Rapidly Scaling Production of Critical Equipment
Kollmorgen Motion System Enables Quick Response to COVID-19
In the fight against COVID-19, the soaring demand for face masks has led to a severe undersupply. Driven by market demand and requests from governmental bodies, many companies have shifted their typical production focus and retooled to produce this essential personal protective equipment. Beckmann Automation GmbH, a German machine builder that has traditionally manufactured machines for mattress and belt production, quickly stepped in to meet this urgent need.Beckmann’s primary challenge has been an extremely short timeframe for designing and building new face mask production equipment coupled with the challenges of working under COVID-19 restrictions. To streamline the design of its new machine, Beckmann has sought partners able to provide complete subsystems, rather than individual components, in order to significantly reduce the number of integration points and accelerate speed to market.
These considerations are particularly important with regard to the new machine’s motion system: the motor, gearbox, drive and cable. Beckmann chose to significantly speed design and production while reducing risk by sourcing the motion system from a trusted partner who has already confirmed the required performance and can ensure a reliable supply of all elements.
Based on many years of close collaboration, Beckmann chose Kollmorgen as its motion partner for the new breathing mask machine. Kollmorgen is providing a motion subsystem consisting of an AKM servo motor mounted with a gearbox, an AKD servo drive and a single power/feedback cable—all perfectly matched to ensure optimal performance.This subsystem has already been proven to offer multiple advantages in other Beckmann machines. First and foremost, the servo system delivers the high performance that Beckmann needs to consistently exceed its customers’ expectations and outperform the market. Second, Kollmorgen’s single-cable and SFD (smart feedback device), optimized for the AKD drive, enables Beckmann’s customers to quickly set up the whole system, saving a tremendous amount of time.
Time to market for face mask production was especially critical. To help Beckmann meet the need, Kollmorgen mobilized a large cross-functional team encompassing sales, applications support, production operations, supply chain and customer service. This team quickly identified the appropriate motion solution and has ensured that the supply of each subsystem component is synchronized and meets Beckmann’s lead time requirements.
An integrated motion solution from a single partner eliminated the performance risks, coordination difficulties and delivery uncertainties that are practically inevitable when working with multiple suppliers. Kollmorgen’s cross-functional team reduced the normal delivery time for a full motion sub-system design by 70%. This quick response has helped Beckmann deliver machines to their customers in the shortest possible time.
- The motion system and support from Kollmorgen enabled Beckmann to ship their first batch of machines within 6 weeks from design.
- Beckmann successfully transitioned into a completely new market segment, from which they are expecting to generate incremental sales in the years to come.
- The new Beckmann machine offers breathing mask producers ultimate flexibility. Its modular design enables easy and quick shifts from partial to full automation, the addition of packing stations, and the ability to change over from production of masks to filters and other textile products for a range of applications.
- Powered by the Kollmorgen subsystem, the face mask production line is able to produce 70 parts per minute, and up to 100,000 parts per day.
Kollmorgen has also supported a similar accelerated production schedule for a number of other key medical device manufacturers worldwide who provide CT scanners for both hospitals and mobile care
“Kollmorgen is our longstanding and trusted partner for motion. Kollmorgen’s timely and effective support for our mask production line helped us navigate through these challenging times and meet even the toughest turnaround time commitments with our customers” - Kevin Beckmann, Sales Manager, Beckmann
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Kollmorgen has more than 100 years of motion experience, proven in the industry’s highest-performing, most reliable motors, drives, linear actuators, gearheads, AGV control solutions and automation platforms. We deliver breakthrough solutions that are unmatched in performance, reliability and ease of use, giving machine builders an irrefutable marketplace advantage.