Niederlenz, Switzerland — Coperion K-Tron incorporated new features into the latest generation of its feeder controller, including an improved user interface, context-sensitive help, a stainless steel enclosure, and built-in Ethernet capability with optional wifi connections.
The redesigned KCM-III can handle Industry 4.0 functions, such as predictive maintenance, electronic service options, outlier detection, machine optimization and more, according to officials of Coperion K-Tron, which is a part of the equipment and systems division of Stuttgart, Germany-based Coperion GmbH.
The KCM-III controller combines the motor drive and modules of a feeder and its ancillary components into one system that is generally mounted directly at the feeder, pre-wired and pre-tested at the factory for chemical, pharmaceutical, food, plastics and other applications.
All motor setup, diagnostics, and operator interface functions are integrated and the software package supports both batch and continuous applications from loss-in-weight feeders to weigh belt feeders to smart flow meters, according to Coperion K-Tron.
The KCM-III controller is rated for ATEX 3D environments and listed for NEC Class II Division 2 hazardous areas.
The controller also features a new, powerful central processing unit with extended memory to store more log and event files and trace and process data. Seven days of traceability are included but extended traceability is available with an optional software bundle.
K-Tron says improved control algorithms provide faster communication with the feeder drive, weighing system, and auxiliary equipment and result in more precise control of the system.
In addition, KCM-III controllers equipped with the optional Wi-Fi gateway create their own local area network. This allows an operator with the proper login credentials to access any or all connected KCM-III controllers using a phone, tablet, laptop or other mobile device to control the feeder remotely, check its status, or access files.
The KCM-III currently supports over a dozen languages, including graphical languages such as Japanese, Chinese and Korean.
With this new product, Coperion has built the foundation for the digital future of K-Tron feeders, according to Franz Neuner, director of the product management, equipment and systems division.
"The improved graphical user interface and all-new programming make the KCM-III easier to use and the expanded connectivity options give the user more options for controlling their process. With this new technology we will be able to expand into future areas such as artificial intelligence and preventive maintenance, helping manufacturers make their processes more efficient," Neuner said in a news release.