Automated Filter Winding Machine


Shift Controls was approached to design a motion control panel that automated the winding of filter cartridges that were previously manufactured with manual machines consisting of fixed winding gearboxes and significant operator supervision and intervention.

The new system would have an integrated motion control PLC, HMI, two servo drives, field switches and sensors, and remote access hardware to a main control system. The winding parameter configuration could be entered into the machine and the system would control the drum rotation and winding thread position. The PLC also monitored multiple sensors to ensure consistency and stop the process if anything was out of specification and alert an operator if manual intervention was needed.

Electrical Design

The power distribution design incorporated a fused disconnect with a door mounted handle, drive power safety contactor, current limiting fuses, and supplementary fusing for all field devices. Shift Controls developed mechanical drawings and wiring diagrams for project approval to ensure the design requirements were met before construction began.

Environmental Requirements

The panel was to be located in an non-conditioned manufacturing warehouse in the southern US where ambient temperatures are to be expected to reach 40C. To be able to dissipate the large amount of heat produced by the drives and other internal components, heat calculations were performed and a fan, vent, and thermostat were specified to ensure the panel internal temperature did not exceed 50°C.

Field Sensor Integration

Shift Controls prioritizes ease of field installation for its designs. All of the field devices are designed to be terminated on labeled terminal blocks where the cables entered through a cable gland plate.

Operator Interface

A local HMI, E-Stop button, and local control buttons were provided so the winding machines could be monitored and controlled if necessary from the manufacturing floor.

Shift Controls has experience in recommending HMI and PLC platforms and models that meet the customers performance, capabilities and price requirements. Shift Controls also has PLC programming and HMI development capabilities in-house to create a full turn-key solution.


The automated filter manufacturing motion controls panel was a success and the customer successfully upgraded to a fully automated filter manufacturing process.

Custom Designs

Shift Controls has extensive experience in designing and fabricating custom UL508A panels to meet the most difficult design and environmental requirements. Like this project, we listen to your specific project requirements and custom design a system that meets your process and cost requirements. As always, feel free to contact us regarding your project or if you have any questions.