For Automatic Machines Used In The Production Of Plastic Pipes
In the field of automatic machines, used in various sectors, the trend
that is currently achieving the highest success is electromechanical
technology. This is because the technology is able to ensure various
advantages such as greater product quality, a higher percentage of
products that tolerate a predefined model, reduced production waste and
reduced cost of consumable materials and energy costs. By now, this
technology is developed enough to be adapted to the plastic pipe sector.
what exactly is electromechanics for handling automatic machines? Parts
of automatic machines can be handled in various ways. Traditionally, in
the field of plastic pipe production, the predominant technologies used
were hydraulics for high power and pneumatic for low power. The current
development of the electronics has uprooted this paradigm For example, a
simple electromechanical operation involves an electric motor,
controlled by an electronic device called an inverter, and coupled to a
dedicated mechanical component. There are multiple benefits to this type
The first benefit is greater precision and
dynamism in handling. This characteristic has a positive impact on
products managed, translating into higher quality, greater repeatability
and reduced production waste. The increased dynamism of handling can
also easily increase productivity with a higher number of products
produced per hour.
The second benefit in this type of application
is the cost-efficiency in terms of power consumption. In a world where
raw materials run out, machinery such as electromechanical machinery,
able to ensure low consumption of energy and materials, offers a sure
Another milestone in electromechanical handling is its
tolerance to variations in production conditions, its versatility and
its ease of handling.
All of these aspects indicate a trend in
which electromechanical technology will always make inroads in the
plastic pipe sector as, equal to the investment, they ensure greater
productivity and better products.
Sica strongly believes in this
trend. As further proof of this technology's worth, today moulding of
the new Unibell E&P is available for carriage handling. As already
evidenced, the precision and repeatability of handling is also clear in
the socket product which appears better in terms of quality and produces
notably less waste. The dynamism of the carriage and the flexibility of
the application also guarantee increased productivity and practicality
Sica Open House
The company Sica, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, organized an Open House in mid-July, opening again the doors to its factory to extruder and corrugator manufacturers, and pipe producers from all over the world.
Among the 15 machines on display there were: swarfless cutting machine for PE pipes up to 2500 mm; cutting machine for cutting and chamfering without removal of material for PVC, PP and PE pipes up to 160 mm; electric belling machine for PVC pipes up to 200 mm; and multi-belling machine for PP sewage pipes up to 200 mm.
The first (TRK/C 2500) works in an extrusion line, and it cuts up to 180 mm without material removal. Sica’s solution completely avoids all the problems and the major inconveniences that result from cutting with production of chips and dust and from their subsequent collection and management.
The second (TRS 160W) has been specifically designed and assembled for cutting and chamfering PP and PVC pipes without material removal. This model cuts pipes from OD 32 mm to OD 160 mm in extrusion lines. The system can also be realized for saws up to OD 500 mm. The bigger the pipe, the higher the cost savings due to material savings. The new system does not need a vacuuming system or material recycling operations, provides superior chamfer quality, requires less maintenance, and maintains a clean environment. Furthermore, the pipe is clean to be heated again in case of socketing.
The third (Unibell1 200 JRE) has an IR-SW short-waves oven and is characterized by the electromechanical movement of the forming carriage and the complete elimination of hydraulic drives, also for the Rieber System (fully pneumatic). A screw jack, connected to a latest generation brushless motor with resolver, allows a quick and precise mandrel positioning in a closed loop with high mechanical efficiency (up to 70%) and very low noise level. Without the need for oil cooling, this solution also allows a considerable reduction of water use. Moreover, with the elimination of hydraulic movements any possible oil leakage into the environment are avoided and ordinary maintenance is reduced. Both the heating system (IR-SW oven) and the implemented forming carriage drive lead to a high level of process energy efficiency: the machine uses energy only when strictly required, during the pipe heating phase and for the duration of the carriage movement. The consequences are: faster return on investment, greater market competitiveness and greater respect for the environment.
The fourth (Everbell4 200 PSP) has been completely rethought and modernized. It presents innovative features such as: pipe heating in a single IR-SW oven, and both mandrel and flange electromechanical movement. This assures high speed with accurate positioning of the belling tools, easy process parameters setting from operating panel, high energy efficiency, very low noise level, and high system reliability. Since it sockets PP pipes, it is equipped with the Permanent Socket Profile feature. It assures the repetitiveness of the process and the shape of the socket over time.
The 15 machines on show remained on display from the 11th to the 16th of July for everybody to experience Sica’s new technologies for saving money and respecting the environment.
The most innovative electronic technologies and new broadband ADSL lines have made it possible to remotely maintain machines on the production line. This remote access allows specialists and Sica software developers to monitor, check, provide technical support for and modify the operation of installed machines without the need to enter the factory.
The remote maintenance KIT is installed inside the control panel of the machine. Alternatively, a bundle can be provided which includes all of the material needed to temporarily or permanently install the remote maintenance device in machines that do not yet possess them.
To allow Sica specialists to reach the remote maintenance device, the device must be connected to the factory's LAN network via the ethernet port and allow this port to connect to the internet. The use of high safety standards such as the VPN RELAY and the AES 256 bit data code guarantee a safe connection. The integrated firewall also separates the traffic of automated data from the factory's network data.
As an alternative to the ethernet connection, a UMTS mobile phone network can be used by inserting a USB modem (in key format), complete with an enabled data SIM, into the remote maintenance device.
The benefits that this provides compared with the previous system that used a telephone line are: faster data transmission (and therefore better diagnostic capacity), elimination of frequent interruptions on the line which was a problem with the telephone, the ability (when using a UMTS system) to intervene in areas where it is difficult to pass wires for the internet line.
Today, through this technology, end customers and Sica specialists are even more in step with each other, even if they are located at opposite ends of the globe.
Integrated PDF Reader
Sica's new machines equipped with an Operator Interface allow you to integrate a PDF reader with which it is possible to view technical documentation such as User Manuals, Electrical Diagrams, Pneumatic Circuit Diagrams and other documents to make it easier to refer to them when necessary, therefore improving production management.
The integrated PDF reader is available as an option on newly constructed machines fitted with 10-inch operator panels. The reader is presented as a normal PDF file reader installed on the operating system of the device. Via the powerful Touch Screen (therefore without the use of a mouse and keyboard), you can access and view Electrical Diagrams, Operating Guides and other documents.
Developments to come will also allow you to generate PDF files of certain important documents such as the generated recipes list, the daily production report, the list of alarms active in the machine and other important diagnostic information. This further improves production management and makes it easier to check this directly online on the machine. All of these documents will be accessible via a USB port that operators can easily reach.
Through this function, combined without countless others, Sica aimed to give its machines a brand and appearance in keeping with the times, using the clear benefits of implementing new technologies whilst maintaining the traditional and consolidated reliability at international level.
Remote Human-Machine Interface
Sica's new machines equipped with a touch screen Operator Interface offer the option of reproducing the man-machine interface on any Personal Computer or Personal Digital Assistent (PDA) using a normal network connection. This allows you to remotely control, manage and supervise the machine functions as though you were on board the machine yourself.
The purpose of this is to provide Sica customers with the ability to control the operator panel, and therefore the machine, from any commercial remote control device such as a personal computer, tablet or PDA (an iPhone for example).
To achieve this, the device must have a TCP/IP (ethernet, internet or wifi) connection. The control monitor of the Sica machine can then be accessed via a VNC client. Given that TCP/IP networks and VNC clients are very widely used, this significantly extends the field of application of the system and the possible devices that can be connected.
The contents of the screen are transferred by the PLC machine to the remote device. Therefore, all information that is visible on the machine display is shown and visible on the remote display. This gives you remote control of the machine, allowing you to send controls and actions via a mouse, as though you were using your finger to press on the touch display.
A further benefit of this technology is that the remote panel can also be created as a copy of the main one, in various sizes and resolutions. This allows you to use monitors much larger than standard ones and get the best out of them. Another great advantage is that, in the event that the screen of the operator panel breaks (which often happens through dropping or impacts), you can quickly connect a remote monitor and continue to work with the machine in exactly the same way as you did with the original panel. This minimises the length of time that the machine is out operation and ensures immediate restarting with the same functionality of the original system. The remote device can also be used to easily move around the machine, allowing you to operate in various locations, with greater visibility and comfort for the operator compared with the standard panel fixed to the electrical control box.
Safety is guaranteed as access to the control panel of the machine from external devices is always password protected. This means that only specified users and operators may perform operations remotely.
This new remote control is available for all new Sica machines equipped with touch screen display and can also be implemented in most previous machines with touch screen display.
Innovations in the field of plastic pipes
Sica presents a wide-ranging innovation at the K-exhibition in Dusseldorf: three "green" plastic pipe machines designed to save energy, materials and costs. The surprise will be great and welcomed.
We can speak directly of a revolution for TRS 160 W cutting machine, because finally it can cut and chamfer without removing material. Yes, you read that correctly: without removing material.
This manages to save a considerable quantity of raw material that affects the 80% of the pipe cost, but also to avoid problems of scrap suctioning and recycling. In traditional cutting machines, also in those with knife or tool, chips and dust end up partially between saw mechanisms despite suctioning; for this reason, the necessity of maintenance increases.
In contrast, the new TRS 160 W removes the problem with an innovative system (Patent Pending) that guarantees not only a clean and perfectly perpendicular cut with knife but also a precise and well-defined chamfer, maintaining the same productivity and a satisfactory speed; these are requirements for modern extrusion lines.
Sica's saw can cut any PVC, PP and PE plastic material. The one at the exhibition processes PVC pipes from 25 to 160 mm of diameter.
The second important innovative product is the new Multibell 200M belling machine for PVC sewage pipe. Compared to the previous Everbell model, well known on the market, this new machine has been completely revised and optimized, maintaining an important productivity per hour that reaches 900 sockets/hour with the flagship version. Maintaining unchanged the quality standards and product reliability, the new machine introduces numerous technical features in view of a greatly reduced price both of machine and equipment and a lot of new advantages compared to the previous version such as more compact dimensions with equal productivity, revolutionary system for multi-socketing pipes, ease of use and quick format change. In fact, with the innovative and functional technical solutions, there's a decrease of more than the 60% of the machine tools compared to the previous model, with a significant savings for the costumer in terms of investment and time required for retooling. The machine is still completely pneumatic, with the inevitable advantages related to the higher cleanliness and the superior ease of management thanks to the absence of the hydraulic unit. New important accessibility standards have been achieved with the introduction of a completely movable machine bench: the solution allows complete and safe access to the main areas required for set-up in order to facilitate and accelerate the format change phases.
New easy-to-read large format control displays complete and enrich the potential of this new range of belling machines. These displays have, in fact, new interesting and useful features (for example, the integrated viewer for electric and pneumatic diagrams and for the User's Manual in digital format).
Joining the Multibell 200M for PVC is the new Everbell socketing machine for processing PP pipes. The Everbell, which maintains only the name of the previous model, has been completely rethought and modernized like the Multibell. In fact, apart from specific technical solutions for socketing polypropylene pipes, the same innovative characteristics of the new Multibell 200M are present in the Everbell. The machine inherits compact dimensions, extremely rapid setup, elimination of hydraulics, low power consumption, competitive price but high productivity, ease of use and reduced maintenance requirements.
Another Sica endeavor always to produce new technologies and innovative products is the Unibell 200 E&P belling machine distinguished by the electromechanical movement of the forming carriage. With this solution the hydraulic movements are eliminated from the machine, bringing many advantages from both functional and environmental points of view. The kinematic chain composed by a brushless motor with resolver and a jackscrew with ball recirculation allows the quick and silent mandrel positioning in a closed loop with high mechanical efficiency (up to 70%). Without the need for oil cooling, this solution also allows a considerable reduction of water use. By buying the version with air cooling (Sica patent) and by integrating it with an external refrigeration system (supplied by Sica), the water is completely recirculated. Moreover, with the elimination of hydraulic movements any possible oil leakage into the environment are avoided and ordinary maintenance is reduced. The energy necessary for the forming positioning is used just for the duration of the carriage movement. Moreover, the total absence of hydraulic units brings a significant energy saving, because hydraulic units have a clearly lower total efficiency than this new device. The obvious consequences are: faster return on investment, greater market competitiveness and greater respect for the environment.
With the launch of these machines, we can speak of Sica's "green" turning point. Along with functionality, productivity and quality at the right price, more attention is paid to the environment, and energy and material savings for an sustainable economy. Environmental conservation and savings for a better world!
New TRK/C/Sy/U 2500 cutting machine
Sica is aware of its technological know-how and its thirty-year experience in the field of the automatic cutting process of plastic pipes. The company has increased its range of planetary saws for HD-PE pipes with big diameters and high thickened walls that haul pressure fluids, introducing the new TRK/C 2500, completing the other model range with high dimensions such as TRK/C 2000 and TRK/D 2000 (specific for corrugated pipes); these are long since installed in extrusion lines and work full time.
The new machine has been specifically designed and assembled for cutting PE pipes from OD 710mm to OD 2540 mm (100’’), in extrusion line, without material removal, that is typical of the classic cutting system with toothed disc; in this way, it completely avoids all the problems and the heavy inconveniences that depend on the production of chips and dust and on their consequent collection and management.
In facts, TRK/C 2500 cuts with circular idler blade and has got specific tools that modify the operative conditions of the working process, without penalizing the energy consumption or the overall dimensions.
The new system that controls the cutting process makes the action of the machine more indifferent to the status of the pipe (ovality, thickness inconstancy, working temperature, etc.) and grants a superior cutting quality, even if the pipe has shape anomalies.
The machine is equipped with universal pipe clamps that do not need reductions or ancillary units when the working diameter changes, but which automatically adapt to different diameters, granting a constant grip of the pipe and, consequently, a high quality of the realized cut.
The cutting action is hydraulically realized so that the pipe can be easily penetrated, while the cutting unit movement is electric with automatic synchronization with the extrusion speed, configurable in accordance with the most updated and widespread wiring specifications.
Strong electomechanic supports - with automatic positioning depending on the working diameter, both incoming and exiting the machine - sustain in a rigid and constant way the entire range of pipes that the saw can manage.
The machine is characterized by high safety standard and easiness: perimetral protections with interlocked doors and anti-access systems with laser barriers and an advanced control system in PLC logic with graphic interface on a touch-screen display, for a rapid and intuitive management of the entire cutting process.
The new TRK/C 2500 represents the best technologic answer to the new exigencies in the market of HD-PE pipes with high thickness and very big diameters, mixing high performances and low energy consumptions, user-friendly process and versatility, operative safeness and attention to the environment that today are fundamental factors and that, for this reason, are present in all new Sica’s products.
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