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.

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