Faster servo-controlled three-piece can welding

Swiss canmaking equipment manufacturer Can Man has launched a faster version of its servo-controlled X7 welder for three-piece cans.

With a welding speed of 100m/min and capability for producing up to 600cpm, a central feature of the X7-600 is its ‘smart’ linear servo-driven control combined with advanced software running off an iPad, which provides positional accuracy in blank handling and canmaking. It enables the position of blanks and can components to be known at every step during the process: from the downstacker, through roll forming and subsequent transfer of can bodies to and through the welding station.

The control system monitors the complete machine, providing overload protection, while also indicating when maintenance is required. If the welder senses a sign of potential jam, the machine is stopped before a major crash occurs.

The ‘smart’ rollformer measures the torque of blanks and will switch the blank feed off, should any anomaly be detected. Two sensors have also been added after the rolling station and as soon as an irregularity is detected, the machine will stop feeding blanks to avoid jams in the calibration crown.

“The reason why electrical systems – servos and software – will win in the long term over practically all mechanical systems is that you can read and adjust them in order to optimise a function without the need for any mechanical settings, and even without the need for any [mechanical] links or a multiple configuration of bearings,” says Can Man’s chief executive Ruedi Umbricht.

Even the reliability and lifetime of these electrical systems have advantages over mechanical versions, says Umbricht. Instead of a time-consuming and expensive overhaul, or replacement of gear boxes with additional long machine downtime, the servos and servo drives are ‘plug and play’ units, using standard components available anywhere in the world, he adds.

The X7 welders are claimed to operate at 98 per cent efficiency and can be used as replacements for 62 types of older welders dating back to the early 1970s, says Umbricht.

More information from Can Man AG, Mülisacker 221, 5705 Hallwil, Switzerland. Tel: 41 62 767 50 60. Website: