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Rotary printing press safety
Article taken from "Automazione Industriale", issue 105 - March 2003

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Article

Eurosistemi, with more than ten years of experience in the fabric printing sector, chose Automa supervision software to guarantee perfect operation of the prestigious Altair Series 2000.

by The editorial team

The Stamperia Olonia di Varese textile company is already using one of today's most sophisticated high-precision rotary printing presses: the Altair series 2000. With this machine it has achieved important results in a traditional sector of a classic industry that is not very focused on technological innovations. Today, this drawback, along with the complexity of the production process and the machinery utilised by sector companies, has led to problems in attaining efficient results in terms of precision, printing speed and safety.

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Figure 1

The layout of the Altair Series 2000 (figure 1) provides a general overview of the major difficulties in managing this type of machine. The entry unit with entrainment cylinder without dancer arm is synchronised on the electric axis with the belt on which fabric tension can be adjusted as required. Instead, the machine frame has a modular structure with multiple modules and each equipped with three printing heads. Even the drier, with gas heating and inverter-controlled fans, has a modular structure that can also house one or two fabric transport screens while carrying out multiple runs. The delivery side consists of an entrainment unit with dancer arm that accumulates the fabric on the automatic tangent coiler and incorporates a stoppage device for inspections.

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Altair Series 2000

As a result of its consolidated experience in the fabric printing sector, Eurosistemi has developed this ultramodern plant to meet the textile market's specific requirements regarding printing speed, precision, waste reduction, plant automation and safety. In fact, the plant was equipped with two patented systems that are unique to the sector: DDS and ABS.

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Altair Series 2000

The main objectives of the Dual Drive Supervisor (DDS), the double drive (one for each "cylinder" spindle) printing control unit, are: to eliminate any clearance by transmitting motion not with shafts and gears but through a direct gear motor-spindle coupling; to radially phase displace the two spindles to offset imprecise mounting of lock rings on cylinders; and to control the torque differences applied to the two motors to detect incorrect diagonal positioning of the printing units.
Advanced Blanket Software (ABS) is the sophisticated software that automatically controls all the forces that interact with the machine belt, eliminating any negative effects that may reduce printing precision..

Safer with the supervisor
To improve machine automation and control operations, it was decided to use Super-Flash, Automa's industrial supervision application program development system. Alarms, variables, recipes, trends, etc. are displayed and managed on the machine control PC. A second PC can be network interfaced to receive the daily production program and to transmit production totals. It's also possible to create another network link with the higher level (EPS/MES) to ensure integrated management of computer systems.

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Figure 2

Finally, thanks to the user-friendly software (figure 2) many different operations can be carried out since all available functions are displayed through simple and easy-to-use graphic windows. To meet European Union requirements with regard to plant operator safety and the process where it operates, the Altair Series 2000 uses both software tools and mechanical solutions.
With Super-Flash, PCs can be used to manage alarms and variables relative to machine and operator safety. Instead, many other devices operate in the machine's electric circuits, shutting it down immediately and safely whenever required.
During an emergency or when a potential risk arises, the supervisor displays the precise point on the machine where the anomaly occurred which the operator can manage directly through the PC.
Mobile guards with coded safety limit switches protect each potentially hazardous part of the machine and all operating positions are equipped with emergency stop devices (buttons or cables).
Each printing unit has a safety-sensitive edge applied along the entire length of the machine and the tangent rolling unit, in compliance with UNI EN ISO 11111, is equipped with a mobile protection system that can be activated using a pantograph mechanism that maintains a constant distance between the guard and the fabric entry point. An emergency stop under dangerous conditions will never damage the product and all machine position registers are memorised.

Automa's supervisor: Super-Flash
Super-Flash, the integrated software environment that generates applications for industrial supervision and human-machine interfaces, is the cutting-edge product of Automa, the Italian company leader in automation. This development system is based on a 32-bit native structure that maintains high performance levels, while offering users new and even more application possibilities.

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The magazine cover

Thanks to its multi-platform design, Super-Flash can also generate applications that run in Windows, DOSX and soon CE and Linux. It comes with various standard modules (alarms, recipes, printouts and trends, etc.) and offers a highly qualified technical support.
This new version (3.6), which is 100% compatible with all previous editions, is fully integrated with Windows and has a brand-new, user-friendly graphic editor for improved performance.
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