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Ursula Lang |

Perfect handling of incense cones - Incense cone producer optimizes product quality by automating with Siemens



Neudorf/Ore Mountains, Germany. Incense cone manufacturer Jürgen Huß is now under its third generation of family management. In order to continuously improve the quality of his company’s incense cones, the owner works consistently on product further development. The latest innovation is designed to ensure particularly simple and secure product handling: a hole in the base to ensure even burning and improved positioning of the cones. The special-purpose machine used to process the cones has been automated using Siemens technology.


Slowly but surely, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. A time when the family likes to gather for cozy evenings at home, leaving the cold, dark night outside the door. For many, that warm Christmassy feeling would simply not be the same without an incense cone burning. The production workshop of Jürgen Huß located in the Ore Mountains in Germany has specialized in the manufacture of incense cones scented with frankincense, known locally as “Weihrichkarzl”. The development team in the J. Huß incense candle workshop is at work to continuously improve the company’s products. The latest innovation is a facility to produce a small hole in the base of the cones to improve their functional characteristics. A special-purpose machine developed by the owner for the purpose has been automated using Siemens technology.


Automation from a single source

One of the greatest challenges of the development process was to gain absolute control over the cone geometry during separation and transport, and to ensure optimum positioning of the cones for drilling. Taking care of precise handling in the machine is a Simatic S7 programmable logic controller (PLC) engineered using the TIA (Totally Integrated Automation) Portal. The Siemens controller determines factors such as the distance between the individual cones and also their relative position on the drilling table. A Simatic controller is also in charge of motion control of the drilling table and the drilling unit itself. The step motors used in the machine to move the drilling table and conveyor belts are actuated using the Simatic ET 200SP TM Pulse distributed I/O. The ET 200SP DI and ET 200SP DQ process the required digital input and output signals, and the Sitop PSU (Power Supply Unit) 300S 20A is used to supply power. Huß uses a Simatic Field PG M4 as an industrial laptop, due to its extremely robust design and outstanding suitability for programming the Simatic components in the TIA Portal.


Plans for the future

Huß is impressed by the possibilities opened up by Siemens technology and is already considering other fields of application. He is particularly keen to find ways to take more of the strain from his employees and improve their working conditions. Because ultimately as the incense cone manufacturer aptly comments, “technology is here to serve people, not the other way around.”



Producing incense cones in its workshop in the Ore Mountains is the company Jürgen Huß, now in its third generation under family management.

A small hole in the base not only allows the incense cones to be placed in different positions on a metal pin, but also improves the burning properties.

When developing his special-purpose machine to drill holes in the cone base, Jürgen Huß had to consider not only the special geometry of the cones but also the difficult positioning process prior to drilling.

The special-purpose machine is automated by Siemens control technology such as the Simatic S7 and the ET 200SP distributed I/O.

With Christmas just around the corner, incense cones are in particularly popular demand – the cones produced by Jürgen Huß come in a range of fragrances.

The traditional cones from the Ore Mountain region which smell of frankincense are affectionately known as “Weihrichkarzl”.

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