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Hahn Automation provides “glocal” solution to ThyssenKrupp damper business for stacking and assembly of assorted product types; enables quick recipe changes
ThyssenKrupp Bilstein of America is a leading supplier of premium shock absorbers, struts and suspensions to the auto, truck, racing and other markets. With its recent development of the DampTronic® Sky, which provides continuously variable damping force adjustment of the shock absorber to accommodate road and driving conditions, the company, with U.S. operations based in Hamilton, Ohio, recognized the need for greater flexibility in its production on a global scale. With a substantial assortment of products for OEM and aftermarket alike, ThyssenKrupp required a scenario for fast recipe changes, with flexible and high-accuracy production of frequent short runs to suit its product demands in the market.
Further, with global operations in its manufacturing, the company sought to partner with an automation supplier who would mesh well with the culture of ThyssenKrupp and the engineering requirements this challenge presented. The solution came their way in Hahn Automation, based in Germany, with its U.S. operations headquartered nearby to ThyssenKrupp’s damper business, in Hebron, Kentucky.
This combination provided what Dave Vibbard, Senior Process Engineer at ThyssenKrupp terms a “glocal” relationship, a portmanteau word made from global and local. Correspondingly, John Baines, president of Hahn Automation, says, “We also work under the philosophy that we should build it where it gets used, so we needed a partner for the controls and application engineering assistance who could work seamlessly with both our German and U.S. operations. We found that supplier in Siemens and their local solution partner, C&E Sales.” For the project, the control supplier furnished all drives, PLCs, master HMI and remote control pendants to give freedom of movement to the operators, as they work around the cell stations. Siemens and C&E Sales also provided Hahn their application engineering assistance and the TIA Portal, an engineering network from Siemens which allows all programming of motion controllers, distributed I/O, HMI and other devices through a single point of command. In addition, TIA Portal maintains a library with the operating protocols, hardware designations and performance characteristics of task-specific projects, enabling subsequent recall, system reconfiguration on-the-fly and substantial engineering time savings for the integrator and end user alike. Hahn was able to utilize the TIA Portal at every step in the configuration and commissioning of the work cells devised for ThyssenKrupp on this project. As Baines notes, “The diversity of products being produced were all nonetheless similar in nature and mechanical composition, so many of the motion control commands and assembly sequencings could be done using the library of programmed information in the TIA Portal. Siemens provided us considerable assistance on this project, though we had previous experience with this engineering network.” Baines further notes the TIA Portal resulted in significant cost and time savings for Hahn and ultimately the end user.
On this project, Hahn provided ThyssenKrupp the first of several cells, comprising six “valve stacker” modules for the pre-assembly, kitting and riveting of the shock absorber washers and piston rod assemblies, plus the gas and oil fill, welding and functional testing procedures. For each model produced, an assortment of washers with various profiles and dimensions is stacked on the piston, assembled and then the shock absorber body is filled with gas and oil, all to pre-programmed levels. The “recipe” for each model made is stored in the HMI onboard, which drives the individual module PLCs. At each station in the cell, an operator can instantly visualize the recipe in progress and enjoys the free movement around the cell, using the remote control pendant. As the model changeover is required, the master recipe exports the particular data requirements to each module, and then the ramp-up of the overall cell begins anew. Washers of various sizes and profile configurations are used for the buildup of each model produced, so the required components are brought to the assembly stations by a series of 4-axis ABB iRB 360 FlexPickers and ceiling mounted Epson G10’s, utilizing Selective Compliance Articulated (Assembly) Robot Arm (SCARA) technology. Functionally, the various commands are executed via the PLC, an S7-1500 from Siemens, which features seamless integration with the TIA Portal, as well as fully integrated onboard safety and security modules.
As Baines explains, “The setting adjustments are quite substantial for each damper product produced, so the load on the control system required strict monitoring and validation. There’s the master cell with six modules, including four valve stackers and two final assembly stations. Interestingly, half our design and assembly work was done in Germany and half was done here in Hebron, Ky., where we also did the final configuration of the control platform, runout and performance evaluations prior to delivery to ThyssenKrupp.” He noted the support provided by Siemens, both in Germany and local to his facility. Baines also cited the upgrade to the higher level Simatic S7-1500 PLC as a significant advantage for Hahn in the overall achievement of this project’s success. He particularly noted the safety and system security features, plus the fast response time and easy commissioning of this PLC platform for his team and TK personnel.
Greg Earle, VP for sales at Hahn, adds, “The Siemens TIA portal was a terrific engineering tool, as we were able to configure all the motor and drive components in a tag-based protocol for the individual slave PLCs and the master HMI. It was a very fluid connection process and, in the field, the operators enjoy the added benefit of movement, using the remote pendants provided with the system.” As each recipe is called up, he added, the changeover time is significantly reduced, compared to the previous systems in use at ThyssenKrupp. The single supplier for the new component feed systems is located in Germany, so the presence of both Hahn and Siemens there was a further advantage to TK on this project.
Vibbard of ThyssenKrupp comments, “Hahn was extremely competent and also price-competitive on this project, a very desirable combination in any business relationship. They were able to complete the build and execute the handshaking between the modules, with full verification on performance, error tracking, safety considerations, fault recovery and alarm alerts.” He noted an extra benefit on the operator screens was a dual language capability, so immediate access and troubleshooting could be accomplished by the engineering teams both in Germany and America.
In use, all the communications in the cell, whether from the robotics PLC, Siemens hardware and software systems or Hahn proprietary logic, are transmitted on a field bus to a single point of control and command, according to Vibbard, who cites this seamless protocol as a significant upside for our process engineers and maintenance personnel alike. “The assembly and testing procedures are all TCP/IP friendly, so the cell controls are easily accessible both by our team and remotely by Hahn for troubleshooting and faster resolution of any issues.”
According to the official ThyssenKrupp description of the new shock absorber technology that partially drove the development of this project, “The new DampTronic® Sky damper (shock absorber) is a further milestone in resolving the conflict between driving comfort on the one hand – an aspect of particular interest in the premium segment – and the driving safety and agility of the car, on the other hand. In this new generation, two continuously variable valves adjust the damping force in each damper: one valve controls the rebound phase – i.e. the force that ensues when the wheel travels down – and the other controls the compression phase. Using the data it receives from the acceleration and wheel-path sensors, the control module of the suspension system can individually adapt the damping forces for each wheel within just a few milliseconds to eliminate the effects of rough road-ride conditions that may detract from the driving comfort for the passengers, while at the same time controlling the dampers in such a way that the chassis is stabilized to the best possible degree. Thanks to the use of two adjustable valves, the damper is also able to ensure that the damping force can be adjusted according to the skyhook principle even in the high-frequency spectrum of the wheel vibrations. By independently adjusting the extension and compression forces, the new ThyssenKrupp DampTronic® Sky damper constitutes the high-end system in the semi-active damper segment.”
The customer here, ThyssenKrupp, expects significant improvements in the production schedules with the Hahn Automation master cell on the floor at the facility in Hamilton, Ohio.
Baines concludes, “The relationship we established with and the solution we proposed to ThyssenKrupp would not have been possible without the assistance of the Siemens team, both here in our area and in Germany, supplying product, engineering know-how and controls expertise in both locations.”
A “glocal” success, indeed.
For more information on this story, please contact:
5300 Triangle Parkway
Norcross, GA 30092
Attention: Hollie Davis, Sandra Tigert or Alisa Coffey
3012 Kustom Drive
Hebron, KY 41048
Phone : 859-283-1820
Attention : John Baines
THYSSENKRUPP BILSTEIN OF AMERICA
8685 Bilstein Boulevard
Hamilton, OH 45015
Attention: Fabian Schmahl or Dave Vibbard
About Siemens USA
Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of systems for power generation and transmission as well as medical diagnosis. With approximately 348,000 employees in more than 190 countries, Siemens reported worldwide revenue of $86.2 billion in fiscal 2015. Siemens in the USA reported revenue of $22.4 billion, including $5.5 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Dukane Corporation, St. Charles IL introduces a new Laser Welding System that allows clear-to-clear plastic welding without the need of any laser absorbing additives. This system incorporates a recently developed 2-micron laser with a greatly increased absorption by clear polymers and enables a highly controlled melting through the thickness of optically clear parts.
New beam delivery system integrates both a programmable multi-axes servo gantry and a scan head, supported by proprietary LaserLinQTM software, which harmonizes the action of both components moving the beam. This assures highly precise and controllable beam delivery when welding mid-size and large components.
LaserLinQTM also provides users with the ability to break complex weld patterns into separate geometric segments, modify each segment independently and assign different welding parameters to each segment. The CCTV camera integrated within the machine enables a live weld preview on the HMI screen and the ability to directly monitor and record welding cycles for further analysis. All laser enclosures are Class I CDRH certified and utilize laser-safe glass viewing windows.
This Dukane flexible welding system also allows rapid changeover of a wide variety of highly specialized tooling cassettes. The tools, as a standard, incorporate binary tool ID recognition for automatic weld recipe recall. They support multi-cavity function, multiple feature detection, vision systems and independent clamping systems to compensate for part variations.
Manufacturers from various industries including medical, electronics and appliances can benefit from this clear-to-clear laser welding solution.
Dukane Corporation offers a full range of ultrasonic, vibration, spin, hot plate welders, and thermal presses, probes, tooling and software for both OEM and the commercial plastic assembly markets. Dukane is an ISO 9001:2000 certified manufacturer with 24/7 Service. For more information on Dukane’s Laser welding System, and their complete line of plastic assembly solutions, contact Jason Barton, National Sales and Marketing Manager. He can be reached at (630) 797-4902 or visit their web site www.dukane.com/us.
Ann Arbor, Michigan – GMTA (German Machine Tools of America) represents various top-quality German and other metalworking machine builder companies, including Profilator GmbH, Praewema, K + G, Rasoma, FIMAT and BvL, as well as Arnold lasers and other equipment. These machines are sold to the North American market by GMTA, primarily for gear and spline production, as well as other power transmission and various metalworking applications. The company’s target markets include automotive, off-highway, energy and other heavy equipment manufacturing. Machines are provided for gear honing, gear grinding, the patented Scudding® and now the game-changing Hard Scudding® process for gearmaking, polygon milling, turning, gear tooth pointing and multi-task machining operations, as well as various laser operations or laser line integration. This newsletter is provided to our friends in the media to keep you and your readers updated on “News of Note” at GMTA.
In the news…
-General Motors has selected GMTA to partner on the CVT 250 project for gear hones.
-Ford Motor has selected GMTA as a supplier for Scudding® sun gears on its new transmission lines.
-Scudding and now the Hard Scudding process, in which hardened gears can be cut and finished on the same machine, using the company’s unique adaptive software, are fast gaining acceptance in the market. Already the leader in high-precision internal gear processing, the result of our unique Scudding® technology, which leaves skiving and other methods far behind, GMTA has taken another giant step forward in gear production with the development of Hard Scudding. The Scudding process provides excellent results on green or soft gears, while this new Hard Scudding advancement enables the re-machining of hardened gears on the same machine, with a tooth-to-tooth composite error and total composite error in the AGMA 11, DIN 6 range and a surface finish better than 1.5 Ra. This all happens due to the adaptive software developed by GMTA.
-A new series of operational videos on Arnold lasers in action is now viewable on the GMTA website, www.gmtamerica.com. The website is currently undergoing substantial upgrades, but remains visible to all.
-The new Mexican office of GMTA, located in Queretaro, is reporting brisk activity, owing to the substantial procurement authority in-country now. According to VP Scott Knoy, “This contrasts with bygone days, when the decision-making and purchasing were largely centered in America and specifically (here) in Detroit. It’s a whole new ballgame with the Mexican market today and we believe our new location (Queretaro) is well positioned to serve this dynamic manufacturing environment.” GMTA already has a substantial installed base of machines in Mexico with all their partner companies. At the new facility, machines are in place for demo and test run, plus the facility is fully staffed with application engineering, technical support, after-sale service and parts inventory.
-Sales continue to be brisk on the 9- and 10-speed transmission projects in the automotive market. Scott Knoy, GMTA VP, comments, “We’re seeing a lot of activity here in the States and especially in Mexico, so we know our timing was right with the opening of our new facility there.”
-GMTA attendance at Gear Expo in Detroit was highly productive, as we saw old friends and made many new ones! The demonstration of Hard Scudding was given and we met with all the top editors from the gear market media during the show. The Motor City is still the place to be for us gearheads!
-GMTA is now representing Rasoma machining centers, used primarily in the gear and spline markets, as well as FIMAT, an Italian builder of machining centers. These agreements cover full sales engagement for North America. Meanwhile, an agreement has been signed by GMTA to represent BvL parts washers exclusively in Mexico. The BvL line now means GMTA can be a single integrating source for machining, part cleaning and laser joining of power transmission products.
-Our Claudia Hambleton again braved the elements and brought a class of German language students from Saline, Michigan to Chicago for Christkindlmarket, as well as tours of the Museum of Science & Industry and the new Maggie Daley ice rink! A good time was had by all…and everyone made it back on the bus! She assures us all the gluwein consumed was strictly non-alcoholic!
-Our Christmas party was a good time to connect with our GMTA family and exchange presents. Some of the guys, who are themselves brilliant mechanical techs and machine tool engineers, tried to wrap their own presents and failed miserably, according to Claudia! “It takes a talent these guys clearly do not possess,” she mused.
For more information on any items in this announcement, please contact:
Standard and custom styles available for Hyundai, Miyano and Nakamura machine tools; offered for all tapers, including HSK and BT30; fixed and adjustable models; many in stock for immediate delivery
Heimatec, a world leader in live tools and multi-spindle drill heads, today announces immediate availability of live tooling for all popular models in the Hyundai, Miyano and Nakamura turning center lines. According to Preben Hansen, Heimatec president, “We’re carrying a substantial inventory of live tools for our customers’ machines now and it represents a substantial financial and warehouse space commitment we’ve made to support them in the North American market.”
Hansen added that the company will be announcing its in-stock arrangement for many other lines of machine tools, moving forward, as the company commits a major investment to the market. Heimatec Inc. serves its North American customers with a full team of manufacturers’ rep firms, plus its Chicagoland facility offers stocking, repair, application engineering and service for the company’s line of live tools, multi-spindle tool, adapters, UTEC® right angle heads and other items offered.
Literature detailing all the Heimatec products now available in stock for Hyundai, Miyano and Nakamura machining centers is offered at the company’s website, www.heimatecinc.com. Interested parties may also contact the company directly with inquiries.
CAT 40, BT 40, BT 30, HSK 63A, CAT 50, BT 50, HSK 100A and many other taper styles are available, as well as custom modifications such at 18” extension shafts. Offset, Slim, Dual and Adjustable styles. Heimatec offers a full one-year warranty on all parts and labor.
For further information and brand-specific literature, or to arrange a demo on any Heimatec tools, please contact:
Preben Hansen, President
16 E. Piper Lane
Prospect Heights, IL 60070
Heimatec is an international tooling manufacturer, based in Renchen, Germany. Its experienced staff is dedicated to providing customers the most innovative tooling technology possible. In 2010, the company opened Heimatec Inc. in Prospect Heights, IL, near Chicago, to serve its growing North American customer base with sales and service, plus an extensive inventory of products. Heimatec serves the auto, aero, medical, off-highway, rail, energy, woodworking, composites and other industries, as well as an ever-increasing number of machine tool OEM’s worldwide.
SUHNER Flexible Shafts
Handle speeds up to 50,000 rpm with high accuracy; from printing presses and remote control valve control to speedometers and power seat actuation
Need an easy and quick way to transmit rotary motion from a power source –motor or hand wheel – to where you need the movement? Maybe around a corner? Compensating for some offset? Allowing relative movement between the two components? Reaching into that impossible to reach space?
Suhner Standard Flexible Shafts offer a plug and play solution. Equipped with standard female couplings with set screws, available for left hand, right hand or bi-directional application in a wide range of lengths and torque ratings, flexible shafts are easy, efficient and virtually maintenance free flexible drive shafts allowing for maximum design freedom in a wide variety of OEM applications in myriad industries.
Our K and Ka type plastic casing flex shafts are used throughout the automotive OEM, for engine control and power transmission, as well as interior controls on power seats and steering wheel adjustments.
Interested parties can review the online catalog for power transmission products from Suhner and use the handy math tools and other selection guides provided.
No. 812 is a 650°F (343°C), high temperature top-loading oven from Grieve, currently used for heating stainless steel prior to welding at the customer’s facility. Workspace dimensions of this oven measure 72” W x 36” D x 36” H. 40 kW installed in Incoloy-sheathed tubular elements heat the workspace, while a 3300 CFM, 2 HP recirculating blower provides horizontal airflow to the workload.
This Grieve top-loading oven features 5” insulated walls, aluminized steel interior and exterior, plus a reinforced ¼” steel plate top. Features also include an air-operated rear hinged door and wear bars at the sides of the workspace. The floor of the workspace is reinforced for 3000 lb. loading at removable subway grate.
Controls on No. 812 include a digital indicating temperature controller, manual reset excess temperature controller with separate heating element control contactors and recirculating blower airflow safety switch.
For more information, please contact:Continue reading
No. 846 is a 900°F (482°C), high temperature walk-in oven from Grieve, currently used for pre-heating steel molds at the customer’s facility. Workspace dimensions of this oven measure 50” W x 96” D x 96” H. A 7800 CFM, 5-HP recirculating blower provides combination airflow to the workload.
This Grieve walk-in-oven features 8” thick insulated walls, 6” insulated floor, aluminized steel interior and exterior, plus a removable top-mounted heat chamber. Type 304, 2B finish stainless steel heat chamber interior consists of two independent doors, front and rear, for access to workspace, each opening 40” high. Features include inner and outer door gaskets, with an inner gasket that seals directly against door plug; outer gasket seals directly against the front face of the oven. The floor of each opening is reinforced for 5,000 lb loading at removable subway grate.
Controls on No. 846 include a digital programming and recording temperature control and a manual reset excess temperature controller with separate contactors, plus a recirculating blower air flow safety switch.
For more information, please contact:Continue reading
No. 1036 is a 1050ºF (566ºC), electrically-heated cabinet oven from Grieve, currently used for production heating of glass assemblies at the customer’s facility. Workspace dimensions of this oven measure 50” W x 50” D x 50” H. 80 KW are installed in Incoloy-sheathed tubular elements to heat the oven chamber, while a 3750 CFM, 3-HP recirculating blower provides horizontal airflow to the workload.
This Grieve cabinet oven features 10” thick insulated walls, top-mounted heating chamber, aluminized steel exterior and Type 304 stainless steel, 2B finish interior.
Controls on No. 1036 include a digital indicating temperature controller, manual reset excess temperature controller with separate contactors and recirculating blower airflow safety switch.
For more information, please contact:Continue reading
PLC, drive and motion-based functionality and architecture
There are several architectural strategies that can be considered for web handling drive system controls. Current industrial control platforms permit the web handling controls to be implemented in either a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) (typically the same as the machine control), directly in the drive system, or through a motion controller.
PLC-based web control has long been a traditional choice for machine builders for a number of reasons. The PLC provides a single platform for both automation and drive control with a centralized control structure. PLC-based systems offer a suitable level of usability, however, they can be limited in high-end performance capability and in their options for process-level programming.
Drive-based control typically offers distributed control architecture, peer-to-peer networks and an increased level of performance due to faster processing times. Graphical engineering tools are common for drive-based systems and are a preferred programming environment due to their ability to visualize and document the web control processes.
Motion controllers offer the highest level of performance and functional flexibility. Their inherent capability of providing position data can help increase web handling performance on several fronts. Motion controllers also permit the line integration of axis motion functionality such as positioning, electronic gearing and cam functionality in the common web controller. They are not limited by memory constraints and typically utilize the full range of programming languages.
This paper will review the merits of these three control architecture options in detail under the criteria of usability, functionality and performance, and also touch on the related topics of drive safety and remote diagnostics.
Overview / criteria
Usability defines the control system’s ease of use in the areas of engineering, commissioning, and maintenance. The following points apply to each of the control system options, PLC,
drive-based and motion control.
A common engineering tool utilizing a common database for machine and drive control is
recommended. Individual engineering tools for each controller (PLC, drives, etc.) should be
avoided. The engineering and programming connection to the system should be though a
single point with efficient routing to each drive or controller location in the system.
Additionally multi-user editing is an important feature for complex and large projects.
The programming language used for the web control should be considered for usability. The
programming language should be sufficient for implementing the critical tasks, easy-to-use
and understand. We find that the ideal programming language for the web control or drive
processes to be graphical function chart. Web handling control is a process and a graphical
programming editor offers the most efficient method to develop, visualize, support the
process and produce the system documentation.
The engineering platform should offer efficient and common diagnostic and troubleshooting
tools that include integrated online monitoring capability, time and frequency-based trace tools
and a drive axis commissioning control panel.
Control and drive hardware platforms that store programs on removable media are ideal.
The Compact Flash cards permit the easy swapping of hardware without the requirement
of program or parameter file downloading and retain current machine settings.
Download the brochure/PDF HERE.
For specific product information and inquiries, call (800) 879-8079 ext. Marketing Communications or send an e-mail to: SiemensMTBUMarCom.email@example.com.
Siemens Industry Sector is the world’s leading supplier of innovative and environmentally friendly products, solutions and services for industrial customers. With end-to-end automation technology and industrial software, solid vertical-market expertise, and technology-based services, the sector enhances its customers’ productivity, efficiency and flexibility. With a global workforce of more than 100,000 employees, the Industry Sector comprises the Industry Automation, Drive Technologies and Customer Services Divisions as well as the Metals Technologies Business Unit. For more information, visit http://www.usa.siemens.com/industry.
The Siemens Drive Technologies Division is the world’s leading supplier of products, systems, applications, solutions and services for the entire drive train, with electrical and mechanical components. Drive Technologies serves all vertical markets in the production and process industries as well as the infrastructure/energy segment. With its products and solutions, the division enables its customers to achieve productivity, energy efficiency and reliability. For more information, visit http://www.usa.siemens.com/drivetechnologies.Continue reading
No. 901 is a 1200ºF (649ºC), electrically-heated walk-in oven from Grieve, currently used for heat treating at the customer’s facility. Workspace dimensions of this oven measure 48” W x 60” D x 72” H. 120 kW are installed in Incoloy-sheathed tubular elements to heat the oven chamber, while a 12,500 CFM, 10-HP recirculating blower provides horizontal airflow to the workload.
This Grieve high-temp walk-in oven features 10” thick insulated walls, comprising 2” of 1900ºF block and 8” of 10 lb/cf density rockwool; inner and outer door gaskets with the inner gasket sealing directly against the door plug, while the outer gasket seals against the front face of the oven; doors equipped with expansion joints on the inner face to guarantee uniform sealing at all temperatures; aluminized steel exterior; Type 304, 2B finish stainless steel interior; 7” insulated floor with truck wheel guide tracks and a 2000 lb. capacity stainless steel shelf oven truck with shelf supports on 6” centers.
Controls on No. 901 include a 325 CFM stainless steel powered forced exhauster with motorized dampers for cooling, manual reset excess temperature controller with separate contactors, recirculating airflow safety switch, 10” diameter circular chart recorder, digital indicating and programming temperature controller and an SCR power controller.
For more information, please contact:Continue reading