Reliable communication in packaging machines

Overview

Optima Packaging Group  

Optima Packaging Group in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany

Optima was founded in 1922 and has specialized in weighing, filling, and packaging machines for the food, hygiene, and pharmaceutical sectors. The family-owned company currently employs over 1300 people worldwide, who develop and implement innovative solutions.

Users of these solutions benefit in particular from resource-saving technologies which reduce the use of primary goods to a minimum. This in turn leads to savings in operating and manufacturing costs.

Application

Optima Packaging Group machines  

Innovative packaging solutions from Optima Packaging Group

The customer-specific packaging lines consist of distributed machine units, which can in turn comprise both standard components and product-specific machine modules.

As all the machine components have to communicate with one another, a high-performance network is required. To ensure a consistent flow of information, Optima chose an Ethernet-based solution. This ensures data exchange and, at the same time, communication with the higher-level production planning system.

As a global player, the company supplies machines to international manufacturers of consumer goods. At the point of ordering, it is often not clear where the machine will ultimately be used. For this reason, all components built into the application must satisfy the requirements of the countries in which they are to be used.

To ensure that construction and production costs are kept as low as possible, uniform and open systems are required for internal machine communication. With this in mind, Optima designs packaging lines with as many identical components as possible and networks the solution via PROFINET or EtherNet/IP™.

Solution

Lean Managed Switches  

Lean Managed Switches in use

Implementing an Ethernet-based communication structure involves more than simply forwarding data, as is the case in an office scenario. A machine network with switches mounted in the control cabinet places high demands on electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and the temperature resistance of the devices due to the close proximity of frequency inverters or other sources of interference. Furthermore, the switches should support industrial protocols such as PROFINET or EtherNet/IP™. EtherNet/IP™ tends to place high demands on the switches.

To meet these requirements, Optima chose the Lean Managed Switch from Phoenix Contact. The infrastructure components easily satisfy the EMC requirements and significantly exceed the required level of temperature resistance, as the switches can be used at ambient temperatures up to 70°C. International use is likewise ensured as the network devices have all the relevant approvals.

Summary

Lean Managed Switches  

Lean Managed Switches are available in numerous versions

Optima has developed an innovative solution with the concept of uniform machine networking via Ethernet. From design and construction to startup of the packaging machines, employees can benefit from the advantages of a uniform communication approach.

As a component of the automation system, the Lean Managed Switch impressed the team at Optima, thanks in particular to its robust properties in terms of resistance to temperature and interference. Due to the comprehensive approvals and its software functions that were designed to meet automation requirements, the device has proved to be the best choice when it comes to compact Ethernet switches for the control cabinet.

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