Published in Machines and Equipment
iTRAK delivers a new food&beverage productivity paradigm
There have been numerous technological breakthroughs in industry over the past 100 years that have subsequently heralded new machines, procedures and applications. Plenty of other new ideas have come and gone, with their longevity often being commensurate with the value that they deliver. Some technologies have successfully stood the test of time and it is these we now see as commonplace in the modern manufacturing environment. One of these established innovations was the development and introduction of electronically controlled servo and motion solutions. Since its introduction, servo technology has undergone many changes and enhancements, as speed, load, inertia and accuracy have all been improved to the extent where it is hard to envision them getting much better than they are now.
Quite often in these situations, where new developments are only delivering minor gains, it needs vision to imagine a new application for an existing concept and this was certainly true with the development of iTRAK®. The result being a technology that delivers independent control of multiple movers on straight and curved paths – creating a ‘pitchless’ machine. Touted as a disruptive technology, iTRAK is indeed a whole new way of thinking about production flow, with end-users already reporting remarkably high productivity gains of at least 50 per cent. Machine and equipment builders can reduce complexity and deliver higher performance, while allowing end users to achieve significantly higher productivity through increased speeds and flexibility. All of these benefits are delivered on a standardised platform for better optimisation, improved reliability and faster system deployment. The primary value it delivers in terms of speed is that it replaces mechanical parts with a magnetic field, this means that the production line can move at unbelievably high speeds, delivering a virtually limitless realm of possibility, resulting in improved productivity. The removal of mechanical components also slashes maintenance costs. In operations iTRAK also reduces the downtime for changeovers as the movement profiles for each mover or sets of movers can be easily reprogrammed to match varying production runs and products. 
In the food and beverage industry, iTRAK is already seeing multiple applications. 

For more information: http://www.rockwellautomation.com/en_UK/products-technologies/itrak/overview.page
 

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