The hardware and software components of our packaging machines are open and modular and comply with the most recent international standards (CE, OMAC, Pack ML).
We use the latest electronic control systems (Motion control, PLC’s, servo systems) to deliver machines that are ultra-reliable, flexible and quick to size change. Depending on the packaging machinery type and application our systems use: SERCOS, PROFIBUS, IEC61131 (CoDeSys), OPC, Ethernet IP.
The usage of world wide standards offers, for both Tekpak as a machine manufacturer as well as the end-users, clear benefits:
- A world wide software standard which everybody can easily learn and understand.
- The development and installation of new machines and automated packaging systems is faster, more predictable, and easier. This results in shorter installation time of the machines with less risks, meaning improved software quality and a more efficient and productive line.
- The software for a particular machine is no longer developed for a particular hardware type or brand. If a hardware platform becomes obsolete, or the supplier even ceases to exist, the investment in the software is largely protected as it can easily be exported to a different hardware brand. This secures our customer’s investment.
Control systems & system architecture
At Tekpak we recognised these benefits early on and where possible we use controllers and systems that comply with the International Standard IEC 61131-3 which covers programming in both Ladder and Structured text which are the most common languages found on most Packaging Machinery Systems.
All packaging machines have three basic control functions:
- HMI, the Human Machine Interface
- PLC, the logic part of the control
- MC, the Motion Control functionality
Traditionally each function has different suppliers, especially on request from the end users, making a wide mix possible. With Elau/Schneider, Allen Bradley or Bosch Rexroth controllers, these functions are merged. Other control options such as integration of functions into one platform, like PC based control, can be provided. However certain software constraints, as well as ability to serve different customer expectations on the HMI part, makes a preference for the integration of PLC and MC into one platform, and the HMI on another one. This will be the basic architecture of most Tekpak control systems.