06 Jul 2022

Wet wipe machine upgrades safety, cuts wiring, adds diagnostics

During the soaring CoVID-inspired demand for hygienic products, a converting machine at the Nice-Pak wet wipes production plant in Flint, North Wales, became due for an extensive safety system upgrade.

Nice-Pak’s risk assessment on this high-speed machine determined that the safety equipment needed to meet the requirements of Performance Level PLd/PLe, according to EN-ISO-13849.

The bespoke upgrade is based around Euchner’s novel CTM interlocking switches and their associated IO-Link interface. “Nice-Pak was looking not just for safety components, but for a complete system installation providing information about both safety and diagnostics,” explained David Dearden, Euchner’s UK&I Country Manager. “Euchner experts can offer machinery safety consultancy and bespoke application guidance and can assist with machinery safety surveys, CE Marking advice and PUWER assessments.”

The internal monitoring of the CTM allows Nice-Pak to connect multiple switches in series and still achieve high levels of safety-integrity up to Category 4/PLe. And an integrated Euchner ESM-CB unit is used to transmit via IO-Link the status of the individual switches to a higher-level Rockwell Automation control system.

To transmit even basic diagnostic data, conventional safety systems require extensive additional cabling. Yet, despite carrying diagnostic data in addition to the safety signals, the simplified wiring architecture adopted here significantly reduces the amount of field wiring required. Nice-Pak engineers have replicated this information on the machine’s HMI display, presenting the operating team with real-time information.

“A major benefit is the diagnostic coverage, while also utilising multiple connected locking door switches wired in series,” said Gareth Roberts, Nice-Pak’s Group EC&I Engineer. “As a result, we saved both time and money. The whole assembly was extremely quick to install and is performing exactly as expected.”

Euchner undertook pre-assembly of the interconnects, which helped carry out the installation in less than half the time that a conventional installation would have taken. Not only did this allow the machine to get back into production earlier than planned, but it also reduced the installation cost.

Company info: Euchner (UK)