Leading packaging solutions provider, TRAKRAP is set to drive efficiencies across its customer base thanks to a strategic partnership between Siemens UK & Ireland and one of its Partners, CT Systems (UK) Ltd.
At the heart of the partnership lies the development of the third generation of TRAKRAP’s unique packaging system, which ensures a reduction in waste material through improved accuracy and greater control for users.
CT Systems has partnered with Siemens for more than 20 years and the collaboration has enabled the development of bespoke technology solutions designed to meet the needs of customers across industry including TRAKRAP.
TRAKRAP was seeking a solution to help its customers across various sectors, including food & beverage, increase productivity, reduce time to market, ensure consistency of product quality and reduce machine changeover time between products. It also wanted to ensure waste was minimised and energy efficiencies were achieved to help reduce costs.
CT Systems and Siemens worked together to develop a technological solution supported with the expertise of both teams. The high-end solution specified for the new packaging machine features the latest SIMATIC S7-1500 PLC and touch panel HMI, together with a safety-integrated SINAMICS S120 drive system and SIMOTICS 1FK7 servomotors. The system was configured and programmed using Siemens’ TIA Portal with recipes on the HMI for different product selection with automatic positioning of guides, conveyors, stops and batch size of product.
David Cant, Account Manager at Siemens UK & Ireland, commented: “We’re committed to working in full collaboration with our network of partners and CT Systems’ work with TRAKRAP is an example of what can be achieved through this approach. The solution specified ensures superior machine performance with consistent quality and less wrap material required per product to drive savings.”
Key to the success of delivering a solution to meet TRAKRAP’s needs was the desire of CT Systems to push the boundaries of the Siemens technology specified, in particular the S7-1500 PLC. This included working directly with Siemens’ Head Office team to combine efforts and develop a bespoke solution, including unique coding to meet the specific needs of TRAKRAP and maximise the benefits for its customers.
Chris Haigh, Managing Director of CT Systems, added: “We focus on delivering solutions that achieve tangible savings and benefits. The solution we developed for TRAKRAP’s machine is centred on helping its customers achieve productivity gains with operational and energy efficiencies in the packaging process. We worked closely with Siemens to select the right combination of the latest technology and technical expertise to do just that.”
The TRAKRAP system uses bespoke 100% recyclable polymer film to wrap products and bond the pack together. Removing the requirement for heat tunnels, the system uses 90% less energy than traditional shrink wrapping – which also makes it more suitable for ambient, chilled, frozen or volatile products.
The efficiency and energy-saving benefits of the new TRAKRAP system has also led to a partnership with Siemens Financial Services who will provide a ‘pay as you use it’ arrangement for TRAKRAP’s customers, allowing them to benefit from the installation of the TRAKRAP system without any upfront capital expenditure. Put simply, the lower cost of packaging combined with the significant reductions in cost of ownership, means the expected savings could offset the finance costs, effectively making the investment zero net cost or even cash positive.
Martin Leeming, CEO of TRAKRAP, concluded: “The solution, powered by Siemens both technically and financially and delivered by CT Systems, meets all our requirements and its ease-of-use in the machine will be a huge benefit to our customers. It’s important the machinery we supply helps to drive savings, so it was crucial that Siemens and CT Systems understood what the technology had to achieve to deliver a truly innovative and effective solution. We believe this new machine will deliver real benefits across productivity, energy efficiency and product quality for our customers.”