IIS), manages a pick-and-place machine that shuttles the balls into a finishing mechanism. This finishing mechanism uses specialized lathes and sanders – which are also servo motor driven – to eliminate the imperfections resulting from the initial molding process.

Current pure-mechanical finishing machines produce up to 40 balls per minute. Barfield’s automated machines, relying extensively on modern servo controls, is said to produce 60 balls per minute –almost 33 percent more than traditional ball finishing machinery. So, when you take your next golf swing this upcoming holiday weekend, remember that IIS technology helped produce that smooth ball finish that gave you an ace in the hole. Fore!

Click here to learn more about this advanced servo driven machinery!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Industrial Indexing Systems Announces New Emerald Technology

At IIS, we’re proud to announce the 2011 launch of our latest servo system product, the Emerald Automation Controller. Capable of regulating up to 32 servo axes, this high-performance, multi-axis motion controller possesses an open architecture and is ideal for demanding applications that require close synchronization. Our Emerald Automation Controller coordinates the motion of multiple motors to a designated “master” source device. As a result, this automated motion control system can manipulate and synchronize the actions of multiple high-speed, multi-axis machines that are used to manufacture a wide range of complex metal, plastic, paper, and film products.

The Emerald Automation Controller is powerful enough to execute all of the control functions required in a production environment, thus eliminating the need for additional control devices, such as a PLC. Our Emerald controllers can coordinate the feed roll on a rotary package sealing conveyor belt (used to package a wide range of products), while manipulating a servo actuated knife to cut and seal the product wrapping in between images. Next time you purchase an item enclosed in an attractive printed wrap – for instance, a candy bar – you’ll be holding proof that our system allows companies to quickly and cost-effectively provide aesthetically appealing packaging, a necessity in a competitive retail environment.

In addition, our Emerald Controller System can manipulate instruments used for marking, cutting, perforating, or sewing a variety of materials, and provides all the necessary functionality to synchronize CAM tables for the production of complex patterns created on the x-y plane of a Cartesian assembly. Ideal for web control, synchronized cut-off, form-fill-seal, cut and seal, punching, and forming applications, our Emerald Controller System helps fulfill our company’s main objective to bring state-of-the-art servo system products into practical use on a factory floor.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Breaking News! How Servo Systems Streamline Newspaper Insert Processes

Ever read a promotional flyer or use a coupon that has been placed in between the pages of your local newspaper? Did you know that IIS technology might have been used to plant these inserts? Servo systems, such as the ones manufactured by our company, have long been controlling the mechanisms (including hoppers, stackers, feeders, and gatherers), which place such items into your morning paper— making this process faster, more flexible, and less prone to maintenance issues. In fact, companies such as Prim Hall Enterprises have been using IIS technology to design servo systems for several newspapers, including The Washington Post, which holds up to 400,000 inserts per week.

Previous mechanical inserting processes used a CAM driven sucker ball which pulled an insert corner down from the stack, permitting a separator disk to remove the insert from the pile and deliver it to one of four sets of grippers on a rotary drum. The drum would then rotate 180 degrees while the gripper released the insert onto a raceway, which would then transport the insert into a bundler. This bundler would combine the inserts with the newspaper. This mechanical inserting process did not allow for change in the sequence of inserts, nor would it permit additions or removal of inserts. Furthermore, due to the nature of these machines, the size of the insert was also severely restricted. 

David Hall of Prim Hall Enterprises, along with a team of engineers, designed a new insertion system using IIS servo technology. As David Hall describes, “When it comes to the inserting process, newspaper printing plants are like any other packaging plant.” With that in mind, Hall designed a new system using our servo technology that would increase the pace of the separator disk, boosting the speed of the entire process. 

This new system allows custom inserts to be placed into separate sections of the newspaper and permits the separator disk to rotate in reverse, allowing for multiple-fold inserts. In addition, on-the-fly adjustments of the hopper-separator disk-drum system can be performed when needed, which helps keep inserts at a safe distance from one another to avoid damaging adjacent material. Using ISS technology, David Hall was able to employ servo systems to help streamline the newspaper insert process.

Read more or visit our official website at