Hybrid Technology for Powder Production

Moog equipped Kameleon PS40, an automatic machine for the processing and production of powder manufactured by CMI Industries, with its electrohydrostatic pump unit (EPU), the heart of the Electro Hydrostatic Actuation System (EAS). Compared to what could be obtained with a merely electric or merely hydraulic machining, the quality of machining is definitely higher.

by Silvia Crespi

Founded in 1982, CMI Industries designs and manufactures innovative and highly technological machines for the plastic packaging industry. The company can claim a strong specialization, especially in the cosmetics segment. Among its products, Kameleon stands out: this is a special press for powder production, with a revolutionary system of measurement and compacting of cosmetic powders. Kameleon is an automatic and fully integrated machine which introduces a new, evolved concept of flexibility on several levels, both as regards the product – single or multicoloured – and production planning, thanks to the scalable configuration and the possibility of implementing further modules in the course of time.

An automatic and fully integrated machine from an Industry 4.0 standpoint
Let us examine the technical properties of this machine. Loading of the powder occurs by means of aspiration using a multi-vacuum system, with reduced machine down times and no powder contamination. The powder measurement and refinement system with anodized aluminium alloy components provides the best protection against corrosion and wear, preventing adherence and friction, as well as being suitable for contact with food (NSF 51, patent pending). Even the pre-compacting system is realized using anodized aluminium alloy moulds.
One of the particular properties of the machine lies within its drive technology: the power mechatronics with speed control, position and force in closed loop replaced the traditionally used hydraulic components.
The machine has a high level of automation. It is equipped with a double touch screen control panel with an access management system for uploading and changing recipes (1-999); with electronic control for size change and remote control and diagnostic, in compliance with the industry 4.0 standards; with control of the processing phases using video cameras and automatic detection and selection of scraps. Connection with the production and packaging lines is ensured by the PACKML (packaging machine language) standard.

The benefits of two technologies combined: electro-hydraulics and electro-mechanics
For Kameleon PS40, Moog created a specific application of the Electrohydrostatic Pump Unit (EPU), the technology at the heart of EAS, its electro hydrostatic actuation system. “This machining – Fabrizio Brandi, Marketing Manager, Moog Italiana, explained during our meeting at the Moog stand at SPS IPC DRIVES Italia – requires high precision and speed, as well as cleanliness during machining and high power: all of these properties are hard to obtain using electro-mechanical technology alone. In order to satisfy the demands expressed by CMI Industries, Moog’s engineering team developed a tailored version of EAS. The innovative system combines the benefits of electro-hydraulic and electro-mechanical technologies, ensuring a drop of 90% in the hydraulic fluid used and a reduced number of components. The result is a fast and easy maintenance, a reduction of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and a special attention to the environment; all these advantages contributed to fully satisfy the customer’s requests.

Not just cosmetics, but also food & beverage, pharmaceuticals etc.
Kameleon was on show at the Moog stand at the SPS IPC DRIVES Italia trade show in Parma. The cosmetics industry demands stringent requisites in terms of hygiene and precision. “The press being showcased – Brandi added – compacts powder in six moulds. The way the powder is pressed is very important to guarantee the best conservation. Moog’s electro hydrostatic actuation allows to regulate the pressing force. There is no circulating fluid, which ensures that the machine is clean and, compared to hydraulic actuation, even sound emissions are considerably reduced. The oil present in the machine is in a closed circuit, therefore invisible, and is used to obtain high pressing forces. A definitely higher quality is therefore obtained with respect to an exclusively electrical or hydraulic machining”.
Brandi concluded: “We are promoting the EPU technology intensely in various applications.
At first the greatest success was obtained in the plastic and metal forming markets, which we already knew well. Soon enough we realized that our solution is also well received in other segments, such as, food&beverage, packaging, pharmaceutics, cosmetics and many more”.
Kameleon PS40 equipped with the Moog solution is destined to the US market. Moog did not just provide the components but also contributed to the assembly, testing and commissioning.