using servos for changeover adjustments

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End users often have issues center-lining changeovers as operators sometimes have to “tweak” changeover points when unnecessary. Furthermore, mechanical changeovers often require a skilled technician/s to complete, which reduces production time and efficiency. Sometimes, servo-driven changeover makes sense when production lines have multiple SKUs and change over often.

Servo Changeover Benefits

Servo-driven changeover is a great feature that allows end users to change over from one SKU to another rapidly. By using a servo motor, the adjustment of the changeover point is completed accurately and within seconds. Furthermore, servo changeovers are typically found on screw-type adjustment points on end-of-line packaging machinery. Some systems, like a case packer or carton former, can have a fully automatic changeover where you can complete a changeover in less than five (5) minutes. Additional benefits are below.

  • Reduces the dependence on having a skilled technician complete changeovers
  • It can be flexible, meaning you can leave some adjustment points manual and have other high volume adjustment points servo change over
  • Can significantly improve downtime and production efficiency
  • Eliminates the possibility of operators making “tweaks” or changes to standard changeovers
  • You can easily make adjustments or set up new sizes all through the HMI
Cartoner Servo Changeover

Cartoner Servo Changeover

Changeover for a case packer

Case Packer Servo Changeover

Carton former servo change over

Carton Former Servo Changeover

Servo Changeover Drawbacks

The main drawback with servo-driven changeover is cost. Since you require a servo drive and motor along with a gearbox, servo-driven changeover is a more expensive option. Furthermore, if you are only running one or two sizes on your packaging line, then servo-driven changeover is typically optional. Also, with servo-driven changeover, you will have more failure points on the machine due to having electronic components involved with the changeover. Other drawbacks are below.

  • Potentially can increase project lead time due to sourcing additional components
  • Additional programming time during the project testing and debugging phase
  • It has limitations as some changeover points cannot be servo adjusted, i.e., a carton magazine on a cartoner


Servo-driven changeover can bring exceptional value to any packaging line that typically completes daily changeovers. Even though the cost is high, end-users can realize a quick return on investment as their lines will operate more efficiently and have a higher overall uptime. Furthermore, servo-driven changeovers are a great way to lock in adjustment points without fearing operators/technicians making changes that could hurt efficiency.

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