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    • Gerhard Stauss 18/08/2017

      Climate-neutral public transport - Rostock uses waterways and e-ferries to ease traffic congestion

             

       

      Rostock; Germany. The Hanseatic city of Rostock located on the estuary of the Warnow River is planning to ease the heavy burden placed on the environment by inner-city commuter traffic and provide impetus for urban development by introducing the “Neptun Hopper” concept devised by the company Neptun Ship Design GmbH (NSD). This entails the use of fully electrically propelled ferries along both sides of the river to supplement the existing public transport networks (Video). NSD opted to use Siemens technology not only for the power supplies to both boats, which will use alternative energy sources, but also for the propulsion and charging systems. The use of E-ferries is aimed at easing traffic congestion in Rostock and enabling climate-neutral public transport. The scheme would also permit every district of the city to be reached across river and allow travel from the upper reaches of the Warnow as far as Schwaan with minimal impact on the natural environment.

       

      Rostock is a key transport hub and forms the gateway to Scandinavia. As in many other German cities, regular tailbacks occur in the Hanseatic city due to simple overloading of the transport network. The result: a high level of pollution due to emissions. The concept presented by NSD to the City envisages making strategic use of its geographic location on the Warnow estuary by supplementing the existing public transport networks (bus and train) and making use of its waterways, with the aim of minimizing the environmental impact of its transport systems. This will be made possible by the use of electrically propelled ferries to transport residents of the City of Rostock between landing stages. The battery, charging and propulsion technology used in the ferries is based on product configurations from Siemens.

       

      Charging and propulsion from a single source

      For the concept to be implemented, a network of landing stages is planned around the Warnow River which will allow the ferries to moor up. The lithium ion batteries of the electric propulsion system will be charged both using solar panels on the roof of the ferry and also at charging stations located at the different landing stages when the boat is moored. The ferries are propelled by the Siship EcoProp from Siemens. This battery propulsion system, which is supplied in the form of a plug-and-play solution, allows the ferries to glide through the water completely silently and with zero emissions. The Siship EcoProp allows highly efficient and green propulsion of the ferries. Other benefits of the propulsion system include its quiet, low-vibration running, which improves the passenger experience.

       

      Boarding made easy

      Plans exist which will enable ferry passengers to locate the nearest landing stage for boarding the Neptun Hopper and monitor its arrival and departure times using an app. The ferry is also designed to allow passengers to take on board bikes, pushchairs and wheelchairs.Serving as a technological model for the “Neptun Hopper” is the “Ampere”, the world’s first electrically propelled ferry, which has been operating in the Norwegian fjords since 2015 powered by a purely electrical propulsion system from Siemens. The “Ampere” transports passengers a total of 34 times a day between Lavik and Oppendal.

       

      Topics page:  "Siemens proves pioneer position delivering green solutions in the shipbuilding industry"

       

      Captions:

       

      To help protect the environment around Rostock, the company Neptun Ship Design GmbH (NSD) has developed a concept it calls the “Neptun Hopper”. Their battery, charging and propulsion technology is based on product configurations from Siemens.

       

      In a similar way to buses and trains, the Neptun Hopper concept envisages the use of different landing stages along the Warnow River which passengers can see using an app or information systems at the boat terminal and on board.

       

      The “Neptun Hopper” is a battery-only propelled boat. The propulsion system used is the Siship EcoProp from Siemens. This quiet, low-vibration propulsion system ensures a smoother ride for passengers.

       

      The lithium ion batteries of the electric propulsion system are charged both by solar panels on the roof of the boat and also when docking using an automatically set charging station at the landing stages.

      ...
    • Gerhard Stauss 16/08/2017

      Siemens at the Steinexpo 2017 - “Discover the digital innovations for the construction materials industry”

         

       

      Homberg/Nieder-Ofleiden, Germany. The Steinexpo is due to open its doors from August 30 to September 2, 2017 in Europe’s biggest basalt quarry in Homberg/Nieder-Ofleiden. The Siemens presentation (Booth B55) will be focusing on Automation (also under the most extreme conditions), MindSphere and MindConnect, as well as industrial control. All Siemens offerings are specifically designed to address the needs of the construction materials industry.

          

      The Steinexpo will be opening its doors in Europe’s biggest basalt quarry in Homberg/Nieder-Ofleiden from August 30 to September 2, 2017. As at the last Steinexpo in 2014, Siemens will be exhibiting once again in this year under the banner: “Discover the digital innovations for the construction materials industry”. Siemens solutions featured at the show will all be targeted at the construction materials industry, specifically for electrical equipment in quarries, ready mix and asphalt plants This year’s four highlight topics:

       

      Automation

      Carefully considered automation solutions specifically for the construction materials industry secure the long-term competitive standing of manufacturers by enhancing productivity and quality, driving down costs and ensuring high plant availability. The solution offered by Siemens is the DCS (Distributed Control System) Simatic PCS 7 for scalable processes. Siemens has developed a “Minerals Bundle” aimed specifically at the construction materials industry which is based on Cemat V9.0, the leading process control system for the cement industry.

       

      Automation under extreme conditions

      With the  Siplus Extreme product family, Siemens will be presenting a variant of practically every Simatic solution for application under extreme ambient conditions such as humidity, vibrations, heat or extreme cold. The Siplus components are designed, for instance, to cope with ambient temperatures of between -25 and +60 degrees Celsius.

       

      MindSphere: Connectivity and process data analysis

      With MindConnect, Siemens is providing a simple interface to the open software platform MindSphere, which serves as the operating system for the IoT (Internet of Things). Irrespective of the manufacturer, different types of machines and plants can be linked to MindSphere through MindConnect. Using a Plug&Play solution called MindConnect Nano, for instance, data can be exported from industrial plants and prepared for transferring to MindSphere.

       

      Power supplies

      The Sirius and Sirius Act portfolio of industrial controls was developed by Siemens to ensure a secure, reliable power supply – particularly under adverse conditions. Their modular structure simplifies their installation in control cabinets and integration into distributed systems.

       

       

      Captions:

      From August 30 to September 2, 2017, Siemens will be exhibiting its solutions for the construction materials industry with the focus on automation, MindSphere and power supplies.

       

      The Steinexpo, which comes around once every three years, will be held in 2017 in Europe’s biggest basalt quarry in Homberg/Nieder-Ofleiden.

       

      Siemens will be exhibiting at the Steinexpo (Both B55) under the banner “Discover the digital innovations for the construction materials industry”.

      ...
    • Gerhard Stauss 14/08/2017

      Assembly of the future - Household appliance firm retrofits assembly with Industry 4.0 solutions from Siemens

               

      Zug/Switzerland. The company V-Zug AG (VZ) based in Zug in Switzerland looks back on a proud 100-year tradition as a manufacturer of household appliances for the world market. In its bid to join the digital age, the company decided the time had come to modernize the entire production plant – including a retrofit of the assembly belt for dishwashers. To ensure stable production, a high level of automation and short cycle times, VZ opted to use Siemens technology. This meant that the retrofit could be completed within just two weeks, and the plant’s productive time was increased by 70 percent. 

          

      The assembly hall at V-Zug AG (VZ) based in Zug in Switzerland is a busy hub of welding, assembly and coating work, some of it manual and some automated. This is where the company manufactures its household appliances, among them dishwashers. Since January 2017, a new dishwasher assembly belt has been in operation. “The previous plant broke down far too frequently,” recalls belt supervisor Adriano Combertaldi. “Every time it took ages to find the fault.” Reason enough to consider a refit, which would have to be completed in the 14-day period between Christmas and New Year. As in the past, VZ opted to use technology from Siemens.

       

      On the way to the digital factory

       

      “V-Zug took the decision to invest in Siemens products a long time ago. We found them to be reliable and durable over extended periods,” confirms Patrick Meyer, Head of Plant Planning with responsibility for special-purpose production facilities at VZ. The aim of the retrofit was to enable reliable production with a high level of automation and short cycle times. This was achieved by replacing the former plant control system by a Simatic S7-1517 CPU (Central Processing Unit) and using the TIA (Totally Integrated Automation) Portal for the complete plant engineering process. “With its clearly arranged structure, the TIA Portal simplifies both programming and visualization,” explains Andreas Jäggi, co-owner of engineering consultancy Jäggi GmbH and responsible for programming. “Use of the Simatic S7-1500 CPU means that the plant also supports the OPC UA communication protocol. This open interface simplifies data exchange with communication partners.” For VZ, this makes OPC UA an important building block for data communication within the framework of the digital factory.

       

       

      Captions:

       

      V-Zug AG based in Zug in Switzerland has modernized its dishwasher assembly line as part of an extensive retrofit.

       

      Some assembly processes are manual, others are automated. The solutions from Siemens have enabled a 70 percent increase in the productive time of the entire plant.

       

      TP1500 Comfort touch panels simplify plant operation and provide visualization of the entire process.

       

      The nerve center of the plant is the Simatic S7-1517 Central Processing Unit, which is engineered in the TIA Portal. Use of the distributed I/O Simatic ET200 SP enables a modular, scalable station structure.

      ...
    • Ursula Lang 11/08/2017

      Turning old into new - Modern waste oil reprocessing using process instrumentation and controllers from Siemens

          

       

      Gällö/Sweden. The company RecondOil from Gällö in Sweden specializes in the development of solutions for the recycling of oils used for lubrication e.g. in engines and industrial plants. Siemens process instrumentation and controllers are used in the Recovery Centers, which are tailored to the customer's specific requirements and are used to reprocess the waste oil. Each Recovery Center can recycle around 20 million liters of oil per year and thus make it fit for use again – easing the strain on the environment, saving resources and reducing costs in the process.

       

      The careful use of resources is hugely important for companies – not only for environmental reasons, but also for their bottom line. Efficient material input and smart recycling concepts for the raw materials used play a key role here. And it is this second aspect, recycling – specifically of industrial oils for engines and machinery – that the company RecondOil from Gällö, Sweden, has specialized in. The company develops tailor-made waste oil reprocessing plants for its customers. Siemens technology is used in both process instrumentation and control systems for these plants.

       

      Clean separation

      Slop oil, that is, oil that has become heavily contaminated after use in industrial plants or in metal working, is no longer suitable for further use and needs to be disposed of. If this is not done properly, an amount of just four liters of slop oil is enough to contaminate almost four million liters of fresh water. In a complex process, the plants from RecondOil, so-called Recovery Centers, are capable of separating impurities from oil through the addition of special chemicals. The treated product can then be reused or sold. To start treatment, the slop oil is first pumped into large tanks where the lighter oil is automatically separated from the heavier water. Siemens Sitrans LG250 guided wave radar level transmitters in the tank communicate the oil and water levels to the control center. Pointek CLS200 level switches automatically detect when the slop oil reaches the target height for the tank of 16 meters. In addition, the level transmitters in the Recovery Center also monitor heating up of the tank content and the addition of chemicals for separating impurities from the waste oil, thus monitoring the entire treatment process. At the same time, Sitrans LVL100 vibrating level switches measure the oil’s point level and issue an alarm when the process-critical limit is reached to prevent the pumps from running dry.

       

      Optimum operating temperature

      Just like all other oils, the slop oil gets viscous and sluggish at cool temperatures. By using 23 Sitrans TS500 temperature sensors with Sitrans TH100 transmitters, RecondOil ensures that the oil mix for the pumps is always at the optimum operating temperature. The pressure in the tank plays a similarly pivotal role for an efficient process flow. It is measured by Sitrans S220 compact pressure transmitters, on which the front membrane on the transmitter protects the electronics against dirt and other contamination from the slop oil. The controller at the heart of the entire plant is a Simatic S7-1500. The instrumentation uses a Simatic PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) in the TIA (Totally Integrated Automation) Portal. This allows the entire process to be monitored and controlled by just a few members of staff from the control center, thus keeping costs to a minimum. 

       

      The future

      The Recovery Center not only makes it possible to recover waste oil and make it fit for use or resale again, it also enables companies to make a valuable contribution to protecting the environment and using resources responsibly. This innovative technology has been met with great interest. “Together with the process instrumentation and the control systems from Siemens, we are changing the way in which companies deal with slop oil,” summarizes Fred Sundström, founder and CEO of RecondOil.

       

       Captions

      With its Recovery Center, Swedish company RecondOil has developed a system with which companies can clean and reprocess oil that has become unusable after intensive industrial use.

      Each Recovery Center can recycle around 20 million liters of waste oil every year. During reprocessing, various chemicals are added to the process which separate the contaminants from the oil.

      The process instrumentation of the Recovery Centers uses solutions from the Siemens Sitrans portfolio.

      A Simatic S7-1500 controller is at the heart of the plant which is engineered using the TIA Portal.

      ...
    • Ursula Lang 09/08/2017

      fresh off the press: Siemens MediaService Industries August 2017 - Industry News

             

       

      The summer issue of the MediaService Industries brings you news of product innovations and applications from the world of drives and automation. We hear how Siemens is extending its Sirius industrial controls portfolio to include a hybrid failsafe motor starter with reduced dead times. Also new is Cemat V9.0, the latest release of the company’s control system for the cement, building materials and mining industry. Applications featured in this issue include a high-precision grinding and finishing center equipped with Siemens technology capable of performing grinding, satin finishing, milling, drilling, engraving, turning and fine grinding work in even the hardest of materials such as ceramic or sapphire. We take a relaxing trip to the spa to hear how microcontroller Logo! controls wellness facilities while also enabling energy savings of around 20 percent. And finally, we learn how parallel simulation environments optimize the engineering of vehicles at Magneti Marelli, a global leader in the automotive supply industry.

       

      Find out more at:

      MediaService Industries August 
      MediaService Industries
      MediaService Industries Digithek for downloading individual articles from all issues 
      MediaService Industries Blog 
      MediaService Industries on Twitter

       

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    • Ursula Lang 08/08/2017

      Siemens at the oils+fats 2017

       

      Munich, Germany. The oils+fats trade show will be taking place for the seventh time at the trade fair grounds in Munich from September 11 to 15, 2017. This is the only show anywhere in Europe specializing in business, technology and innovations in the vegetable and animal oils and fats sector. At this year’s oils+fats, Siemens will be in Hall C1 at Booth 216 to demonstrate concrete ways in which digitalization can make an invaluable contribution to the industry: Creating a digital twin of a plant, for instance, can help uncover problems likely to occur during commissioning and allows a rapid optimization solution to be found. Real-time data generated by plants and equipment are often only displayed and simply stored. If interpreted and analyzed expertly, this information can be used to improve processes, plan efficient maintenance schedules or enable informed business decisions to be taken more quickly.

       

      ...
    • Katharina Zoefeld 07/08/2017

      Could we be eating & drinking digitally in future?

       

      Digitalization has fundamentally changed our lives. There’s no doubt we all have to eat and drink – but could what we consume possibly be digital in the future too? Might the time come when we no longer buy our food off the supermarket shelf but print it ourselves?

       

      New technologies are available which provide a first glimpse of what the future of food production might bring. There are now more flavor and product variants available than ever before – due in large part to greater awareness among modern consumers about health and fitness. These changing consumer and market trends are posing a challenge for food and beverage manufacturers, who are required to develop, produce and manage an ever wider choice of product variants, recipes and brands.

       

      Digitalization of operating sequences

      To enable manufacturers to respond to these new challenges and remain competitive in the global marketplace, the food and beverage industry has no option but to embrace the world of digitalization across all of its operating sequences. Siemens offers an extensive portfolio tailored specifically to the needs of the food and beverage industry to help manufacturers make this transition. The digitalization concept is based on a cohesive approach which transforms the traditional value chain into an integrated product and production life cycle – from product development through production planning and engineering to execution and service. It is only by implementing a fully digitalized business model with a single cohesive thread running through it that companies can be sure of sufficient flexibility to accelerate their processes and optimize their production methods.

       

      Life cycle of a product

      Siemens divides the life cycle of a product into five main phases: The first phase is product design, encompassing the digital formulation of the product and the development of the packaging. Both tasks are supported by developing what is known as a digital twin. Following the design process the product usually needs to be manufactured on a large scale. This is known as the production planning phase. Siemens can develop a virtual model of the entire production plant based on the product's digital twin, the production process and the equipment used. This virtual model can be used to simulate production lines, material flows, logistics, the use of robots, human interaction in the production process, and finally the expected production.

      Engineering the actual plant can begin as soon as production has been digitally planned, optimized and reviewed. Regardless of whether an existing or newly-built plant is involved, the mechanical, electrical and technical automation aspects of the new production lines must be set out in detail.

      Digitalization opens up new possibilities in project planning, such as virtual commissioning of the entire plant including the equipment and automation, thus reducing the commissioning time and associated costs. Siemens offers the possibility of carrying out scheduling and time planning for orders based on costs, energy consumption and the availability of raw materials, equipment and employees as well as other process-related aspects such as Cleaning in Process. Siemens technology also makes it easier to ensure the transparency of production activities, calculate and report metrics such as OEE, and use algorithms for line alignment in order to avoid downtimes. With the new services offered as part of the open industrial IoT platform MindSphere, companies can make use of their data inventories to boost availability, quality and efficiency along the entire value chain.

       

      Visit us at the Drinktec in Hall A3, Booth 312 and find out more about our solutions for the food and beverage industry in detail. www.siemens.com/press/drinktec

      ...
    • Ursula Lang 04/08/2017

      It’s all in the helmet! - Global bicycle helmet manufacturer optimizes design process with NX software

             

       

      Talamona/Italy. MET S.p.a. (MET) based in Talamona, Italy, is a global leader in the manufacture of bicycle helmets for professional and avid cyclists. In a bid to approximately halve the development cycle from the first sketch through prototype production to the reference model, which used to take up to 14 months, MET took the decision to use virtual 3D models and NX software from the PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) specialist Siemens PLM Software. This allowed 3D models to be produced directly from the designer sketches and used as the basis for the complex surface modeling process. The software also simplifies cooperation with the manufacturers of the tools used for helmet production.

          

      Streamlined, lightweight, chic and most importantly structurally stable – helmets for professional cyclists need to fulfill a whole range of requirements and be capable of withstanding plenty of wear and tear. MET S.p.a. (MET) based in Talamona in Italy is among the world’s leading developers and manufacturers of bicycle helmets, and supplies customers across every continent. The product portfolio ranges from children’s helmets to specialized products for professional and avid cyclists. To optimize the design process and cut engineering costs and time, MET relies on NX from Siemens PLM Software for the design and production of 3D models of its helmets.

       

      Virtual design process

      Traditionally, a new model is based on a manual design process, starting with sketches by a designer through construction of a prototype to the production of a reference model for initial testing. This laborious trial-and-error process takes between 12 and 14 months. In a bid to speed up the development cycle, MET moved over some time ago to using a virtual design process. While giving the designer the freedom to express his creativity in hand-drawn sketches, the CAD (Computer Aided Design) software replaces the time-consuming process of manual model production. “In addition to structural considerations, the availability of a detailed virtual model is a significant step forward, as it allows the designer to check the feasibility of manufacturing tooling and to make the necessary decisions to optimize large-scale production,” explains Matteo Tenni, Product Developer at MET. Virtual tests carried out on the model – without the need for physical prototypes – also supply important data for development. If a prototype is then required at a later stage as the process advances, this can be produced with millimeter accuracy at low cost using 3D printing based on the CAD data of the 3D model. Secondary parts and accessories for the helmet are applied to this prototype.

       

      Ideal solution

      To achieve this, MET requires software which not only provides all the necessary CAD functionality, but is also compatible with its own in-house tool used for structural analysis. The solution: NX from Siemens PLM Software, which MET uses to develop not only the helmets themselves, but also the various accessories. By using NX, MET is also able to cooperate with tool manufacturers around the world to optimize helmet production still further. The manufacturing process, which used to take up to a year or even longer, has now been reduced to between six and eight months. In addition, NX provides invaluable support to the designers when it comes to the complex process of surface modeling. Summing up, Tenni is delighted with the outcome: “If I had to do it over, I would make the same decision: I would choose NX.”

       

      Captions

      MET S.p.a. is a global leader in the production of helmets for professional cyclists. The MET name has become a synonym for accuracy, reliability and efficiency.

      MET uses NX to develop not only its helmets, but also all secondary elements, including size adjustment elements, laces and visors.

      The use of NX fully addressed MET’s surface modeling requirements, especially for highly complex nodes.

      The introduction of 3D CAD software eliminated the manual production of the physical model, enabling MET to manufacture the first model directly from the CAD geometry.

      NX wird allen Anforderungen von MET seitens der Oberflächenbearbeitung gerecht – vor allem im Bereich der sehr komplexen Schnittpunkte.

      Die Einführung der 3D CAD-Software macht die manuelle Herstellung eines physischen Modells überflüssig. Damit kann MET das erste Modell direkt mit den Daten aus der CAD-Geometrie erstellen.

      ...
    • Ursula Lang 02/08/2017

      On track for change - Rhaetian Railway modernizes rail network with integrated Siemens solution

            

       

      Chur/Switzerland. The Rhaetian Railway (RhB) is a railway transport and infrastructure company based in Chur in Switzerland. The rail network encompasses just under 400 kilometers of track and was equipped with automation and power technology from Siemens as long as 30 years ago. To upgrade the operating convenience of the systems for the modern age and to enable more data to be accessed on the status of the power grid, the existing technology is now being replaced by a modern, integrated Siemens solution. An initial pilot has been completed at Landquart Station as the first of a total of 14 stations due to be upgraded.

          

      The mountain climate which the trains of the Swiss railway and infrastructure company Rhaetian Railway (RhB) have to travel through is harsh and challenging. The technology used has to be resistant and work reliably. This is why, more than 30 years ago, the RhB chose Siemens automation technology to ensure seamless monitoring of the power grid along its almost 400-kilometer rail network. Although the technology installed all those years ago continues to work perfectly, a decision was taken at RhB to bring the systems into line with the latest standards and make them more convenient to use. Another reason for the upgrade was to enable access to detailed data on the status of the grid and so permit remote maintenance. The station at Landquart was chosen as the site for a pilot project which launched in April 2016, as the first of a total of 14 stations due to be equipped with a new, integrated solution from Siemens.

       

      Improved performance

      The existing technology based on the Simatic S5 was migrated to the Simatic S7-315-F PN/DP. Siprotec systems were also installed in addition to the existing protection technology. A 19 inch Simatic HMI (Human Machine Interface) Comfort Panel TP1900 with touchscreen engineered in the TIA (Totally Integrated Automation) Portal has been introduced to replace the previous mimic diagram. The new technology has significantly improved handling of the entire system for the operators. “We’ve replaced the previous mosaic indicator panels in the substations by panels with touch operation, which radically simplifies the work of our standby teams on site,” says Ursin Gabriel, part of the Infrastructure Department Engineering team and a Project Manager at RhB. And Jakob Jegen, who looks back on 26 years of experience in the maintenance of railway power supplies, adds: “The new HMI is far more clearly arranged than the old indicator panels. What’s more, we now also have more extensive and more accurate measurement values and data from the line, allowing us to localize and contain faults more efficiently.” Particularly over the winter months, heavy snowfall or high winds can cause damage to cables. These faults have to be reported as quickly and reliably as possible to the control center, so that a member of the standby team can connect remotely to the monitoring system through the remote maintenance system. “Since the upgrade, there has been a boost to the performance of the whole system. We are able to locate faults and report them to the Maintenance Team more quickly,” explains Jegen. “In the past, we had to record all messages and faults on paper – which was time consuming. Now, all the data is automatically captured and logged, which makes our job a lot easier.”

       

      Captions

      The Rhaetian Railway (RhB) is a Swiss railway transport company based in Chur which operates an approximately 400-kilometer-long rail network. The automation and power technology used for the network comes from Siemens.

      RhB has relied on solutions from Siemens for a good 30 years. To provide new functions such as the ability to access and utilize detailed power grid status data, the previously used technology is being modernized.

      The modernization project involved migrating the existing Simatic S5 to a Simatic S7-315-F PN/DP. A TP1500 Simatic Comfort Panel is also replacing the previously used mimic diagram.

      Engineered in the TIA (Totally Integrated Automation) Portal, the new panels with their clearly arranged layout make the work of the standby team on site tangibly simpler.

      ...
    • Ursula Lang 31/07/2017

      Print quality “Made in Germany” - Flexible high-end corrugated cardboard printing with drives and Motion Control from Siemens

          

       

      Wiesentheid near Würzburg, Germany. The company Göpfert Maschinen GmbH (Göpfert) based in Wiesentheid is a market and technology leader in the production of corrugated cardboard printing machines. The company supplies customers in over 50 countries. For the production of packages made of corrugated cardboard, which are used for example in forms of displays as marketing tools, Göpfert insists on drive technology and Motion Control from Siemens right across its entire machine range.

       

      Corrugated cardboard packages are no longer used  predominantly as unobtrusive banana crates, pizza takeout boxes and removal cartons. Modern corrugated cardboard printing methods can now be used as an effective marketing instrument for packaging products such as HiFi systems and large-scale consumer goods, or to produce attractive retail displays. The company Göpfert Maschinen GmbH (Göpfert) based in Wiesentheid in the Unterfranken region of Germany near Würzburg has specialized in printing machines for corrugated cardboard, and is now among the world’s leaders in its field, exporting its efficient machines to over 50 countries. The drive and control technology used in the engineering and construction of Göpfert machines have been supplied exclusively by Siemens for many years. This means that Göpfert is ideally placed to guarantee consistent print quality in the face of ever shorter product innovation cycles, high variant diversity, dwindling batch sizes and frequent production changes. Both the machine engineering and Motion Control are modular in design, simplifying any subsequent expansion of the production lines.

       

      Motion Control for direct corrugated cardboard printing

      This is achieved using Simotion D motion controllers networked over Profinet IRT (Isochronous Realtime) at the feeder, at all the printing units and also at the rotating stamp. Using Simotion D445-2 and D435-2 as well as CX32-2 controller extensions, Göpfert is able to adjust the computing and control output to the requirements of these different modules. Working in cooperation with Siemens, Göpfert has generated individual functions on the basis of the Simotion module library. These include a feeder with electric cam disk, which allows the highly dynamic but gentle acceleration and braking of the servo drives. The print-length correction function APM  (Anti Print enlargeMent) balances tolerances in the print length of the individual plates.

       

      Modular direct drives for handling convenience

      The printing machines are driven exclusively using Simotics servo motors and scalable Sinamics S120 converters. Higher-level sequence control is taken care of by a Simatic S7 including an IPC427D industrial PC and failsafe Simatic WinAC RTX F software with real-time capability. This distributed drive design provides a range of benefits: Firstly, it simplifies the mechanical construction of the machines, improving access and reducing changeover and retooling times. In addition, directly driven anilox rollers and also printing and impression cylinders at each printing unit also help to increase serviceability and the low-torsion drive optimizes velocity control performance and control accuracy. At high board lines (HBLs) such as Göpfert’s Ovation Line, in which the board moves through the machine above head height, distributed drives also mean that retooling and preparation work can be carried out while production is in progress, significantly reducing downtimes.

       

      “Consistent control and drive technology from Siemens has formed the electronic backbone of our machines for many years, and this has played a far from insignificant role in our worldwide success,” summarizes CEO André Göpfert. And the cooperation is set to continue. A current area of focus is the use of Simotics T torque motors as direct drives for printing units, with a view to further improving print-length correction and minimizing the proportion of waste.

       

      Info box

      A new feature of the Simotion performance spectrum is Learning Error Compensation (LECo), a system based on the Simotion open architecture interface. This self-learning control algorithm is capable of detecting and automatically compensating for cyclical disturbing influences on the drive control behavior – usually after only a single cycle. The control system also features the simulation environment Simosim integrated in Simotion Scout V5.1 which is used for testing programs without the need for actual hardware, and the “object-oriented programming” option which is used to depict the structure of a complex machine.

       

      Captions

      Corrugated cardboard printing machines such as Göpfert’s Ovation, known as a high board line (HBL), are technological leaders in their field and produce premium packaging products for renowned manufacturers in some 50 countries.

      With Simotics servo motors at every printing unit and modular Motion Control, the machine builder is able to achieve consistently high print quality coupled with outstanding flexibility.

      With its scalable Simotion D motion controllers (top row) and modular drive system Sinamics S120 (below) Göpfert’s control cabinet construction mirrors the modular, easily extendable approach used in its machines.

      Learning Error Compensation (LECo) with Simotion: After just a single cylinder rotation, this self-learning system detects and immediately compensates for any cyclical drive control error.

      ...