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Greasing unit with motion control solution

Date: 11 September 2016

Unispray in Nieuwegein (NL) is a specialist in greasing spray systems for the food industry. Their latest development is a modular system, in which spray lances are positioned in an XY plane above a conveyor belt. Baking tins are transported on this belt and greased. Unispray has developed a single-belt gantry system, where two servo motors are mounted on the fixed world and together drive one toothed belt. Beginning 2016 Unispray approached ATB Automation for developing and supplying the motion control and servo system. A project with a number of challenges related to the limited available space and short implementation time. Moreover Unispray wanted to realize a simplification of the PLC and motion control functions via integration in one controller. ATB started working out a structured project approuch for Unispray.

Tom Gosman, director of Unispray has already cooperated with ATB Automation in the past: "I know that ATB has the experts to provide complex motion control solutions. In the past I have worked with ATB, Mijnsbergen at that time, and Stöber. Stöber is a high quality brand and well known in the food industry. Given the challenges I encountered with this system, I contacted them."


In the early stage of the project, the project manager of ATB Automation has created a project design. Gosman says: "I appreciate working with a party that constantly reflects. The project design is a great guideline, in which you  make agreements. The project design also stipulates matters you might not think of yourself. Then you know you have found a party who knows the ropes."

Translation to a working system

"The project design is essential for the proper transfer of knowledge among one another. Unispray regarding the knowledge of the bakery process, and ATB Automation concerning the technical motion control knowledge," says Gosman. "Such a project design provides the translation into a well-functioning system. It contains the description of the system design including the principles and goals, clear diagrams and drawings of the (control) systems, and a transparent task division. By doing so, this presented the solution and work methodology for our issue in clear lines, at a pre-determined project price."

Click here for the Unispray single belt gantry systeem project design (Dutch)

One control platform

Gosman had specific wishes for the motion control system: "In the previous system two different brands provided the respective PLC and motion control functions. Consequently unnecessary complex. The Trio motion controller of ATB Automation accommodates both the PLC and motion control function in one single platform. Isn't that nice, how much functionality you can fit into such a small unit. The Trio motion controller is equipped with a function block including, among others, a single belt gantry function. The coordinates transformation in the Trio easily converts the mechanical configuration intto - in this case - a two-dimensional system. The motion controller knows exactly which movement variations should be made in the servo motors, to achieve the appropriate linear and circular movements in the XY plane."

Close consultation

Gosman feels that ATB Automation is a partner with whom they can continuously develop further. "This is also evident from this project. ATB calculated which motor was required for this system. This had to fit within the tight design and shoud be sufficiently dynamic to constantly accelerate and decelerate the single-belt gantry mechanism. After selection of the servo motor, the gearbox was configured in close consultation with Stöber because of the limited available space. The slim construction of the drive in combination with Stöber not needing to use an adapter and coupling between the motor and gearbox, made the combination fit perfectly into our design. EtherCAT is used for the communication between the Trio motion controller and Stöber servo drives. That also simplified the cabling."

Unispray grease spray system

The spray systems produced by Unispray, place multiple spray lances on a cross table. The baking tin is placed under the spray lances, after which a Unispray spray nozzle sprays a layer of oil onto the baking tin. Unispray has developed a unique compact and hygienic spray system compared to competitors who use the paint spray principle. The Unispray systems are stable, easy to set up and tailor-made for the customer. The latest Unispray spray system is a single-belt gantry system. "That system has some advantages," explains Gosman. "First, you are free in the use of spray pattern form, whether square, round or a bear shape. Moreover, you have much less mass to put into motion, because there are no motors on you have to take along on the axis. And without energy chains, there is also less chance of malfunction."

‘ATB Automation heeft de benodigde functies voor het bedieningspaneel vertaald naar verschillende schermen in de HMI. Via het HMI display van Trio kan de gebruiker heel makkelijk een programma kiezen. Het bedieningsscherm is heel duidelijk van opzet. Het systeem is nu bijna een half jaar in gebruik naar volle tevredenheid van de eindgebruiker. Zoals ik ATB Automation ken, zie ik in hun een partner waarmee we ook mooie ontwikkelingen in de toekomst zullen realiseren,’ besluit Gosman het gesprek.

"ATB Automation has translated the features needed for the control panel to different screens in the HMI. The user can easily select a program via the Trio HMI display. The control panel is very clearly laid out. The system is in operation for almost half a year now, to full satisfaction of the end user. As I know ATB Automation, I see a partner with whom we will also achieve beautiful developments in the future," concludes Gosman.

  • Quick response, short lines
  • Renowned manufacturers
  • Profound product knowledge
  • High reliability

We supply slewing ring bearings, oscillating mountings, tensioner devices from stock and we also have spiral bevel gearboxes, servo gears and electromechanical actuators in our delivery program.

In addition we also select and offer the right components and systems for motion control solutions, such as servo gear motors, linear servo actuators and complete XYZ cartesian systems.

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