Amcor MDC

Kiwiplan “Super” MDC (MDC XMT) Enable Amcor Fibre Packaging to Automate Finishing Machines



Amcor MDC



Robotic palletizing arm at Amcor facility

Based on a presentation by Campbell Angelo, Amcor Fibre Packaging

When Amcor Fibre Packaging planned to install a fully automated Robotic Palletizing arm onto an existing Martin 924 Flexo Folder Gluer box making machine at their pilot installation, they realized a major limitation—the robot was a stand alone device, unconnected to the production systems and requiring manual input for each job parameter. Scope requirements for the Amcor project dictated that the robot, as well as all data input, be fully automatic.

A Kiwiplan Solution for Talking to the Robot

Amcor uses the Kiwiplan Machine Data Collection (MDC) module along with the Kiwiplan Production Control System (PCS) at each converting machine, including the Martin 924. MDC thus offers an excellent platform to interface between the factory floor machinery and into the Kiwiplan production scheduling database. Kiwiplan Production Control System (PCS) stores all the job and manufacturing parameters required to setup the robot, with MDC being the ideal vehicle to transport the job parameters over to the robot.

With the requirement that the robot and data input be fully automatic, the ultimate solution provided by Kiwiplan was to make a “super” MDC—the MCD XMT. This extra functionality transformed MDC into the data hub for all the automation requirements; consequently, the strapper, pre-feeder, conveyors, and downtime monitoring were all able to be automated along with the robot setups.

Broader Application—A Plug and Play Solution

Ultimately, the MDC architecture turned out to be very useful. Regular MDC was built into a small Allen Bradley Micrologix PLC, now with the super MDC upgraded into the SLC500 PLC. The extended PLC platform allows the automation design to become modular and generic. Since the automation work done on the Martin 924 can be transported directly to any other finishing machine, Amcor can now automate any machine using the “Generic Automation Module”—the Wards, the Mitsubishi, or the Martin 1628. Kiwiplan has provided the ability to talk with any of these machines—it is a “plug and play” solution.