Maintenance-free belt driven track system HepcoMotion DTS for packaging systems

The goal of New Hanil Engineering, a South Korean manufacturer of automated systems, was to develop a highly efficient, spatially undemanding, fit and forget machine for automated production of liquid washing detergent packaging. The machine is designed to produce spout pouch bags, a packaging format of increasing importance which represents a flexible and cost beneficial substitute for PET bottles. An accurate and solid carousel system is a crucial part of the machine as the spout bags need to be transferred around the machine from one production phase to another.

Regarding the development of the guidance system, New Hanil consulted professionals from HepcoMotion, as both companies cooperated on several occasions in the past.  With almost fifty years of experience in quality linear solutions and automated systems, HepcoMotion is well known for sophisticated, fit and forget systems. For this system, experts identified the DTS belt driven track as the most appropriate.  Important savings were made possible in the design and construction of the machine with the development of a compact system with integrated transmissions and mounting elements.

HepcoMotion DTS track system

Space limitation solutions

Space limitation was one of the main challenges in the design process, there was an explicit need for a compact and space-saving conception which would incorporate all seven phases, namely the pouch loading, edge cutting, capping, sealing three sides and releasing the final product for filling.  Space was a very important factor as all the seven phases needed to be included in a relatively small space.

The oval shape was a perfect choice as the HepcoMotion DTS track system is turning back around on itself and consequently the machine footprint is reduced by 50%. At the straight sections the processing work is performed according to the individual phases while the curved sections serve for repositioning. Space efficiency is evident through smart positioning of equipment both inside and outside the track to achieve an integrated production unit.  As all seven processes are operated within a small footprint we can speak of an ultimate space-saving system.

Moreover, the system enables significant labour savings too due to an intelligent positioning of the input and output sections in proximity to each other which enables a single person operation. One operator can operate the material loading section as well as the output section for finished products.

Detailed description

The system includes 8 carriages moving around the 4,12 m track at the speed of 440 mm/second. The HepcoMotion DTS enables an even greater precision, namely 0,05mm, than the accuracy required for this system (+/-1mm).

Another key advantage of the DTS is the 4kg moving payload due to the general robustness of the system which is important as the individual processing points are exposed to various forces that operate within the system. The tested and accurate V linear guide technology provided by Hepco firmly guides the movers along the track for an accurate alignment ensuring production of consistent products. 

Hepcomotion track system for packaging machine

Fit and forget system

High demand and intense competition in the industry dictates the use of top-quality materials for smooth day to day operation. Profitability is possible only with highly reliable systems enabling timely production of quality products.  The DTS system by HepcoMotion enables maximised productivity and reduced subsequent costs due to a high-speed functioning with very little maintenance, such as the necessary time to time cleaning and lubrication, which in case of the Hepco’s V guide systems needs to be performed at long intervals. 

Hepco’s lubricators need to be lubricated only every 500 km, compared to ball rails which require re-lubricating every 100-150km. New Hanil’s special requirement was low maintenance, the long re-lubrication intervals (as long as 3 months) are a valuable factor reducing future costs and downtime.  During the lubrication process a steady film of oil is applied on the working surfaces of the ring slides preventing friction.

Low maintenance means also less work force and less downtime, both leading to important savings. The maintenance process is simple and prevents serious disruption to production. Easy removal of any play is possible because of a special adjustment facility of the V bearings, which can be replaced individually rather than as a whole set which leads to additional cost savings. An important factor is the endurance of the V guide system preventing extreme failure leading to serious downtime and the entire system replacement.

So far, the system has operated without any problems for four whole years.  Space-efficiency, high performance and very little maintenance are the key benefits making this system an excellent packaging solution.


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