Unilever Ice Cream Wireless Positioning Project

Wireless spindle positioning indicator system prevents bottlenecks at Unilever Ice Cream

WestRock APS in partnership with Elesa, speed accurate machine set up and increase efficiency and safety, by use of a wireless connected profile controller, which displays the initial set up values on each of up to 36 electronic position indicators.

Elesa wireless spindle positioning system banner

When change-overs were becoming elongated at Unilever (Ice Cream), WestRock APS were asked to identify the issue causing the problem.

WestRock APS engineering team quickly identified that product change-over accuracy could be a factor, as operators were struggling to set up machines quickly and accurately. WestRock APS proposed the new Elesa WiFi position indicator system, as a retrospective upgrade. Now, the operator can simply choose the appropriate recipe then quickly re-set each spindle to its correct start position and the machine is “good to go”.  This saves time and takes out much of the possibility of human error.
Sean Dunne, Unilever comments, “this cost-effective upgrade was added to our machines in under 2 days, and has already made huge improvements to product change overs and set-up times”

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WestRock APS Elesa wireless spindle positioning indicator system overview

The operator can simply choose the appropriate recipe then quickly re-set each wifi spindle to its correct position and the machine is “good to go”. This saves time and takes out much of the possibility of human error. Wireless_positioning_system_Elesa-Linkx-RFActual and target positions are transmitted by RF to and from the control unit, facilitating rapid machine set up. The operator manually sets the position of the spindles following the arrow displayed on the LCD (clockwise/counter-clockwise rotation). Once all the spindles are correctly set, the UC-RF control unit communicates to the PLC of the machine that the setup has been completed – the system prevents the start of the machine until the set-up has been completed, for machine safety reasons and to prevent loss of production from incorrect settings. Wireless positioning system Elesa WestRock APS diagram The UC-RF controller can network with up to 36 position indicators and is compatible with PLC Interfaces: RS232, RS485, Ethernet/IP, Profibus and Modbus. The DD52R-E-RF (IP67) position indicator 6 digit display mode can be selected by the operator.

WestRock APS Systems can install the new Wireless spindle positioning indicator system to new machines or retrospectively as an upgrade to compatible PLCs.

Contact us on: +44 (0)1493 257 070 for more information