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27 April 2011

API Laminates is singing the praises of drives and controls experts Optima Control Solutions Ltd having posted a 25% increase in productivity after Optima designed and installed a bespoke control system for their newly-refurbished laminating line in Stockport, Cheshire.

Optima, a Parker Hannifin SSD system integrator and specialist in variable speed drive PLC and SCADA applications, transformed the machine's performance, cutting operating costs and slashing power consumption by around 45%.

API is delighted at the impact Optima's expertise has had and the successful completion of the project has cemented Optima's reputation as the leading expert in systems integration and upgrade for the packaging industry.

As a leading UK manufacturer of high quality foil, holographic and laminate products with several awards for environmentally friendly initiatives, reducing energy consumption was particularly important for API.

API engineering manager Tony Robinson said: "One of our main aims is to continually improve our energy efficiency. Optima has helped us do that by upgrading both our electrical and mechanical systems as a turnkey service. They did a high quality job, on time and within budget - which is why we have used them before and will use them again. They have been excellent."

The laminator was originally designed and built with a DC motor powered mechanical line-shaft system. Its various web transport rollers being regulated using PIV gearboxes and a complex arrangement of belts and pulleys. These were difficult to maintain, expensive to run and operationally inadequate when required to produce API's high specification films and foils.

Optima upgraded the original line-drive system with Parker's high performance AC890 drives, each controlling its own roller section with discrete control loops, including AC vector motors.

The new control system has made the changeover between products quicker and simpler by using recipes stored in a new touch screen HMI. Operators can now control individual web tensions for each section of the machine with flexibility and accuracy.

Optima's joint managing director, Michael Hill, said: "API wanted to improve the performance of its laminating machine while also reducing its operating costs. Working closely with Parker, we have significantly reduced the machine's power consumption and enhanced its performance.

"We have a long standing relationship with API and previously helped the company get an award-winning holographic laminated cigarette carton to market by installing and commissioning an entire system in just three weeks. We have outstanding expertise in control system integration and it's part of our normal practice to work closely with clients, understand their needs and provide the most appropriate and effective solution."

Blackburn-based Optima Control Solutions has an unrivalled reputation for designing, building and commissioning high-quality drive control systems. Established in 1995, the company has grown steadily since then to provide a blue chip service to an impressive client base both here in the UK and overseas, including customers in Europe, China and South Africa.

For further information, please contact Michael Hill,

Optima Control Solutions Ltd

Capricorn Park
Blakewater Road
Tel: 01254 272827
Fax: 01254 272828
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