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Cabinet free drive technology hits the sweet spot for confectionery equipment manufacturer

04 May 2023

Confectionery machinery company, WDS is modularising its confectionery machines with control cabinet-free drive technology from Bosch Rexroth.

This will have a number of advantages for confectionery machine manufacturers – Pre-installed and tested equipment saves time and money during on-site set-up. At the same time, modules which can quickly be combined to produce customer-specific solutions. Decentralised drive technology plays a significant role here as it does not require a control cabinet and can be wired quickly and easily.

“In larger systems, we combine up to 120 axes and 100 drives in synchronous mould transport,” explained Bernd Plies, head of digitalisation at WDS. “Each drive can have its own optimised movement profile.” In order to achieve this decentralisation, we chose a combination of a control cabinet-free drive solution and a motion control system. 

In this type of modular confectionery machine, the motion control solution coordinates around 40 electronically synchronised transport movements with its own decentralised drive. This way, the polycarbonate moulds can be transported seamlessly through the machine using a chain drive in accordance with the loose mould principle. A warming period is followed by the first moulding process with liquid chocolate. Afterwards, a shell is created using WDS patented technology which is filled again, cooled and sealed. The control unit can connect the dosing unit and other individual axes as required.

The modular design of the system has reduced the electrical installation work on site by up to 70%. The previous power and feedback lines to the central control cabinet are no longer needed. Instead, the individual drive modules are connected via hybrid cables using the daisy chain method. Compared to the previous machine generation, WDS now requires over 50% fewer supply and feedback cables. 

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