Expanded Linear Motion Control System Improves Flexibility in Food and Beverage Packaging


Food and beverage manufacturers are constantly under pressure to package a wider variety of products in more types of packaging without compromising productivity. Now they can answer these trends while increasing throughput using the new iTRAK 5730 small-frame intelligent track system from Rockwell Automation.

The system uses independent cart technology to support smart, flexible and
efficient machines. Independent cart technology offers many benefits over traditional gear, chain and belt conveyors, including unlimited machine flexibility, better traceability and increased uptime. By using magnetic propulsion, the individually controlled carts can quickly start and stop with high precision, which reduces machine wear and is highly energy efficient.

The technology also quickly manages changeovers using pre-configured move profiles
that can be implemented with the push of a button from an HMI.
The iTRAK 5730 system has the smallest footprint within Rockwell Automation’s
independent cart portfolio. It has a 50 mm minimum pitch that makes it ideal for primary
packaging applications, such as flow wrapping, end load cartoning, and form-fill-and-seal
pouching. The system also easily integrates into a manufacturer’s architecture, providing
analytics that help optimize energy use, monitor parts wear and reduce downtime.
“The iTRAK 5730 system extends the flexibility and productivity benefits of iTRAK to
meet the growing demand for customized food and beverage products,” said Michaela
Kaufmann, iTRAK product manager at Rockwell Automation. “The technology is truly
scalable. Your system can have as little as a 50 mm pitch in a small, standalone
machine, or be as large as 100 meters and part of a large, complex line.”

“We are always exploring ways to enhance our offering and better support our machine
assembly, food and beverage manufacturing customers; enabling them achieve their
manufacturing and throughput goals without restriction,” added Max Kiah, Independent
Cart Technology Sales Manager, Asia Pacific at Rockwell Automation.“The new iTRAK
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5730 system will be a great addition to our customers’ existing architecture, helping them
to attain greater agility in their packaging and assembly lines, without compromising on
quality or safety.”

In addition to delivering a smarter form of motion control, the iTRAK 5730 also offers
integrated safety. Features such as safe torque off, Safe Stop 1, a SIL 3, PLe safety
rating and the ability to create safety zones help increase confidence in machine safety.
Safety zones, for example, can increase safety without compromising productivity by
allowing motion to continue outside of the safety zone, even after a trip inside the safety
Furthermore, simulation capabilities allow users to calculate throughput on the iTRAK
5730 system. Users can also create a digital twin that can be used to virtually design,
commission and demonstrate the system, and to virtually train workers. Standardized
object-oriented libraries also can help create a consistent user experience and
accelerate time to market.

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