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Digitalization…Its Time Has Come!

By Ryan Jarvis, Head of Vertical Markets for Food, Beverage & CPG, Siemens Industry, Inc., Factory Automation

Ryan JarvisEditor Note: In this article, the author makes the case for the digital factory in food & beverage processing.  Much of the input here resulted from a “panel of experts” discussion held recently at the 2018 Manufacturing in America trade event, sponsored by Siemens at Ford Field in downtown Detroit, Michigan. 

In a recent study we conducted at Siemens, where we talked to 40 firms in food & beverage, it was determined that over 50% of firms are already using connected sensors in their operations.  Likewise, 60% are using digitalization tools such as track-and-trace to monitor ingredient flow through their supply chain.  Finally, over two-thirds of those surveyed are encouraging their suppliers to provide data from their own operations and production processes, improving transparency and creating new opportunities to drive efficiencies.

That’s the good news.

On the flip side, less than half are using advanced data analytics, 85% have lag times over 24 hours between data collection and analysis, plus, perhaps the most challenging fact, over a quarter of the companies surveyed do not yet have a fully defined data management strategy.

In the past, the notion of a food or beverage processor being able to look at a prioritized set of data, in the cloud, in real time, making OEE, shift or even complete plant utilization assessments and sending instantaneous triggers for corrective action to the factory floor with remote, ongoing data back-up for further analysis that included supply chain and even consumer feedback would have been a wish list item.

Not anymore.

With the onset of complete product lifecycle management (PLM) technology, coupled with advanced machine controls, data gathering devices and communications software, with platform-as-a-service capabilities, today’s processor can transition to the digital factory with greater ease and confidence than previously thought possible.  As one industry expert observed, “Digitalization is making its entry into our market, but it does require management to have vision, a competent team to do an evaluation and a trusted supply chain of vendors and integrators to make it happen.”

Line efficiency, speed, product validation, production tracking and, a rapidly emerging trend in our business, namely, the need to have flexibility in the line for changeovers to meet the increased variety demands of the buying public are all drivers in this rapidly evolving landscape of the digital factory.

Expanding on some of these points:

  1. The cost of downtime can be hundreds of thousands of dollars a day. By using sensors to monitor machinery, plant personnel can gain access in real-time to all data on performance, quality and associated profitability.  Predictive analysis and maintenance can significantly reduce downtime by anticipating faults and failures before they occur.
  2. Higher productivity with lower inventory can be achieved more easily in a digital environment, as every aspect of production is constantly monitored, while order histories are compared and extended out into the production cycle expectations. One meat product producer saves hundreds of thousands of dollars every year from tracking weight variances, for example, realizing just a 0.10% improvement in yield.
  3. Mobile monitoring, RFID tags and in-package sensors are tracking a variety of real-time information to ensure compliance with cold-chain requirements. The trade associations are likewise moving into a standardized set of communication protocols…think OMAC and PAC ML…to streamline the connectivity and data tracking of processing and production lines alike.

 

During the recent Manufacturing in America event at Ford Field in Detroit, at a Futures Forum sponsored by Siemens, a panel of industry experts from various segments of the food, beverage and CPG market gathered to discuss the trends in digitalization and its impact on their companies, their equipment and, of critical importance, their people, both current and future team members. 

This recap summarizes a very lively 90-minute discussion held at the Forum, which was moderated by the author. 

Panelists for Manufacturing in America Food, Beverage & CPG Futures Forum (left to right in photo) Todd Slater Manager-Design/R&D Supply Chain Center of Excellence Bill Meier Principal Controls Global Technology Engineer Mars Wrigley Confectionery Co. Patrick Zambon Controls Engineer Founders Brewing Co. Ryan Jarvis Head of Vertical Markets for Food, Beverage & CPG Siemens Factory Automation Dave Greenfield Director of Content/Editor-in-Chief Automation World (trade publication) Cameron Cane President Deutsche Beverage Charles I. Sheets, PE Master Engineer – Automation Industrial Systems Division Matrix Technologies Inc.

The session included a review of the best practices and outlook for digitalization among the manufacturers, equipment builders and others in the supply chain, as well as the editor from a leading automation trade magazine.

While the participants were already engaged at different levels in the digitalization process, one remaining hurdle was exactly that degree of difference, as it impacts their relationship with vendors, distributors, automation integrators and end users alike.

Most all at the forum had significant automation and digital factory initiatives in progress or planned for the near future, a very positive sign for the industry in its quest for global competitiveness.

As consumer demand for product diversification, transparency in ingredient sourcing and even the packaging variances between the local grocer and the big box retail operation all affect the operation of the food & beverage industry, the future opportunities for digitalization and its possibilities for manufacturers will continue to expand at a rapid pace.

Another key concern for the group was the process of introducing employees, including those with decades of experience on the job but little exposure to the digital world, to this emerging trend.  Most companies were actively engaged in training, both for the current labor force and the next generation.  It was agreed that the machines and equipment in the factory needed to reflect the HMI qualities of the consumer electronics that occupy so much of modern life today.  As a collateral benefit, the digital factory, by definition, would attract more young talent to enter the manufacturing field.  As one participant put it, “They expect digital nowadays.”

On the logistics of implementing digitalization, it was unanimously agreed that one-off projects would not achieve the desired results with any efficiencies.  The better approach was a thorough plan, developed by the end user working with their machinery, equipment and automation suppliers, as well as customers, to achieve an optimum hierarchy of needs.

All agreed line efficiency and speed were paramount on the scale of basic requirements for an effective system.  Product validation and production tracking in a digital environment means analyzing not merely collecting data, in real time.  The goal is delivery of actionable knowledge about the process, they concurred.

For the factory floor, the impact of robotics was a very lively topic of discussion.  It was noted that “…robots can replace but also augment people and this will require an entirely new paradigm of ergonomics.”

On the financial front, it was agreed that driving management to implement digitalization must be more than a decision about dollars.  The future of the companies that were major players in food & beverage 50 years ago was directly tied to their willingness to adapt every aspect of their companies to the changing tastes and purchasing practices of the buying public.  Today, there are myriad means available for the younger generation to acquire everything they touch, wear, taste, drive and consume.  The smart companies, it was mused, will be the SMART companies, meaning those who incorporate the digital factory precepts into their entire operation and company vision.

The following list was suggested as areas where digitalization would have influence in the industry today…

  • Product development
  • Line design
  • Manufacturing layout
  • Scalability of production
  • Importance of industry and trade association standards
  • Data/Control/Analysis
  • Packaging
  • Adding value and pricing structures
  • Customer influencing/User experience with product
  • Fair treatment of sourcing locations and resident talent base
  • GMO/Good Citizen Status/Defect Detection
  • Product lifecycle and MES

Finally, the fun part…an outlook overview on the future of the market, from the perspective of the participants on the panel and in the audience.  All the following areas were discussed as potential and, in some cases, already initiated areas for digitalization to become a positive factor…

  • Traceability for immediate resolution as a driver of brand equity
  • Higher levels of automation along the entire process chain
  • Competitive trends being accelerated
  • Block chain evolution that will further accelerate the buy cycles
  • Long range scanning by metrology methods for improved plant utilization improvement
  • Ongoing use of digitalization to track machine operations and security of all data
  • Faster time to market through a pro-active effort between users and their machine OEMs and retrofitters alike, to anticipate trends and react
  • Consumer expectation modeling
  • Response paradigm for companies, as they address the needs for internal improvements

Author:

Ryan Jarvis may be contacted for comments or questions at ryan.jarvis@siemens.com.  

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.

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Siemens Introduces New Servo Drive System Simplifying Motion Control for Machine Builders

Siemens offers a new servo package consisting of drive, motor and controller for
a wide variety of motion control applications

With its Sinamics S210 converter designed specifically for use with the newly developed Simotics S-1FK2 motors, Siemens is offering a new and innovative servo drive system in an initial offering from 50–750 watts. The converters come with integrated safety functions and enable rapid engineering via motion technology objects in Simatic S7-1500 controllers. They are connected to higher-level controllers via Profinet and are quickly and easily programmed by automatic motor parameterization and one-button tuning. Typical uses for this new drive system include packaging machines, handling applications such as pick-and-place, wood and plastics processing, as well as life sciences and digital printing.

“The Sinamics S210 focuses on highly-dynamic motor axis control, while the connected controller, for example the Simatic S7-1500 or S7-1500T with its extended motion control functionality, takes complete charge of positioning functions for the connected drive axes.”, says Craig Nelson, product manager for Sinamics S-series drives.

The Sinamics S210 is commissioned using an integrated web server. One-button tuning functionality allows automatic optimization of control parameters, taking into consideration the behavior of the connected mechanics by different dynamic levels.

Integrated safety functions include STO (Safe Torque Off) and SS1 (Safe Stop 1). Both can be actuated using Profisafe, STO additionally using a terminal. Additional functions are currently in the preparation stage. In conjunction with the rapid sampling and smart control algorithms of the Sinamics S210, a high-grade encoder system on the Simotics 1FK2 motor and the combination of low rotor inertia and high overload capability, allow the servomotors to achieve outstanding dynamic performance and precision.

Simotics 1FK2 motors are connected to the converters using a “One Cable Connection” (OCC), which includes the power conductors, encoder signal and brake — all grouped together in an exceptionally thin cable measuring just 9 millimeters in diameter. Its minimal cross-section makes the OCC cable thinner, lighter and more flexible than previous power cables, considerably simplifying the cabling process. This results in a single motor plug connector and connection at the converter is just as simple with user-friendly plugs with push-in terminals on the front.

To learn more about the Sinamics S210 servo system, please visit: usa.siemens.com/sinamics-s210

The new Sinamics S210 drive system with Simotics S-1FK2 servomotors and Simatic S7-1500 controllers offer users a highly-dynamic servo package with integrated safety functions and quick commissioning.   


Siemens Digital Factory (DF) offers a comprehensive portfolio of seamlessly integrated hardware, software and technology-based services in order to support manufacturing companies worldwide in enhancing the flexibility and efficiency of their manufacturing processes and reducing the time to market of their products.

For specific product information and inquiries, send an e-mail to: mc.us@siemens.com

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 351,000 employees in 190 countries, Siemens reported worldwide revenue of $88.1 billion in fiscal 2016. Siemens in the USA reported revenue of $23.7 billion, including $5.4 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

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Siemens Partners with the University of South Carolina to Help South Carolina Strive to Become the Smartest Manufacturing State in the U.S.

Siemens has partnered with the University of South Carolina to help South Carolina become the smartest manufacturing state in the U.S.

Universities and technical schools trying to keep up with advances in digital manufacturing often find themselves behind industry. However, I was privileged to visit one university, the University South Carolina, which will now be an important exception. Founded in 1801, USC is one of the oldest universities in the US with a history of creating the most innovative learning programs dating back to its first curriculum obtained from Oxford University. Today, USC is establishing a one of a kind Digital Factory Lab that combines technology and coolness to inspire and educate its students.

This past week, Siemens announced a partnership to help the University of South Carolina to accomplish this goal with an in-kind grant of hardware and software.  “Welcome to Brain Power USA! Siemens is investing $628 million in high tech training for 4th industrial revolution jobs in South Carolina,” said Henry McMaster, South Carolina Governor. By providing students with this hands-on experience on software and hardware across USC’s engineering curriculum and in research programs, Siemens is helping prepare a highly-skilled STEM workforce for the advanced manufacturing industry, including the aerospace industry, which has experienced an 11.4% employment growth rate in South Carolina since 2010.

Ramy Harik is one of the professors at USC and he told me that these new resources will be put to good use. Already his students have been involved in working with composites, designing new ways of analyzing data for the helicopter AH-64 Apache airframe and developing insights into that aircraft’s mechanical operation for the Army.  More innovations are sure to come. For instance, beginning this fall students will also be able to pursue a major in aerospace engineering.

In recent years, the state of South Carolina has become a magnet for sophisticated manufacturing particularly in aerospace, automotive and tire. As a result of working with these companies to deploy high-tech manufacturing and by supporting vocational learning in the state through USC’s College of Engineering and Computing and the McNAIR Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research, USC has grown into a major research university. Specifically, the McNAIR Center is aligned with two dozen educational and government partners, and a group of industry partners that include The Boeing Company, Fokker Aerostructures, KUKA Robotics, Ingersoll Machine Tools, Gulfstream and more.

Governor Henry McMaster, we are ready to help you build the workforce of tomorrow.The recent gift by Siemens to University of South Carolina will contribute to the state’s overall goal to become the smartest manufacturing state in the United States. I know this is not only important to the Governor of South Carolina, but also to the USC President Harris Pastides who said, “We’re proud that our researchers and students at the College of Engineering and Computing, McNAIR Aerospace Center and the entire USC system, will play a role in discovering new manufacturing technologies and will be better prepared to take on the jobs of tomorrow in South Carolina and beyond.”

To date, South Carolina’s business, education and state government partnerships have created jobs for more than 55,000 South Carolinians in the larger aerospace industry. As Raj Batra, President, Siemens Digital Factory Division, U.S., said, “Aerospace companies throughout South Carolina are heavily reliant on automation and digitalization as well as well-trained employees. Our partnership with the University of South Carolina will provide valuable experiential training with both software and hardware, providing the next generation workforce with the skills they need to be successful.”

Far from lagging, educators in South Carolina are working hard to stay out front. While I was at dinner, USC’s Hossein Haj-Hariri, Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing, told me “We are going to work very hard to make this the best investment that Siemens has ever made.” I am proud to be part of a company that will match that enthusiasm and make this a program known for enabling students to be competitive for jobs throughout the world.

Governor Henry McMaster, we are ready to help you build the workforce of tomorrow.


Siemens Industry, Inc.
Alisa Coffey
(678) 427-8319
alisa.coffey@siemens.com

 

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.

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Sinamics DCM DC drive products warranty extended by TWO years

Effective immediately, Siemens announces the standard 12-month warranty on newly purchased Sinamics DCM DC drive products, including DC converters, base drives, enclosure cabinets and control modules, has been extended by two years, to a total of three years from date of manufacture.

This extended warranty, according to company sources, applies to new orders only and previously placed orders cannot be included in this offer.   The extended warranty is exclusive of any other extended warranty program or initiative offered by Siemens or its sales distribution network.

The offer applies to all products in the DCM drive products line and no registration or application is required for compliance.

Siemens DCM DC drive products extended warranty
Siemens has extended the warranty on its Sinamics DCM DC drive products, including DC drives, base drives, enclosure cabinets and control modules, by two years, to a total of three years from date of manufacture, effective immediately.  


Contact for journalists:

Siemens
John Meyer
(847) 640-1595
john.meyer@siemens.com

Siemens
Hollie Davis
(770) 751-4882
hollie.davis@siemens.com

For specific product information and inquiries, call (800) 879-8079 ext. Marketing Communications or send an e-mail to: mc.us@siemens.com. Or, go to the website for full details:  www.usa.siemens.com/drives.

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.

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Flexible Servo Drive System for Demanding Geared Motor Applications

Siemens has expanded its extensive drive portfolio for servo applications to include the Simotics S-1FG1 servo geared motors, which are designed for use with the Sinamics S120 drive system. Sinamics S120 drives and Simotics S-1FG1 servo geared motors are an integral component of Siemens Totally Integrated Automation (TIA), which reduces engineering time and costs. Pre-fabricated Motion-Connect signal and power cables offer an easy and reliable method of connecting the components. The units have electronic rating plates and the motors are connected via the Drive-Cliq system interface, so the system can be brought online quickly.

Siemens has expanded its extensive drive portfolio for servo applications to include the Simotics S-1FG1 servo geared motor that is optimally harmonized with the Sinamics S120 converter system. The complete integration of this drive system into Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) makes configuration and commissioning easy.

Siemens has expanded its extensive drive portfolio for servo applications to include the Simotics S-1FG1 servo geared motor that is optimally harmonized with the Sinamics S120 converter system. The complete integration of this drive system into Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) makes configuration and commissioning easy.

The engineering of the Simotics S-1FG1 servo geared motor includes high efficiency and low torsional backlash for precise, dynamic motion sequences and is available in the following versions: helical, parallel shaft, bevel and helical worm gearboxes with up to 25 transmission ratios, depending upon the type of gear and gear size required. The helical gearing of the gearboxes reduces noise and offers high efficiency.

With its highly integrated functionality and scalable number of axes, the S120 drives are suitable for use in a number of demanding motion control applications such as printing and packaging machines, storage and retrieval machines, material handling conveyor systems and dosing pumps.  The high-performance single and coordinated multi-axis drives with servo control enables ideal solutions for an increase in overall line productivity and flexibility.

The Sinamics S120 drive system is available in blocksize and booksize hardware types for use with the servo geared motors.  The power units or motor modules in booksize format have been redesigned in the 3–30A range.  Power units with a triple overload capability and the integration of the motor connection system into the motor module save a considerable amount of space in both height and width in the control cabinet.  The newly developed connection method allows fast, easy and reliable assembly and wiring, while the optimized shielding design and improved thermal separation between power semi-conductor and electronics also ensure greater ruggedness.

The small diameter of the plug-on pinion inserted into the motor shaft enables the first gear stage to render a high transmission ratio.  In turn, this means that a two-stage gearbox can be used for many applications as an alternative to a more costly three-stage unit.


Contact for journalists:

Siemens
John Meyer
(847) 640-1595
john.meyer@siemens.com

Siemens
Hollie Davis
(770) 751-4882
hollie.davis@siemens.com

For specific product information and inquiries, call (800) 879-8079 ext. Marketing Communications or send an e-mail to: mc.us@siemens.com.

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.

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Micro-Poise Partners with Siemens to Provide the MTMS Tire Measurement System to Major American Tire Builder

The Modular Tire Measurement System (MTMS) is a tire uniformity, dynamic tire balance measurement and tire geometry inspection system combined in a single unit for optimum performance, minimal manpower hours and optimum floorspace utilization in tire plant facilites; system combines Micro-Poise tire measurement technology with advanced Siemens servo motors, drives and TIA Portal PLCs plus enhanced communications protocol to provide the best measurement and cycle time on the market.

Micro-Poise Measurement Systems, an Ametek company with over 90 years experience in service to the tire and auto industries and located in Streetsboro, Ohio, today announces plans to replace an existing tire measurement system at a production facility of a major American tire builder. According to John Clark, Director of Product Management for new machinery at Micro-Poise, the customer presented Micro-Poise with several challenges, including the replacement of an existing system within the same footprint, while providing the customer with the most advanced tire measurement and data communications technologies available. The selection of the MTMS from Micro-Poise will afford the end user complete tire testing in one unit, with the best measurement quality and cycle time available, while also providing a reduced footprint for optimum utilization of floor space and reduced manpower hours required.

The MTMS combines three proprietary technologies into a single system, including Micro-Poise ASTEC™ FX tire uniformity measurement, AkroDYNE™ FX dynamic balance measurement and TGIS-SL® tire geometry inspection. The resulting advantages for the end user, according to company sources, will be a minimum tire testing cycle time, reduction of manpower hours, installation of the entire system within the footprint of the existing D70 system installed globally at numerous tire plants and reduced downtime, due to the materials handling configuration and transfer mechanisms on the MTMS.

To help produce the required system, Micro-Poise engineering has turned to its longtime partner Siemens for assistance with the motion and machine control, plus a communications platform that will seamlessly transmit all data gathered upstream to the end user’s production management team. The Siemens product and software support onboard the MTMS will include TIA Portal Simatic S7 PLCs, Sinamics drives, Simotics motors, advanced fault detection and alarm sequencing, diagnostic prioritization software on the HMI for faster recognition by the operators, higher levels of data gathering for production management analysis and a seamless Profinet/Ethernet communications platform.

The new MTMS is currently in the build and test phases at Micro-Poise, with delivery to the customer slated for the Fall of 2016. During early 2017, additional linking of the machine to the entire production protocol will occur.

Modular Tire Test Measurement Systems (MTMS)

Modular Tire Test Measurement Systems (MTMS)

 

The main components of the MTMS design include:

  • Handler and Luber with centering device
  • ASTEC®PLUS Tire Evaluation Center
  • Drop Conveyor to Handler and Centering device for dynamic balance machine
  • AkroDYNE®Dynamic Balancing System with optional TGIS-SL®
  • Exit station with optional AkroMARK™ Hot Stamp Marker
  • Optional tire sorter to complete the testing operations

 

The Modular Tire Measurement System (MTMS) from Micro-Poise combines tire uniformity, dynamic balance measurement and tire geometry inspection into a single unit with full transfer mechanisms to speed cycle time, reduce manpower hours and conserve floor space. In its most efficient configuration, the total system cycle time is said to be the fastest in the industry. In addition, each individual measurement station insures the best measurement with no compromise in precision and accuracy. Siemens motion control technologies and software are key to overall machine performance and data communications, according to Micro-Poise sources.


Contact for journalists:

Siemens Industry, Inc.
Alisa Coffey
(678) 427-8319
alisa.coffey@siemens.com

Siemens Industry, Inc.
Hollie Davis
(770) 751-4882
hollie.davis@siemens.com

 

For more information on this news release, interested parties may also contact:

AMETEK Micro-Poise Measurements Systems
555 Mondial Parkway
Streetsboro, OH 44241
Phone: (330) 541-9100
Stacey Urdiales, Marketing Services & Documentation Manager
stacey.urdiales@ametek.com

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.

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Hosokawa Alpine Implements New Zone Temp Control, HMI to Boost Production on Blown Film Lines

Machine builder utilizes Siemens hardware, software and communications platform on lines up to 11 layers of co-extrusion; achieving <1ºF of temp variation

Hosokawa Alpine American (Natick, Massachusetts) is a leading supplier of blown film extrusion systems to the North American plastics industry; with standard lines ranging from single-layer to 9-layer co-extrusion. The company recently rolled out its new 11-Layer X-Die line, featuring an advanced zone temperature control system that enables faster changes in recipe and data acquisition to allow on-the-fly adjustments for enhanced production performance. A recent installation of this system at a large multi-national Blown Film Company is already yielding trackable performance improvements at their plant.

Hosokawa Alpine blown film system, the X-Die with 11 lines

As Alpine’s VP of Engineering Jay Ragusa observes, “We had a very successful machine design from the 1990’s and it had performed extremely well, but we saw dramatic improvements in new controls and data transmission technology from our longtime partner Siemens together with their local distributor, Dittman & Greer (Middletown, Connecticut), a specialist in electric temperature systems and machine controls.” Among these advancements, Ragusa notes, are a new zone temperature control system, as well as the Box PC with full automation and visualization software onboard running with WinCC.

Alpine had a “light bulb” moment, as Ragusa explains. “We quickly realized this new system would give us the ability to design a machine with a complete zone temperature control system and remote I/O, plus the necessary hardware and touchscreen HMI to give operators and production management an entirely new approach to in-process control and product quality monitoring”.

The company conducted its due diligence, calling in various competitors for the business. Thorough testing in the Alpine lab pilot plant was conducted, with strong emphasis on component failure analysis, system fault detection and the robust qualities of the competing systems for 24/7 use in the harsh environment of the blown film industry.

“Beyond those benchmarks of evaluation,” Ragusa continues, “we were seeking a system with enhanced flexibility, so we could provide our customers a better way to change recipes in a quicker, more efficient manner, while maintaining a very high degree of product quality.”

Siemens motor and drive assembly, plus PLC and HMI, control the processing and allow fast recipe changes.

Siemens motor and drive assembly, plus PLC and HMI, control the processing and allow fast recipe changes.

After the completed testing and evaluation process in-house at Alpine, the decision was made to move forward with the Siemens system, comprising a new zone temperature control, Profinet communication platform, motors, drives, PLC and touchscreen HMI.

As the new system and other improvements were implemented into the first machine built and test-run at Alpine, a documented higher yield was achieved, with a higher degree of control accuracy. Ragusa notes there is an additional benefit of real-time monitoring and adjustment of all machine conditions.

This new machine included up to 120 separate temperature control zones. According to Ragusa typical systems allow for a 2º-3ºF variation in zone temperatures; with the new system that variation is reduced to less than 1ºF.

Jay Ragusa also details other system improvements made by Alpine on the new machine. “The new industrial flat panel on the PC has a wider screen for easy viewability. Plus, our older system, while modular, had little remote I/O and the new system brings us that benefit, too. The auto-tune function, combined with the better CPU in the PLC, gives us a much stronger package of internal software in combination with hardware. Since we were making the transition within a Siemens protocol, no significant software conversion was required and all data feeds continue on Profinet.”

A temperature accuracy better than 1ºF per zone yields superior, consistent quality in blown films.

A temperature accuracy better than 1ºF per zone yields superior, consistent quality in blown films.

Data transmission overall has also improved, he notes, as the communication speeds are significantly faster, plus the open architecture of the system can convey all data to the other departments seamlessly.

Two more advantages of the Siemens system include the plug-and-play remote I/O hardware and the open architecture of the control system. The quick- connect, plug-and-play remote I/O hardware reduces installation, commissioning and replacement time of the system hardware. The open architecture of the control system allows end-user adjustment of control parameters to suit each specific application and stores thousands of recipe data points. Alpine routinely customizes the front end of the controller HMI to facilitate easier customer training and a seamless transition from legacy systems for operators in use.   As Ragusa notes, “The field wiring savings alone are incredible, as our machines are fully tested in our facility, then dismantled and assembled onsite at the customer location.”

On the maintenance side, a customer can quickly determine component faults and either take corrective action or literally order a new component from the onboard controller, as the Siemens protocol offers internet connectivity.

 

For more information on this story, please contact:

HOSOKAWA ALPINE AMERICAN
5 Michigan Drive
Natick, MA 01760
Phone: 508-655-1123
www.halpine.com
Attention: Jay Ragusa, VP of Engineering or Alana Carr, Marketing Coordinator

or

SIEMENS
Digital Factory
Factory Automation
5300 Triangle Parkway
Norcross, GA 30092
Phone: 770-871-3848
www.usa.siemens.com/drives
Attention: Hollie Davis or Alisa Coffey

 

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.

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Flexible Assembly Modules Improve Production Scenario at Major Shock Absorber Manufacturer


Hahn Automation provides “glocal” solution to ThyssenKrupp damper business for stacking and assembly of assorted product types; enables quick recipe changes

Stackers and 4-axis FlexPickers integrated by Hahn Automation for ThyssenKrupp; used in the flexible production of various shock absorber products for customers like Mercedes, Porsche and other high-performance automobile manufacturers.

Stackers and 4-axis FlexPickers integrated by Hahn Automation for ThyssenKrupp; used in the flexible production of various shock absorber products for customers like Mercedes, Porsche and other high-performance automobile manufacturers.

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.

The DampTronic® Sky technology from ThyssenKrupp provides constant variable pressure, adjusted in milliseconds to accommodate road and driving conditions, utilizing two continuously variable valves to adjust the damping force in both extension and compression modes.

The DampTronic® Sky technology from ThyssenKrupp provides constant variable pressure, adjusted in milliseconds to accommodate road and driving conditions, utilizing two continuously variable valves to adjust the damping force in both extension and compression modes.

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.

Siemens drives, HMI, remote operator pendants and PLC technology operate the system. Hahn utilizes the Siemens global support of its products, while sourcing many components locally, thus the term “glocal” was coined.

Siemens drives, HMI, remote operator pendants and PLC technology operate the system. Hahn utilizes the Siemens global support of its products, while sourcing many components locally, thus the term “glocal” was coined.

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.

Each module in the cell is run by a slave PLC, monitored and controlled by the master HMI.

Each module in the cell is run by a slave PLC, monitored and controlled by the master HMI.

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.

Remote pendant gives the operators freedom of movement around the cell

Remote pendant gives the operators freedom of movement around the cell

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.”

Washers of various sizes are stacked on a piston rod for assembly, with differing levels of air and oil fill to suit the specifications of the individual products at ThyssenKrupp; modular, programmable work cells provide great flexibility in production.

Washers of various sizes are stacked on a piston rod for assembly, with differing levels of air and oil fill to suit the specifications of the individual products at ThyssenKrupp; modular, programmable work cells provide great flexibility in production.

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:

SIEMENS
Digital Factory
Factory Automation
5300 Triangle Parkway
Norcross, GA 30092
Phone: 770-871-3848
www.usa.siemens.com/drives
Attention: Hollie Davis, Sandra Tigert or Alisa Coffey

Or

HAHN AUTOMATION
3012 Kustom Drive
Hebron, KY 41048
Phone : 859-283-1820
www.hahnautomation.com
Attention : John Baines

Or

THYSSENKRUPP BILSTEIN OF AMERICA
8685 Bilstein Boulevard
Hamilton, OH 45015
Phone: 513-881-6394
www.bilsteinus.com
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.

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New Gear Motor Drive from Siemens

Motor-integrated drive offers onboard safety features and communications

Siemens introduces the Sinamics G110M, a motor-integrated drive for Simogear gear motors, offering flexible control, integrated safety, simple installation and a space-saving design.  With a high degree of protection — up to IP66 — this new gear motor drive provides the perfect solution to most material handling-related challenges, including conveyors, warehousing, logistics, baggage and cargo handling, post and parcel shipping, plus numerous industrial applications in the automotive, appliance and test stand industries.

Simogear gear motors offer high torque density, low noise and high efficiency — and now with Sinamics G110M, it becomes easier for designers and system builders to integrate gear motors into a variety of control architectures. Plug connections for onboard I/O ensure fast installation, while optional power connectors deliver even more time savings.  The system is delivered pre-configured and the drive offers simple yet comprehensive onboard diagnostic features.  Options such as internal braking resistors and motor brakes — operational simultaneously — and integrated features such as “Quick Stop” and the limit switch function make this system ideal for conveyor applications.

For uses requiring safety technology, the Sinamics G110M offers integrated safety functions such as “Safe Torque Off” (STO), which can be activated via a fail-safe input or via Profisafe, without needing additional safety monitoring components.

Sinamics G110M features integral USS/Modbus RTU, Profibus and Profinet / EtherNet/IP communication profiles.

To watch a video of the Sinamics G110M for the material handling industry, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgDxptBqpHg

For specific product information and inquiries, call (800) 879-8079 ext. Marketing Communications or send an e-mail to: mc.us@siemens.com

 

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Siemens Drive Selector App Enjoys Growing Polarity

SINAMICS_selector_app_title_imageSimply practical. Simply good.
Drive selector app enjoys growing polarity

For some time, it has been apparent that mobile apps have been spreading more and more across the industrial environment and have become a popular medium among users. One special feature in this field is the variable frequency drive app for the easy selection of all necessary components from the respective corporate portfolio. The online selection is always up-to-date, available in many different language versions and saves the user time — laboriously poring over catalogs is now a thing of the past.

Due to the special requirements in some cases, selecting the right drive is not always straightforward and can often waste valuable time. After all, the fields of application and the requirements regarding operating behavior and costs are wide-ranging. Whether the drives are used to operate pumps, fans or compressors, or to drive conveyors, mixers or kneaders, it is important to find the appropriate drive for the required range of performance and voltage quickly and easily for each of these applications. And wherever possible, this must be done without the need for expert knowledge of drive technology.

The Sinamics Selector app helps you to select a suitable drive in just a few simple steps and also suggests alternative options.

The Sinamics Selector app helps you to select a suitable drive in just a few simple steps and also suggests alternative options.

Assembling components by smartphone

In order to simplify this sometimes complex process, Siemens, for example, has been offering its Sinamics Selector app free-of-charge. This is a solution that displays the entire collection of products from the portfolio of low-voltage frequency drives — Sinamics V20, G120C, G120 and G120P — on the most popular iOS and Android smartphones and can be used both online and offline. This offline capability is of particular importance in regions which do not have full cellphone coverage. Since Version 4.0, not only have brochures, product videos and application examples (Fig. 1) been available to users and electrical distributors, but also more language versions.

Everything up-to-date

Katharina Roehrlein, marketing manager for Sinamics drive systems at the Siemens Digital Factory division, explains additional innovations: “With the latest update, Version 5.0, we have adopted the second generation of the Sinamics G120 modular Frame Size D-E, as well as the Sinamics V20 Power Extension up to 30 kW, into the app. In addition, we have integrated more technical values such as resistance, peak performance and continuous power ratings into the logic of the app. And for good reason, because we want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to find the right drive in order to save valuable time.”

As a matter of principle, when assembling the appropriate components, the Sinamics Selector app offers not only a product-specific, but also an application-specific approach. In other words: either the user knows from the outset which frequency drive is required, or the app guides the user step-by-step to the right drive by asking for key parameters (Fig. 2). The information held by the Sinamics Selector app is kept up-to-date at all times by the central storage of data and continuous updates. Bob Hendrickson, applications engineer at Wesco, one of the largest distributors in the United States, regards this as an enormous advantage over conventional catalogs, especially when the app can save him a great deal of time in preparing a bid. “The Sinamics Selector app is very helpful as it lets me create a complete bill of materials for a customer offer very quickly. This option saves me a huge amount of time since I no longer have to create bills of materials by hand. The app also makes it easier for me to respond to queries arising from projects when I’m on the road and don’t have any catalogs or other documents to hand.”

Bid preparation made easy

After choosing the required type of frequency inverter, the rated output, device options and accessories can then be selected and adapted individually — if necessary, also with the support of the respective Siemens contact, whose details are also stored in the app. Once the components have been selected, the user has the option of either saving or emailing them. To make it easier for end-users to get in touch later, the headers and footers of the email can be adapted individually, for example, with personal contact information. The overview includes actual part numbers for all of the selected components. This can be used as information for the customer, but also as the basis for ordering specific components or preparing an offer at the local dealer/distributor. Kevin Young, application engineer at electrical distributor C&E Sales Inc., in the U.S., also confirms this: “I really like the Sinamics Selector app. I copy the result into my bill of materials, which enables me to immediately present a bid to my customer.” His colleague Jay Swank adds, “I use the application almost every day now.”

Over 15,000 downloads and counting…

Since the introduction of the first version, the Sinamics Selector app has been installed 17,000 times on mobile devices worldwide — and the number is still rising. Apart from Europe, China and the U.S., this trend is being led by key markets such as India, Brazil and Mexico. “It is particularly important in these countries to have a solution in the local language which also functions faultlessly offline. The email containing the results can be stored and then transmitted when sufficient network capacity is available again,” adds Ralf Weber from the Siemens Digital Factory division responsible for the app.

Think global, act local

Due to the great success of the app in all language versions offered thus far, Siemens is planning the integration of additional languages, as well as the continuous support and expansion of the product range covered. The main focus here is on Europe, particularly the eastern regions.

 

For more information about the Sinamics Selector app, visit:
www.usa.siemens.com/sinamics-selector-pr

Access – online and offline
Cost – Free-of-charge
Platforms – iOS, Android
Languages – English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Russian, Korean and Turkish

Quicklink to the Sinamics Selector app: http://ow.ly/WFRe5

 

For more information on this story, please contact:

SIEMENS INDUSTRY, INC.
DIGITAL FACTORY
MOTION CONTROL — GENERAL MOTION CONTROL
390 Kent Avenue
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Phone: 847-640-1595
Fax: 847-437-0784
Web: www.usa.siemens.com/motioncontrol
Email: mc.us@siemens.com
Attention: John Meyer, Manager, Marketing Communications

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