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Tissue maker’s inverter upgrade

Tissue maker’s inverter upgrade

A leading manufacturer of tissue and paper-based con-sumer pro-ducts has upgraded to Control Techniques Unidrive M variable speed drives. Soffass, based in Porcari, Italy, is part of the Sofidel group of companies, and produces a range of products including Regina, as well as a wide selection of other products aimed at the global consumer tissue paper market. These include toilet paper, kitchen towel, napkins, paper table-cloths, handkerchiefs, facial tissues and sheets for medical and industrial use.

The company is a long-term user of Control Techniques variable speed drives, including Commander SK and Unidrive SP. However, the maintenance team management at Soffass, led by Giuliano Dinelli (maintenance manager) and Luca Manfredini (electrical engineer), were keen to tap into the extra benefits of the Unidrive M, and were able to do this quickly and easily thanks to a number of key design features.

Dinelli says: “As a result of the upgrade we now use Unidrive M200 drives for asynchronous motor control in the conveyors, and Unidrive M700 drives in the remainder of the applications.” Among the principal uses for Unidrive M at Soffass is the embosser, where paper veils are matched together to make the final product thicker and softer. The drives also control the print units, as well as the winder/unwinder, which delivers materials to further stages of the process. “We have complete trust in the Unidrive M platform and wanted to upgrade for many reasons, not least the ease of programming, set-up, commissioning and cabling,” says Dinelli. 

“Furthermore, we liked technical features such as synchronous Ethernet, on-board AMC and the multi-protocol encoder connector. This multi-axis system with multiple controls is the perfect fit for our converting machinery at Porcari.”

Such has been the success of the upgrade programme that Soffass is now considering the use of additional products from Control Techniques and its sister company, Leroy-Somer, in future projects. Specifically, the company has earmarked the adoption of permanent magnet (PM) motors as they can offer energy savings in equipment such as paper mills, where power requirements are typically high.

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