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Melzer Maschinenbau GmbH, a leading manufacturer of production lines for smart cards and labels uses drives and controllers from B&R.
On Melzer's production machines, a large number of axes have to be controlled at high speed and with high precision. (Image: Melzer GmbH)

Melzer Maschinenbau GmbH is one of the world's leading manufacturers of production lines for smart cards and labels. B&R's drive and automation technology plays an important role in ensuring the high precision, flexibility and production speed of the machines. In combination with the service and support provided by the Austrian automation specialist, Melzer has a very good chance to remain a major player among ID system manufacturers well into the future.

Modern ID cards and chip cards are true high-tech works of wonder we usually carry around unnoticed in our wallets. Equipped with numerous functions such as RFID, microchip or hologram, they increase security and efficiency in everyday life. They allow quick identification, secure payment and facilitate access to services. Without them, our digital world would no longer function.

Melzer: Smart card technology for the world
Melzer Maschinenbau GmbH in Schwelm specializes in the manufacture of such intelligent plastic cards. The medium-sized family business develops and builds modular production lines for the manufacture of plastic cards, chip cards, RFID cards, RFID inlays, ID cards, e-passports and e-visa stickers. Their product portfolio also includes innovative machines for producing smart labels, such as those used for luggage tags, smart tickets or wireless labels.

Companies and authorities around the world value Schwelm's expertise when it comes to machines for producing high-security ID cards. Exactly what these are remains a company secret, but Dirk Melzer, Technical Director of Sales at Melzer GmbH, reveals this much: "The probability that you have an ID card or a card in your wallet that was produced on one of our machines is very high."

Precision and speed are essential
In addition to precision, Melzer machines are also characterized by flexibility, modularity and production speed. The performance of the smart label lines ranges from the entry-level SL-1 model with around 7,000 labels per hour to the high-performance SL-600 model with 60,000 tested products per hour. "With our intelligent production concept, we guarantee the customer the lowest unit costs for every order size," explains Melzer.

The drive and automation technology plays a decisive role in the performance of the machine. "With our smart label lines, precise and fast control of the hot melt heads and the feed in combination with the glue application of the pumps is crucial," says Melzer. A task that was so challenging for one of Melzer's former suppliers, a well-known German manufacturer of drive and control solutions, that they looked for an alternative.

When selecting the drives and controllers for the new Smart Label line, various automation manufacturers were tested. B&R stood out from the competition with its combination of performance and service.

With the previous drive systems provider, it was not possible to optimize quantity and quality in the smart label line at the same time. "With this manufacturer, we had a parameter that optimized the process for either accuracy or speed," Melzer recalls with a grin," – both were not possible. Only after changing to the drive system with B&R, could the system be bought into the desired clean and high-precision range," explains Melzer.

The new machine line requires the high-speed and precision control of a large number of axes – a task in which the servo drives and motors from B&R prove their capabilities. After the positive experience with the first project, Melzer decided to use the drives and automation technology from B&R for all future lines.

The total package is decisive
B&R is now used in the entire Melzer drive and automation technology machine portfolio, including ACOPOSmicro, ACOPOS P3, ACOPOSmulti and the synchronous motors from the 8LS series. Integrated safety from B&R now also ensures high productivity in Melzer machines without compromising on safety.

The decisive factor in favor of B&R was "the total package, consisting of the automation component performance, which enables the outstanding processing speed of the machines – combined with service and support," summarizes Melzer. The service provided by the previous supplier was sometimes very inconvenient. In Schwelm, they have come to appreciate B&R's uncomplicated, cooperative partnership and quick response to questions.

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