Tecno Pack - Packaging machines
Perfect packaging every time with Talk2M remote access
Tecno Pack was created thanks to the experience of two technicians who serviced packaging machines in a warehouse on the outskirts of Schio, near Vicenza, in the Eighties. Why not produce new ones and put them on the market, they said to themselves? In 1985, the first packaging machines were sold and this was the beginning of a long and ongoing success story.
Today Tecno Pack sells worldwide and looks to the Middle East and to Latin America as markets with great potential. “As exports grew our packaging machinery and our assemblies were sought after even overseas, and we had to come up with a more sophisticated supervision system”, Roberto Sabadin, the Tecno Pack design engineer informs us.
“One thing was providing assistance for a machine installed with a company an hour away, and a completely different matter was providing prompt service to clients requiring assistance in Brazil or Egypt. The first step, around eight years ago, was to install an operator interface panel on each machine, to monitor all the elements of the production process individually".
The need for a constant supervision system
Tecno Pack offers a wide range of packaging machines and packaging systems with robotised islands for the food industry and other sectors. The packaging systems, which are all electronically controlled, are designed from top to bottom by designers working at the company premises in Vicenza. They devise solutions targeted to solve the problems connected to all ergonomic and sanitization aspects of the packaging. Even the automation system is designed internally by company technicians. Some packaging assemblies are designed to pack just a single product such as snacks for example, but there are also multi-pack packaging models which can include more than one product in the same container, and then on up to very complex, often turnkey solutions, that process the product from when it comes off the production line right through to its stacking on pallets ready for warehouse stocking. “The operator panel has turned out to be an excellent diagnostics and problem solving tool. We, however, needed a tool that could also provide us with remote access to the data stored in the panel. For a few years we used a traditional device. We'd link up via a standard analogue phone line, but the connection was often tricky and very expensive. It was thanks to EFA Automazione that we discovered the solution that was exactly what we were looking for: the eWON gateway for remote control and diagnostics”, Sabadin once again informs us.
“Our increasingly complex packaging machines often work in conjunction with other machines and robotised islands. The eWON gateway connects via Ethernet to the various PLC axis controllers. We usually provide remote diagnostics if a client specifically asks for it.”
eWON and Talk2M: an integrated solution
eWON offers a range of Gateway devices specifically designed to provide solutions for connectivity problems via Ethernet for the most diverse equipment provided with a serial port. eWON also provides solutions for remote servicing even via Internet and for remote monitoring of distant unmanned sites. The connection is simple and at the same time absolutely safe thanks to the VPN protected network. Thanks to Talk2M, a solution specifically devised for remote connection, managing one's machine pool becomes simple, safe and scalable. This is how it works: the system is connected to Internet, via the owner company's ADSL network for example. eWON creates a VPN (Virtual Private network) on the Talk2M servers directly from the client’s network (without having to modify the client’s firewall to any great extent).
The maintenance technicians, once again connected via Internet with their PC’s, can link up through the Talk2M servers to the machines with just a few clicks. The connection is safe and stable thanks to the technologies used by eWON. More specifically, for the VPN eWON uses what has now become a standard in the IT world: OpenVPN. The basic configuration of the eWON is achieved via a simple wizard and one can therefore set up the connection in under an hour from deployment, and in most cases it ends up being just a matter of minutes.
Thanks to Talk2M, one can remotely assist ones systems via a single portal and with a reliable technology, without having to become a network expert and without the company having to install specific management infrastructures (all that’s needed is internet access). In this way, the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) is easily calculated, quantifiable and kept under control. All eWON devices are distributed in Italy by EFA Automazione.
Remote supervision for high quality results
To go back to the example we referred to earlier, if a client calls saying they need to optimize the sealing of a new film, then we link up to the machine via the eWON gateway and can interact with the temperature of the mass-sealing regulation system, the process and machine parameters. If everything is behaving as it should, we try to understand if there are any complications at the software level, or with the electrical power supply or in terms of settings.
And, all this takes place at no additional cost because the service is provided by eWON. Another advantage is that the technician who makes the link up does not necessarily have to be at the company premises. He can do it from his own PC laptop from any corner of the world.” Sabadin adds.
“Among the values that are regularly tested are the temperatures of longitudinal and transverse seals, the work speed, the length of the package and the parameters of the motors used by the system. The tendency is to have increasingly high performance and heavily automated machines. The required work speeds are also constantly on the increase, but the quality of the result must be kept constant whatever the production speed: this requires great flexibility, something the efficient and versatile regulation systems that our machines employ can provide.
At Tecno Pack production is in full swing and Sabadin is convinced they have made the right choice: “We have already installed eWON on a number of systems, six are already up and running and we have also chosen to use it for all the new projects we are currently working on.”