BPI Selects Framo Mini 3 Actuator To Wind Film

BPI Films has replaced actuators at the end of a process line with the Framo Mini 3 actuator from RA Rodriguez. The replacement actuators needed to match the fixing centres and diameter of the failed mechanisms and be sufficiently compact so as not to impinge on the nearby drive system. Within ten days the process was restored to full automation. Part of British Polythene Industries, BPI Films manufactures shrink films, converter film and pallet stretch film.

Its films package, protect and secure a variety of products in a host of industries. The Framo Mini 3 actuators are responsible for transferring a fully wound roll of film, weighing approximately 1,000kg, from the process line onto a trolley for further handling. For the winding process, the roll is held on an expanding mandrel, which releases its grip when the roll is full. This allows the finished product to roll down guideways into moon-shaped locators at the end of two radius arms.

The two Framo actuators work in parallel at either side of the machine. With the roll safely cradled in the locators, the operator initiates the actuators, which expand, lowering the roll by 45deg onto the waiting trolley for despatch. The actuators then return to the waiting position. They both have a 300mm stroke length, operate at a speed of 47mm/sec and with a stroke force of up to 8,000N. For this application, it is critical that both actuators travel at exactly the same speed - this is achieved by integrating an inverter between the actuator and power supply.

For BPI Films, the compact nature of the Mini 3 was vital, as it allowed the actuator to be retrofitted with minimal modification. While many actuators have bulky external motors, the Mini employs a powerful coaxial motor to achieve the required stroke in minimum space. Features that ensure the Mini's reliable operation include a thermally protected motor, life-time lubrication and integral safety switches. This reliability is complemented by economical operation, low maintenance and a long service life.


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