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HepcoMotion GFX guidance system for Beckhoff XTS utilized for high duty packaging application uses reduced maintenance arrangement offering high reliability

The look for new challenges, the consideration to detail and a consistent craving for advancement characterize Packfeeder’s DNA. For its new development, the Pickfeeder Twin 200 unscrambler system, linear movement master HepcoMotion was challenged to realize a cycle of 200 containers per minute, whilst also guaranteeing high reliability and reduced maintenance.

Having more than four decades of experience in the packaging industry, Packfeeder is specialized in the planning and manufacturing of sorting and positioning systems for containers and bottles made of plastic. Packfeeder is located in Barcelona and ​​it serves well-known worldwide brands and different sectors of industry such as the cosmetics industry, pharmaceutical industry, personal care, etc.

HepcoMotion GFX for Beckhoff XTS pickfeeder

Packfeeder unscramblers can be applied to a large number of bottle sizes, geometries, and speeds, making them one of the most complete ranges in the market. Due to the fact that these systems are patented, they are exclusive on the market thanks to their easy and intuitive design, which permits clients to convert the most complex tasks into very easy procedures. Its manageability and ease of use permit a fast alter of format without instruments or alterations.  With the included advantage of being the most compact systems in its section with the leading bundling ratio per minute/m2, the Packfeeder's invention is a benchmark in its division.

After the achievement accomplished with its first form of the Pickfeeder system at 160 handlings per minute, Packfeeder wanted to extend the machine’s positioning cycles and hence address the high manufacture and better adaptability requested by the market.

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The CEO of Packfeeder, Ferrán Martínez, said: “Being innovative is very important nowadays and to back innovation up, one needs technological partners. In this key project, we used the experience of HepcoMotion, Beckhoff and Delta robots. Furthermore, their high-quality products gave us the needed confidence with which we are able to focus on this industrial challenge.” For the weight of the product, the technical specification of the application needed a load of 0.5 kg. In addition, the custom-made design clamp and its relative position with regard to moving for the diverse areas of the circuit were also needed. The entire perimeter of the circuit is 3.5m, counting the straight segments for 5 x Beckhoff motors, additionally 2 x 180º curves.  The circuit is mounted at 45º to overcome the forces of gravity within the return of the movers.  With a cycle time of 2.4 seconds in an anti-clockwise heading, the system must work 16 hours a day, 7 days a week with an ensured life of 2 years.

HepcoMotion GFX for Beckhoff XTS pharmacy

Due to the high kinematics of the application, with speeds of 3m/s, increasing speeds of up to 30m/s2, as well as the 45º mounting direction, the application is challenging and Packfeeder needed HepcoMotion to plan and construct a new circuit with decreased weight movers and low friction, without compromising the carrying capacity, hardness, and exactness of the system.

“To decrease the weight of the movers it was essential to plan and construct a lightened aluminum body without compromising its hardness and uncommon bearings that give adequate carrying capacity to resist the challenging requirements of the application.” Steve Rendall, R&D Director of HepcoMotion.

As masters in linear motion, HepcoMotion worked at the side of Beckhoff to create a new adaptation of its 1-Trak system to work with the Beckhoff XTS eXtended Transport System. This choice provides the high-cycle needs of XTS applications where the necessities of long-term movement profiles and longevity are especially challenging.

HepcoMotion’s GFX guidance system for Beckhoff’s XTS Transport System gives a great carrying capacity with accuracy motion, perfect for processes with high speeds and increasing speeds. Its reduced maintenance, a circuit comprising straight and circular bend segments and a clothoid curved move gives a gentler movement for the movers and permits the machine to work faster and more easily than would be conceivable for a ‘working track’ oval shape. The high-performance load-bearing bearings mounted on the unbending bodies of the movers, together with the magnetic blocks and the encoder vane, guarantee great positional exactness and permit working on curves, optimizing the transport system.

HepcoMotion GFX for Beckhoff XTS packaging application

The Beckhoff XTS eXtended Transport System utilizes linear servo motor innovation to drive autonomously controlled “movers” around the circuit. The system offers an arrangement for complex systems, with a high-speed motion of up to 4 m/s, without compromising on positional precision. With its modular engineering, it permits the measurements of the machine to be diminished.  Thanks to the total freedom of motion and the high dynamism of the movers, it permits the movers to be synchronized and grouped, giving the system the perfect adaptability for constant processes. The automatic format change permits the equipment to be adjusted to the different needs of each item easily, diminishing downtime and expanding machine effectiveness. It is a transport solution that impeccably combines high dynamics and exactness.

Thanks to the capacities of its components, the Pickfeeder arrangements of robotized sorting and unscrambling plastic bottles have been conceived as a modular arrangement configurable for one or more robots, consistent with a great range of applications. The combination of Delta robots with HepcoMotion’s GFX Guidance System and the Beckhoff XTS permits the most flexible automatic format change machine within the market, optimizing the performance of the intelligent systems and ensuring the best soft exchange within the world.

Packfeeder incorporates a great range of robotic systems for nourishing containers of diverse measurements, characteristics, and materials, with flexible speed according to production needs. Packfeeder’s robotic bottle sorters can work proficiently with a wide range of containers, from short dimensions of 3–4 ml to large of 1L or more, in a wide range of speeds up to 500 u/min.


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