The company Hugo Beck, based in Dettingen/Erms near Stuttgart, is shaping the packaging industry with its forward-looking actions. As a family-owned company, Hugo Beck can look back on more than 65 years of success and is today a leader in the horizontal film packaging sector. Their machines are used worldwide in various industries such as pharmaceuticals and medical technology, food, wood and long parts, as well as cosmetics and hygiene. With more than 100 employees and a worldwide network of qualified technicians, Hugo Beck bundles all in a single source: from project planning, manufacturing and integration to service.
Although many products are still being wrapped in foil for economic and hygienic reasons, there is a rethink on the market. Managing Director Timo Kollmann is therefore particularly proud of the further development of their packaging machine, which can not only be used in the film sector, but also packs paper with a hot glue connection in the transverse area and two sewn sides in the longitudinal area. The new paper E-Com flex machine type is optimally equipped for the requirements of e-commerce packaging made of paper and delivers an output of up to 900 cycles per hour. The shipping bag size is automatically adjusted to the product dimensions during the packaging process. This means that some packaging machines from Hugo Beck can be used flexibly and are also future-proof thanks to short changeover times of just 30 minutes from film to paper.
The consumption of film during packaging is already reduced today by the patented tight packaging, while at the same time with a precise fit of the film there is hardly any film waste in production. This is achieved by high-precision assembly and synchronization of the cross-lock unit to the product, resulting in minimal product distances. This technology, coupled with extremely thin packaging and shrink films with only 7 microns, illustrates how important Hugo Beck is to sustainability in the field of film packaging.
Hugo Beck also successfully implements projects in special machine construction through standardization and modularization.Timo Kollmann, Managing Director Hugo Beck Maschinenbau GmbH
Hugo Beck relies on a high degree of standardization and modularization for its form fill or flowpack machines. The basic machine consists of a modular principle with mechanical and electrical components. Since there are a wide variety of requirements in special machine construction depending on the target industry, this is not easy to implement. However, a standardization of hardware and software enables the reuse of already realized functions, optimizes the ordering and processing periods and thus shortens the time-to-market of the complete machine.
In order to cope with changing market conditions and faster development cycles, the long-standing cooperation is appreciated on both sides. “We do not see Siemens as a product supplier of control, drive and operating components,” says Kollmann, “but rather as a system supplier and partner in the process of joint solution determination. This is particularly important because no standard machines are built, but the customer requirements are constantly being implemented again and again, preferably under the approach of modularization and standardization.”
Continuously automated with Siemens
For its packaging machines, Hugo Beck relies on the SIMATIC S7-1500 controller family with its integrated motion control and safety functions. For machines with cam synchronization or handling applications, Hugo Beck uses the SIMATIC S7-1500 TF CPU. This makes it very easy to configure even more complex motion control applications in the familiar TIA Portal environment. In addition to simple programming, hugo Beck is particularly interested in the stability of the controllers and the long-term availability and product quality. The employees from the electrical design see the advantage of the SIMATIC S7-1500 in the greater scalability, so that the size of the CPU can be perfectly adapted to the respective needs of the project.
For more than 20 years, in addition to SIMATIC, suitable servo drives and frequency inverters from the Siemens portfolio have been used. The SINAMICS S120 multi-axis system is used for the current packaging machines. Recently, the SINAMICS S210 midrange servo inverter is also installed with the SIMOTICS 1-FK2 motors. Since the connection to the SIMATIC technology objects is made via PROFIdrive telegram configuration, the perfect SIMATIC & SINAMICS solution can always be selected simply and easily to match the machine type and the end customer requirements. The drives are always integrated into the TIA Portal Framework through the TIA Startdrive Advanced.
A SIMATIC Comfort Panel, scalable from 7″ to 15″, is used to operate the Hugo Beck machines. The integration into the TIA Portal using SIMATIC WinCC Comfort facilitates the exchange of data between CPU and HMI and contributes to a considerable shortening of programming and configuring work in terms of standardization with the library concept. Like almost every mechanical engineer, Hugo Beck is constantly thinking about new concepts and possibilities for optimizing and selling their packaging machines. Even today, the time window for the completion of the machine is very tight on both the hardware and software side. So it is not uncommon for the virtual models to often have to be created and developed in parallel with the project. Nevertheless, the advantages of the electro construction are known, so that, for example, uncertainties or problems can be detected and clarified early in the project before the actual hardware setup is even started.
How will special machine construction work in the future
“New developments are exclusively electrical, mechanical solutions such as the jackshaft are not up to date,” says Timo Kollmann. In the direction of digitalization, a separate cockpit is already being used, which can be mapped in a database using this customer machine. In the event of a malfunction, it is much easier to capture the existing firmware stands or block versions on the machine. Existing machines with Siemens controllers can also be easily integrated into the cockpit afterwards. This allows the required machine data to be clearly displayed on the dashboard.
Hugo Beck also focuses on the operating concept: simplicity! In times of a shortage of skilled workers, it must be possible for every machine operator to carry out problem solving, troubleshooting or the teaching-in of a new product directly at the machine console after a briefing. Just like operating an app on a smartphone.
Regardless of the future development of the packaging industry, Hugo Beck can be sure to have with Siemens a strong partner by their side!