Opitz Maschinentechnik: Adaptation of packaging sizes

  • Opitz

Every shipment box tailored to perfection

The amount of packaging we use is rising sharply. This is due mainly to the growth in online shopping. However, in proportion to the size of its contents, most packaging is vastly oversized. This is inefficient because better use could be made of the amount of space available in shipping containers, aircraft and not least trucks and delivery vehicles. Our customer, Opitz Maschinentechnik, has recognized this problem and developed a volume reducer to solve it.

The project at a glance

  • Customer: Opitz Maschinentechnik GmbH
  • Location: Kalefeld, 30 km to the north of Göttingen
  • Sector: Packaging industry
  • Application: Vario 558 volume reducer
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  • The cutting depth in the boxes has to be designed to be variable so precise and variable drive technology is needed
  • Less space required in control cabinet
  • Improvement in energy efficiency
  • Reduction in cabling
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  • To ensure precision and variability, servo drive technology from the
  • MOVI-C®automation module was fitted.
  • Through a combination of central and decentralized
  • MOVI-C®drive technology, we have managed to save space in the control cabinet.
  • The timing of machine processes has been arranged such that optimum energy efficiency is achieved.
  • The amount of cabling inside the machine has been reduced through the use of decentralized drive technology.
  • Energy-efficient system
  • Excellent dynamics and precision
  • The end customer has to provide less space in the control cabinet.
  • Drive technology from one source
  • Fewer cables thanks to decentralized technology

The project in detail

MOVI-C® modular automation system helps to adjust package sizes optimally to their contents
OPITZ volume reducer for case packer

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MOVI-C® modular automation system helps to adjust package sizes optimally to their contents

Accurate figures are not currently available but we can safely assume that over 50% of an average parcel is filled not with the goods themselves but air or a filler. You have possibly seen for yourself how you seem to have a disproportionately large amount of waste left over from your online order.

Quote: Günther Opitz, owner

The control cabinet has shrunk noticeably. Space is always an issue for our customers; and it’s always in short supply.


Quote: Helge Sünnemann, programmer

SEW-EURODRIVE makes my life a lot easier – especially with its prefabricated modules, that I simply have to connect up. This saves a lot of time.


It’s a packaging revolution

Vario 558 volume reducer
Vario 558 volume reducer

Opitz Maschinentechnik GmbH is hoping to revolutionize the packaging market with the Vario 558 volume reducer. And it’s picked a good time to do it. Online shopping is enjoying a boom and growing sharply so the number of goods handled by transport companies is on the rise. It’s the ideal time to launch a technology which allows more goods to be transported while also reducing material consumption.

To establish the optimum size for a box, a camera or ultrasonic sensor in the first station measures the height of the product in the box and calculates the fold heights or the depth of the incisions in the four corners of the box. With each new measurement, the respective height of the measured product and the variable box size determine how deep a cut needs to be made and where the blade of the Vario 558 needs to stop in the corners of the standard box.

Next, the box flaps are folded, fixed by a hold-down device and then sealed. The company is an expert in gummed taping, a process used especially for packaging high-value products. This method is much more secure than sealing parcels with adhesive tape. With this gluing method, you can always tell if a parcel has already been opened, which is an advantage if the customer needs to receive the products in a sealed box. This gluing technique, together with the adaptable packaging size, makes the volume reducer an exciting product for many shipping companies.

Given the stringent precision and dynamics requirements of the motion sequences in the Vario 558, Opitz uses servo technology in a multi-axis system. This motion-control solution was jointly developed with us on the basis of the MOVI-C® automation module. Since both central and decentralized drive technology has been fitted in the machine, it offers great potential variety.

Saving space in control cabinets

The new MOVI-C® double-axis module has been fitted for stationary tasks. This drives both the cutting portal as well as material flow within the machine. The use of double-axis modules – which are interlinked via the DC link as a multi-axis system to ensure optimum energy efficiency – significantly streamlines the installation process and reduces the required size of the control cabinet.

Energy efficiency

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In order to make the entire system more energy-efficient, the timings of all sequences have been aligned with one another. The vertical drives, for example, are only powered up at staggered intervals so that the braking energy released when one vertical drive powers down can be used to power up the other one. This alone saves energy and avoids expensive load peaks. Attention is also paid to energy efficiency in the cutting process where decentralized CMP.. ELVCD® extra-low voltage drives are used. Along with the electric cylinders with servomotor drives, these have the job of adjusting the linear blade position.

Reduction in cable use

The volume reducer has been fitted with decentralized servo drive technology. This has not only significantly reduced the amount of space needed in the control cabinet, but also the number of cables fitted. In this particular case, even cable carriers didn't have to be fitted, which created additional space in the machine and eliminated various wear components. The ELVCD® extra-low voltage servo drives used on the portals weigh very little, deliver sufficient performance and are supplied perfectly by a looped-in energy and communication bus.


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