At Designetics, we offer a multitude of fluid applicators and systems to help you increase the precision and quality of your process, reduce waste, and increase throughput. In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into the e3minimax fluid application system – and explore the features and capabilities that make it the ideal choice for automating your fluid application process.
Servo-driven Pump for Precise Fluid Application
The e3minimax is part of our “e3” family of automated fluid application systems, but there are a few features that set it apart from its siblings, the e3mini and the e3multi. First, the peristaltic pump on the e3minimax is servo-driven. With a peristaltic pump, fluids are moved through the system gently, without shear. And the pumped material is completely contained in the tubing through the entire process, preventing it from coming into contact with any mechanical parts of the system. This eliminates the routine maintenance and downtime associated with cleaning pump components. And by using servo technology to drive the e3minimax, the speed of the pump – and, in turn, fluid application – can be very precisely controlled, whether running at 0 rpm or 250 rpm.
The servo system that drives the e3minimax includes feedback from the motor to the controller, so the controller always knows whether the motor – and, therefore, the pump – is running at the commanded speed. If there’s any deviation between the commanded speed and the actual speed, the controller can alter the pump speed to correct the deviation. This servo control ensures the highest possible accuracy in fluid application – for better quality, less scrap and rework, and higher throughput.
Fast, Intelligent Communication for Automated Systems
The second feature that makes the e3minimax the ideal choice for automating your fluid application system is its ability to communicate with the master controller via Ethernet, using either an EtherNet/IP or a Modbus TCP communication network. This ensures that communication between the controller and the pump is fast and reliable, making it ideal for integration with a robot or machine automation system.
With Ethernet communication, the customer’s higher-level controller tells the e3minimax when to start and stop and controls the dispense speed, continually adjusting the dispensing parameters based on feedback between the pump and the control system. And the e3minimax is configured via a web-based interface, eliminating the need for so a separate HMI (human-machine interface).
Smart Automation Reduces Scrap and Rework
A “smart” automated fluid application system not only communicates with the higher-level controller for the primary task of application, it also takes on supporting tasks, such as making sure the fluid applicator is ready to go when needed and is protected against damage or drying out when not in use. This is why Designetics’ e3 series of automated fluid application systems – including the e3minimax – have functions such as “line fill,” “app fill,” “applicator wet,” and “snuff back.”
The “line fill” and “app fill” functions run the pump at a user-specified speed and time to fill the line and wet-out the applicator, ensuring the applicator is ready for the dispense cycle. And if the process experiences a predefined amount of idle time – when no dispensing takes place – the “applicator wet” function kicks in and runs the pump for a specified amount of time at a specified rpm, keeping the applicator moist and preventing it from drying out when not in use.
When the pump stops operating, fluid remaining in the applicator can cause drips that lead to quality or aesthetic issues that require re-work or lead to parts being scrapped. To prevent these drips and the quality issues they can cause, the e3minimax – and its e3 series siblings – includes a “snuff back” function that runs the pump in reverse for a specified amount of time at a specified rpm.
e3minimax: The Ideal Solution for Automated Fluid Application
Automated fluid application systems offer numerous benefits – faster throughput, better quality, reduced scrap and rework, and even increased safety for personnel. Whether you’re simply looking to improve your productivity or want to integrate your fluid application system into a robotic work cell, Designetics has a solution that can help you meet and exceed your goals. To learn more about our automated fluid application systems – including the e3minimax – check out our website or give us a call.