Pulsar, corporate excellence

Pulsar was born in 1989 in Castelmaggiore (in the province of Bologna), in the heart of Italy’s packaging hub. In the course of its almost thirty years of activity, Pulsar has specialized in the design and manufacture of transport systems and product handling solutions.

Marketing Dept. - Pulsar S.r.l.

Among the company’s areas of expertise is the production of automatic machinery for the tissue field, including feeding, pac-kaging and sorting for rolls and packages of toilet paper and paper towels, machinery for processing and packaging folded paper products and product handling units. And within the field of tissue, Pulsar has created controlled and automated sy-stems that, besides managing the conveyor lines, contribute to increasing the overall efficiency of converting lines.

In just a few years, Pulsar has built more than 230 systems and eighteen complete plants for major tissue manufacturers. Through its continuous studies on the improvement of production line performance, the company’s design technicians have created ideal hardware and software combinations that can manage and optimize entire lines, integrating the machines with transport systems. In addition, it has invested in the development of layouts and engineering solutions to optimize production lines both in terms of performance and space required to house them.


These systems, developed under the product family of “REDS Harmonizing Systems”, monitor and control the operation of the different machines present on the same tissue converting line, from the rewinder to the palletizer. These machines, supplied by different manufacturers, interact between them only in terms of basic integrated operations, without exchanging more complex information on the status of the machine itself. To resolve this issue, Pulsar developed its Reds Harmonizer System software package that ensures:

• communication between machines within the same tissue converting line;.

• management of different communication protocols up to the integration with an OPC server;

• the organization of dynamic memory areas where the CPUs of the connected machines can read other machines’ data and provide their own data to the system;

• the best optimization strategy for the mix of machines;

• the ability to save any manufacturing event as a work “recipe”, each of which becomes optimized and, over time, becomes an essential tool to tissue manufacturers for the setting of their machines.

REDS PLATINUM SYSTEM. In a more recent project, Pulsar has also developed a platform for SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) systems specifically designed to measure Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) in the tissue converting industry. (see fig .1, pag. 116).

Such a platform was developed to give tissue converters a dedicated tool to measure the production line’s efficiency, a major competitive advantage already available to other FMCG production fields.

ONE OF THE PRIMARY ISSUES FACED BY THE TISSUE INDUSTRY IS THE NICHE NATURE OF ITS OPERATIONS, with a limited number of machine manufacturers and service suppliers. If companies in this industry want to implement efficiency platforms, they have to develop them on their own, recurring to SCADA system specialists. The platforms obtained from standard models are then used to gradually develop the structure of the data collection and analysis calculation required, obtaining a customized product, but limited to the specific internal experience. The process of creating such a platform requires a series of cross functional skills that are rarely in place at the software houses that normally develop these types of platforms, especially the bespoke skills and knowledge relating to the unique facets of the tissue industry.

In addition to IT and data analysis skills, developers require knowledge about processes, automation and IT infrastructures. They must know how to identify the data to be monitored, the availability of this data throughout the line, the methods for extrapolating it and the subsequent communication to the analytics platform.

Combining its knowledge and expertise in the tissue production process, in automation and on the different machines and equipment currently being used in these lines, Pulsar has developed a dedicated OEE measurement platform for monitoring tissue converting lines, leaving the integrator only simple adaptations for specific applications.(see fig. 2, pag. 117).

THE OEE MEASUREMENT PLATFORM IS EASY TO MODIFY AND INTEGRATE WITH THE LINES AND APPLICATIONS IN USE, and is ready for collection and analysis of the data coming from the converting line (see fig. 3 and fig. 4, pages 118, 119). The measured variables upon which the efficiency figures are calculated include:

• basic machines and line availability,

• production count at different steps of the flow (single products, packs, bundles/cases, pallets …)

• scrap rates

• product quality compared to overall production volumes, with identification of non compliances and their incidence

• machine downtimes and transition times, either between production runs or as unplanned downtime and stoppages.

• analysis of alarms from the different machines in the line

• unproductive time.

THE REDS PLATINUM SYSTEM HAS BEEN DEVELOPED USING ROCKWELL AUTOMATION software as a base platform for all tools especially developed for the management and supervision of production lines, for the measurement of OEE and the subsequent presentation of data. Rockwell Automation software – brand leader in the field of industrial automation – was chosen because they constitute a universal support, because they integrate the supervision platform with the automation components with no need for conversion cards or translation software, and because the company promotes continuous improvement of the functionalities of the basic software, keeping it constantly updated.

THIS SYSTEM IS STRUCTURED IN SUCH A WAY AS TO ANALYZE THE PROCESS STEPS TO BE CONTROLLED, the machines involved and the parameters that must be collected and monitored for the calculation of the lines’ OEE. (see fig. 5 and fig. 6).

The Reds Platinum System is the confirmation that the business strategy chosen by Pulsar aims at being a “smart machines and tools” provider, entering the streamline of the so called IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things), ushering in the fourth industrial revolution. *

For further information: www.pulsarbgroup.com or v.vaccari@pulsarbgroup.com

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