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Goss Magnapak Inserter Performance Improves 15% With Siemens Controls

Siemens “Solution Partner” Advanced Industrial Controls provides Goss Magnapak inserting system upgrade together with Enternet Control Systems (ECS) in seven weeks.

In the world of high-speed Newspaper production printing and inserting, the need to remain at peak performance is paramount.  Recently, a leading bindery and newspaper equipment and printing controller supplier, Enternet Control Systems (Glastonbury, Connecticut) was presented the challenge to retrofit a Goss Magnapak newspaper inserting system.  ECS serves many of the largest magazine, catalog, and newspaper printers in the country.

Magnapak inserter underwent a total retrofit on the control hardware and software, including Siemens electrical components, software and HMI.

Turning to its partner on this project, Advanced Industrial Controls (AIC), a St. Louis area Siemens-authorized Solution Partner who specializes in field service and machine retrofits in the printing industry, ECS conducted a joint situation analysis to determine the components and software needed.  It was decided that a complete electrical control and motion upgrade was required, necessitating the replacement of obsolete and tech-incompatible components, software and HMI.   

The obsolete OEM inserter controls on the machine were to be replaced with a new ECS eNews Model 3000 Controller for monitoring and control of the inserter, along with downstream tracking and stacker control.  Interface to the new controller over ProfiNet was required to allow multiple machine components to be interactively linked.  Interface to customer’s existing planning system was provided through the eNews system as well as connectivity to the customers other four (4) existing eNews systems to enable flexibility in production as well as comprehensive reporting. 

As the systems integrator and controls specialist on the project, AIC utilized the industry-proven Siemens Printing Solutions system architecture, which includes all the hardware platforms and software libraries for high usability and standardization.  Having this capability handy drastically reduced the system evaluation and field testing required, from the sensors to the drives, PLCs, motion controller, HMI and wireless data communications hardware, as well as software. 

Padraic Stapleton, project engineering manager from AIC, comments, “Using our experience retrofitting machines across many industries and our in-depth knowledge on the operations on the Magnapak, we first determined what functionality was needed for this machine.  This included high-speed motor synchronization, safety requirements, high-speed signal processing to and from the ECS eNews controller, an ability to recover smoothly from bus failures, elimination of obsolete components, simplified operator controls and the ability for the customer’s maintenance personnel to troubleshoot issues.  We then utilized our experience with the various Siemens product lines and chose the appropriate components and software to meet the requirements.” 

AIC provided all back panel and prewiring construction offsite to reduce install and startup time at the end user location.

Stapleton further noted that an aggressive project schedule was devised to fit the customer’s production requirements.  This schedule comprised pre-engineering and fabrication that were performed at the AIC facility, including testing.  This pre-onsite work allowed AIC to minimize the machine’s downtime and the actual installation was completed in seven days, as planned.  The customer was ready to go online in seven weeks, also per plan.  “This time frame exceeded the customer’s expectations and, overall, the project was completed on time, on budget and without any hiccups,” Stapleton mused. 

An ambitious goal was set for this retrofit, as the result of these component and software upsides. The target for completion of the entire project was only two months, with installation calculated at one week and going back online in seven weeks. 

Functionally, all hardware was powered up, configured and tested at AIC by their personnel, prior to beginning the install. AIC prewired all the hardware and also manufactured the back panels for the hardware, to further reduce install time onsite. At the customer’s location, all installation was indeed accomplished in one work week, performed by AIC technicians, so no other outside contractor costs were incurred, and plant personnel were freed to perform other tasks during the install time. 

All work was performed onsite by AIC technicians, requiring no outside contractors or customer plant personnel.

The startup was indeed completed in seven weeks, including all I/O checks, drive/motor tuning, testing of the entire Siemens motion control system plus training of the operations and maintenance personnel. Every station in the entire line on the Goss Magnapak was revamped, including the PLC enclosures, main drive cabinets, hoppers, releases, master and slave HMI, with wireless Scalance data transmitters provided for flexibility and mobility in the system.

Following restart of the line and over a tracked period of time in production, the end user’s plant has reported an ongoing net production increase of 15%, compared to the line performance before this upgrade and retrofit of the motion control system. Benefits to the end user included the elimination of obsolete components, a substantial increase in reliability with the new Siemens hardware, increased diagnostic capability resulting from the built-in data tracking tools and connectivity on the Sinamics drive system, a decrease in the complexity of the machine functions due to the incorporation of integrated safety functions in the new drives and most notably increased usability and flexible staging possibilities of the eNews controller onboard. At the most basic level, the distributed I/O system is highly scalable and connects seamlessly to the central controller over Profinet.  A plug-and-play scenario is provided, making alterations on-the-fly more practical, faster and requiring less training time for the operators. 

Plant reports a net production increase of 15%, compared to machine performance before the upgrade.

From the safety side, all e-stops, pushbuttons and guard switches are connected to the safety PLC through integrated safety I/O, with Siemens ProfiSafe onboard to control the STO (Safe Torque Off) function to all the drives in the system. 

Device replacement was simplified, as the new devices can be detected and configured via the communication network to allow the replacement of modules without the need for any reconfiguration.  The system automatically addresses and names the replacement modules, saving substantial setup time per station. 

Pre-tested printing solutions from Siemens provide faster startup and operator interface. Increased diagnostics with built-in tools on the controller improve machine troubleshooting and resolution of any performance issues.

With integrally redundant Sinamics drive communication, in the event of one hopper drive or Profinet cable failure, all other hoppers remain operational and the drive can be disabled from the HMI without rewiring. 

Following restart of the line and over a tracked period of time in production, the end user’s plant has reported an ongoing net production increase of 15%, compared to the line performance before this upgrade and retrofit of the motion control system.  Benefits to the end user included:

  • elimination of obsolete components
  • substantial increase in reliability with the new Siemens hardware
  • increased diagnostic capability resulting from the built-in data tracking tools and connectivity on the Sinamics drive system
  • decrease in the complexity of the machine functions due to the incorporation of integrated safety functions in the new drives
  • increased usability and flexible staging possibilities of the eNews controller onboard. 

At the most basic level, the distributed I/O system is now highly scalable and connects seamlessly to the central controller over Profinet.  A plug-and-play scenario is provided, making alterations on-the-fly more practical, faster and requiring less training time for the operators, according to the end user. 

Stapleton concludes, “The Siemens drives were chosen due to multiple reasons, including integrated safety functionality, built-in high speed inputs and outputs that were required for specific machine functions, proven hardware reliability, simplistic overall hardware architecture, proven motion synchronization functionality and the ability to have the drive configuration parameters integrated into one software programming package.” 


AIC is a full-service integrator of electrical and automation systems, working the full suite of Siemens motion control components, robotic, SCADA, networking, power distribution, bar code, RFID and vision systems.  The company further provides turnkey control panel fabrication, field service and parts inventory for customers. 

With over 30 years in the industry, ECS offers its customers a wide range of inline bindery, newspaper, wrapper, mailtube and co-mail control systems for selective pocket feeding and tracking, multi-station inkjet addressing plus integrated camera technology for signature recognition, read and print capability, IMB and bar code verification. 

For more information on this story, please contact: 

Jason Tretter, President
Advanced Industrial Controls
1000 Eleven South
Columbia, IL 62236
618-977-4576
www.advancedindustrialcontrols.com

 OR

Dave Carlos, Sales & Marketing Manager
Enternet Control Systems
21 Sequin Drive
Glastonbury, CT 06033
877-477-1325
www.ecsbindery.com

OR

John Meyer 
Siemens Industry, Inc. 
Digital Industries — General Motion Control
380 Kent Avenue 
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Phone:  847-640-1595
www.usa.siemens.com/motioncontrol

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Siemens Engineer Shares Her Experience

Alessandra Da Silva, Siemens Electronic EngineerAlessandra Da Silva has spent the past 12 years working as an electronic engineer for Siemens. Originally from the southern part of Brazil, she graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from Sao Paulo University. Her first job experience came during high school, when she worked as an electronic technician in a Brazilian factory. This was the first time Da Silva was introduced to Siemens products, which she enjoyed using.

Moving to Sao Paulo, Da Silva worked as a software developer and also as an automation engineer and project engineer. She started working for Siemens in the IT department, then moved to product design and software development. Da Silva’s current job title is Head of Artificial Intelligence and Edge Computing Deployment. She works in artificial intelligence and edge computing, as well as participates in R&D to test new projects. While she is very motivated in these areas, Da Silva would like to combine her work in artificial intelligence with robotics, in the next phase of her career.

“A combination of advanced smart technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) empowers machines to perform tasks that were traditionally only possible using human intelligence. Within manufacturing, AI has evolved in its capabilities over the years and found innumerable applications in industrial automation,” Da Silva notes.

The benefits of AI can be divided across product, process and strategic levels of manufacturing. At the product level, AI can be used to deliver end-user benefits, while at the process level, it can be applied to automate and advance operational capabilities. At the more strategic level, AI can be applied to deliver insights that inform decisions made by management. Da Silva says the AI revolution will introduce several capabilities into future automation systems, including improved efficiencies, quicker time to market, increased customization plus reduced manufacturing and operating costs, integrative factories, effective asset management and more. In addition, artificial intelligence helps solve complex issues with minimal or zero human interaction, enhances safety functions by accessing industrial areas that are hazardous to humans and also solves a diverse set of tasks simultaneously. She adds, “Automation systems embedded with AI allow real-time integration such as between a programmable logic controller (PLC) and AI’s data processing capabilities. Because all devices are connected, there is a huge amount of data that is generated. AI further helps manufacturers convert the data into insights that can be used to predict equipment failures and prevent mechanical downtimes.“

Industrial Edge enables intelligent, high-performance data analysis directly within the automation system running on established standards like PLCs, distributed control system (DCS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) protocols. With Edge Computing, large volumes of data can be processed locally on the plant floor. It unfolds its full potential in combination with cloud-based analytics on the open Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Siemens Mindsphere, the company’s proprietary cloud-based technology. According to Da Silva, “This greatly reduces storage and transmission costs for users, as large data volumes can be pre-processed and only the relevant data is transferred to a cloud or IT infrastructure. The optimized data points, transferred to the cloud, provide access to more computing power and large storage capacities. With Industrial Edge, users enjoy all the benefits of edge and cloud computing, optimally tailored to a company’s specific requirements.”

Alessandra Da Silva, Siemens Electronic EngineerWhen reflecting on her career as an engineer, Da Silva was always interested in engineering and says she was influenced by her cousin, who went to a technical school. While she didn’t have specific mentors, Da Silva received encouragement from her family and also her boss at the factory who encouraged her to go to the university. During her internship, she was part of the maintenance department, fixing machines and programing PLCs. As a woman in engineering, Da Silva says she was fortunate to have positive experiences in her field of work. Although she says some countries weren’t accustomed to seeing a female engineer, she was treated with respect and appreciation of the competence she brings to her work.

In 5 to 10 years, Da Silva plans to continue working with technology and see how it evolves. The technology that most excites her in the future is artificial intelligence because, since its beginning in the 1950s, there have been constant new developments. Outside of work, Da Silva enjoys playing games, especially the digital kind. She lives in a smart home and always tries to learn more about technology, while she regularly converses with her virtual home “assistant”.


For more information, please contact:
Karen Kasik, Manager of Marketing Communications
Siemens Industry, Factory Automation
Phone: 470-709-3641
Email: Karen.kasik@siemens.com

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Siemens Sinumerik 828D Fast Package Program

Siemens Offers Its Popular Sinumerik 828D CNC Through New Fast Package Program

  • Pre-defined system packages with the most frequently used CNC, drive, motor
    and accessories will be stocked in the US to ensure quick delivery
  • Additionally, the offering includes a price discount 

Siemens Sinumerik 828D Fast Package ProgramTo offer a fast solution to US-based machine tool builders, system integrators and retrofitters, Siemens is stocking typical system packages that include the most frequently used Sinumerik 828D CNC, Sinamics drive, Simotics motor and accessories such as cables in their Elk Grove Village, IL facility to ensure fast and efficient delivery in less than 10 business days.

Additional benefits of ordering the pre-defined packages include a price discount, a simplified ordering process and a shortened lead-time. The program is subject to availability and delivery time will depend upon the stock available in Elk Grove Village, IL. Only customers located in the United States with a physical mailing and delivery address are eligible for this program.

“Siemens is bringing the Sinumerik 828D to a highly competitive price point in the US market. The 828D is a compact, panel-based CNC that offers machine tool builders very flexible machine design integration”, says John Meyer, Marketing Communications Manager, Siemens Industry, Inc. He continues, “End-customers will benefit from our highly intuitive and easy-to-use ShopMill and ShopTurn graphical programming interfaces, which increase machine tool usability and shop-floor productivity.”

There are seven pre-defined Sinumerik 828D packages covering the most typical standard milling and turning machines. They include:

  • 3+1 Milling with 6.5 Nm feed axes + 10 kW spindle
  • 3+1 Milling with 12 Nm feed axes + 22 kW flange mount spindle
  • 3+1 Milling with 12 Nm feed axes + 22 kW foot mount spindle
  • Milling with three 12 Nm feed axes, No spindle with S120 Combi drive
  • Milling with three 12 Nm feed axes, No spindle with S120 Booksize drive
  • Turning with 3 6.5 Nm feed axes, No spindle with S120 Booksize drive
  • Turning 2+1, 12 Nm feed axes, 10 kW spindle

With its popular CNC system for milling and turning machines, Siemens is offering the Sinumerik 828D Fast Package program for quick delivery to machine tool builders, system integrators and retrofitters. These pre-defined packages for typical standard milling and turning machines include the CNC, drive, motors and accessories (e.g. cables).


Learn more by visiting our website:  http://usa.siemens.com/828-fp

Follow us on Social Media:
www.twitter.com/siemens_cnc_us
www.facebook.com/SiemensCNC

 

Siemens Digital Industries (DI) is an innovation leader in automation and digitalization. Closely collaborating with partners and customers, DI drives the digital transformation in the process and discrete industries. With its Digital Enterprise portfolio, DI provides companies of all sizes with an end-to-end set of products, solutions and services to integrate and digitalize the entire value chain. Optimized for the specific needs of each industry, DI’s unique portfolio supports customers to achieve greater productivity and flexibility. DI is constantly adding innovations to its portfolio to integrate cutting-edge future technologies. Siemens Digital Industries has its global headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany, and has around 75,000 employees internationally.

Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of power generation and distribution, intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems, and automation and digitalization in the process and manufacturing industries. Through the separately managed company Siemens Mobility, a leading supplier of smart mobility solutions for rail and road transport, Siemens is shaping the world market for passenger and freight services. Due to its majority stakes in the publicly listed companies Siemens Healthineers AG and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Siemens is also a world-leading supplier of medical technology and digital healthcare services as well as environmentally friendly solutions for onshore and offshore wind power generation. For more than 160 years, the company has innovated and invented technologies to support American industry spanning manufacturing, energy, healthcare and infrastructure. In fiscal 2018, Siemens USA reported revenue of $23.7 billion, including $5.0 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

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siemens tire

Siemens Announces Collaboration with McNeil & NRM on a Digital Twin of the AUTOLOK® Tire Curing Press

Siemens has developed a complete digital twin of the AUTOLOK® curing press with software in the loop capability (SIL) for McNeil & NRM, a leading builder of tire presses and related equipment.

siemens tireMcNeil & NRM Inc, are two well established names in the history of tire curing presses who combined in 1992.  Now known as McNeil & NRM, the company has its technology base in Akron, Ohio and a high-quality manufacturing plant in Bucharest, Romania. The AUTOLOK® curing press is part of a family of presses whose designs are regularly updated to maintain cutting edge technology in the 46” to 67” press size range.

While the global tire market has experienced significant growth over the years, the industry has undergone several changes lately that are driving a re-focus of the technology. These include e-Mobility and autonomous driving. Competitive tire production needs to be highly flexible and react quickly to volatile market developments, while also meeting today’s high standards of quality, safety and environmental impact issues. Digitalization helps manufacturers remain competitive, as it provides heavy machine builders significantly increased flexibility in design protocols.

In the Siemens strategy, digital twins of the product, the production process and the production facilities, as well as the product’s in-plant performance, are linked to a single integrated data model in the cloud. This creates a complete picture of the manufacturing landscape and a closed loop through the digital world. It enables continuous improvements for best possible results, based on actual production and performance data feedback. The digital twin of a tire press helps turn innovative design into a successful new machine by providing design, simulation and verification, all in the digital environment. The entire production process is planned, simulated and optimized under virtual working conditions, before the press build starts. Furthermore, prototyping efforts are reduced considerably, machines can be optimized during development and machine operators can be trained, long before a machine is actually commissioned.

Using the digital twin technology from Siemens, McNeil & NRM can predict the operation of the press and simulate its actual running. The Siemens Mechatronics Concept Designer (MCD) provides the ability to achieve virtual commissioning. Virtual commissioning based on “software in the loop” is based on the TIA Portal, PLCSIM Advanced and the Mechatronics Concept Designer.  This is a crucial factor in reducing commissioning times in the real world and preventing costly machine crashes. In addition, McNeil & NRM will be working on applying NX software and Mechatronics Concept Designer tools to accelerate the sharing of information between its mechanical design and control design teams to improve the efficiency of the machine development process.  Going forward, mechanical design changes and enhancements will be replicated in the virtual world to provide operational data and design feedback to bring innovations to the production of tires.

Performance and maintenance data from production equipment and entire production lines will be captured and analyzed using Mindsphere, the Siemens cloud based open IoT system. Mindsphere provides analytics and connectivity capabilities, developer tools, applications and services to evaluate and utilize all available data in a meaningful way for the machine builder and end user alike.

Bill Henderson from SiemensAddressing the use of the digital twin provided to McNeil & NRM, Bill Henderson, the head of the U.S. tire industry group for Siemens, notes, “This collaboration marks a deeper involvement for our company in the tire business.  Both the digital twin and our Mindsphere data gathering and information management tools will enable McNeil & NRM, as well as others in the industry supply chain, to anticipate changes in equipment configuration and be proactive in providing high productivity and efficiency to the tire manufacturing community worldwide.”

Ed Bailey, Vice President of Engineering & Development at McNeil & NRM, also notes, “The Siemens and McNeil & NRM collaboration to create the digital twin of our 63” curing press provides an essential foundation for our product development roadmap. This twin is a prerequisite to accelerate all dimensions of development and collaboration with our customers, including software development, virtual commissioning, training, and press optimization. Further development can enable our customers to virtualize tire production machine cells, complete lines and ultimately the entire plant.”

More information on these developments will be available at the Tire Technology Expo in Hanover, Germany, between February 25 and 27, 2020. It features the world’s most important suppliers to the tire manufacturing industry. Please visit Siemens at booth 8224 and McNeil & NRM at booth 8040 for a demonstration of these cooperative capabilities.


About McNeil & NRM  

With a combined total of more than 150 years of experience and expertise, McNeil & NRM, Inc. stands at the cutting edge of the global tire industry. With its technology base in Akron, Ohio and high-quality manufacturing plant in Bucharest, Romania, McNeil & NRM, Inc. is positioned to remain a pillar in machinery supply to the industry. This can be seen in its dedication to manufacturing excellence, their commitment to engineering and aftermarket sales support and their pursuit of total customer satisfaction.

McNeil & NRM, Inc. stands to meet the future head-on by designing, manufacturing and servicing a new generation of tire production equipment to meet the most stringent processing requirements. This is backed up by its global footprint in North America and Europe which is supported by their international network in other regions.

About Siemens Industry, Inc.

The Siemens Operating Company Digital Industries (DI) is an innovation leader in automation and digitalization. Closely collaborating with partners and customers, DI drives the digital transformation in the process and discrete industries. With its Digital Enterprise portfolio, DI provides companies of all sizes with an end-to-end set of products, solutions and services to integrate and digitalize the entire value chain. Optimized for the specific needs of each industry, DI’s unique portfolio supports customers to achieve greater productivity and flexibility. DI is constantly adding innovations to its portfolio to integrate cutting-edge future technologies. Siemens Digital Industries has its global headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany, and has around 78,000 employees internationally.

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New Sinamics G120X Drive Series Specializes in Infrastructure Pump, Fan and Compressor Applications

With power range from 1–700 hp (0.75–630 kW), Sinamics G120X is optimized for pump,
fan and compressor applications

Siemens is introducing the new Sinamics G120X drive, a simple, seamless and easy-to-use drive, designed for use in pump, fan and compressor applications in industries such as water/wastewater, HVAC/R, irrigation/agriculture and in industrial environments. Sinamics G120X has a power range of 1–700 hp (0.75–630 kW) and can operate in a temperature range from -4 to +140° F (-20 to +60° C) with any standard motor, including synchronous reluctance motors (SRM).  It has an integral DC choke which improves harmonics and EMC performance. Sinamics G120X meets all the latest and upcoming UL, NEMA and EN/IEC standards for 2019 and beyond and offers up to 100 kA short-circuit current rating (SCCR) ensuring enhanced product safety and energy efficiency.

Siemens G120X

Siemens is introducing a totally new drive series for the U.S. market. Sinamics G120X drives are especially suited for use in pump, fan and compressor applications in industries such as water/wastewater, building technology and in industrial environments.

Sinamics G120X easily integrates into existing applications and is configured for cost-optimization and resource-saving operation, which ultimately helps reduce total cost of ownership.

The compact design of the G120X saves space in the control cabinet and can also be easily integrated in to MCC solutions (including plug-in buckets).  Even without an additional output reactor, Sinamics G120X drives enable motor cable lengths of up to 492 ft. (150 m) with category C2 or C3 filter and up to 1476 ft. (450 m) without filter and have hardware-based SIL3-certified safety functions built-in.

“The Sinamics G120X offers outstanding ‘out-of-the-box’ ease of use and is simple to commission and operate using its high-resolution graphical color keypad, known as IOP-2 (intelligent operator panel), as well as the optional Wi-Fi-enabled Smart Access wireless module — both optimized for pump and fan applications,” states Nikunj Shah, product manager, Siemens, Digital Factory, US.

Shah continues, “Sinamics G120X drives offer an automatic restart function after power failures and the multi-pump/staging operation mode allows the user to control several pumps using just one drive. Its energy-saving mode automatically switches the motor on and off to save energy and reduce wear.  G120X also has built-in energy functions which display energy consumed as well as energy saved.”

The G120X has Class 3C3 coating which is suitable for harsh environments where the presence of corrosive gases such as Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) is present.  A high C2 or C1 EMC category ensures the drive can be reliably used in any kind of industrial and public networks.

Sinamics G120X is compliant with all relevant EU and upcoming NEMA energy-saving standards and offers an operating efficiency level of over 98% (efficiency class IE2).  Its comprehensive range of integrated application-specific functions for pumps and fans ensures improved energy efficiency through amount of actual energy needed in line with the actual load which ensures the best possible performance and minimal energy losses.

Sinamics G120X is fit for digitalization and can be linked to Mindsphere by using Sinamics Connect 300 and the Mindsphere app Analyze MyDrives.  This offers users the opportunity to analyze valuable operating data gathered from the drive and enables the visualization and analysis of status information, providing users with valuable data which can be used as the basis for process optimization and maintenance strategies.  Mindsphere is the cloud-based, open IoT operating system from Siemens that connects products, plants, systems and machines, while enabling a user to harness the wealth of data generated by the Internet of Things (IoT) with advanced analytics.


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.  

Contact for journalists:
Siemens
Hollie Davis
(678) 313-7256
hollie.davis@siemens.com

Contact for product information:
Siemens
John Meyer
(847) 640-1595
john.meyer@siemens.com

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 379,000 employees in 190 countries, Siemens reported worldwide revenue of $94.0 billion in fiscal 2018. Siemens in the USA reported revenue of $23.7 billion, including $5.0 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

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Siemens Offers Optimized Control Panel Construction to Machine Tool Builders

by TJ Terrell, Business Development Manager,
Siemens Industry, Inc., Machine Tool Business

Given the multiple challenges associated with in-house panel building such as quality design, expertise, support and technology, outsourcing quickly becoming a viable option

A single source that can provide the design data, digitalization expertise, hardware, engineering, panel build and installation assistance, with factory warranty coverage, can yield myriad advantages for the builder.

A single source that can provide the design data, digitalization expertise, hardware, engineering, panel build and installation assistance, with factory warranty coverage, can yield myriad advantages for the builder.

Panel building on machine tools is no longer as simple as wiring a few components and calling it a day. Now, there are more deadlines, cost pressures, standards, new directives, plus an increasing pressure to innovate. Besides commonly encountered problems related to time, cost, compliance and quality, there is also an increased degree of automation in the pre-fabrication of cables and the automated production of sheet metal parts. In addition to the mechanical design and development of the automation concept, planning of the electrical power supply and distribution is the third engineering discipline involved in the production of a new machine. Electrical planning provides the framework for the automation engineer, as it involves specifying basics such as communication, topology and the control concept.

Increasingly, the daily work of electrical designers isn’t limited to planning activities. It now includes downloading, storing, processing and backing up data. These data management activities are an important part of the process, yet they occupy substantial time. To save time, machine tool companies need to create and implement a plan for handling data. If a machine tool builder has more than one electrical designer, it is worthwhile to relocate the product databases to a central server. Data only need to be maintained and imported once, then every user can access it. Since the engineering process is closely tied to other processes like procurement, storage, project-specific provisioning, assembly and inspection, it is useful to connect these processes electronically. All ECAD, or electrical drawing systems, are able to connect to typical Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. This makes it easier to calculate the price of a control panel. Prices are transferred from the ERP system to the product database of the ECAD solution.

Even though clients expect manufactured products to be high-quality, costs need to be kept to a minimum in order for companies to remain competitive. When machine tool builders think of cabinet costs, they typically think of costs originating from engineering, devices and materials, assembly and wiring. Engineering costs typically comprise 45% of the overall cost, devices and materials make up another 45% and assembly and wiring are the remaining 10%. However, there are also hidden costs like costs to order material, store it, the value of time from procurement, the time spent by engineering coordinating with suppliers or redesigning the cabinet and payment terms dictated when you order material.

Simplified designs are made possible by the expertise of custom panel builders, who bring experience in component clustering, footprint and enclosure space utilization to the task.

Simplified designs are made possible by the expertise of custom panel builders, who bring experience in component clustering, footprint and enclosure space utilization to the task.

Increasing cost pressures stem from various sources. In general, the complexity of the documentation to be created is constantly increasing. End-users and machine builders want a high level of detail for better and more independent production. The communication portion of the integrated components is continuously increasing. A basic controller now has measuring and monitoring devices for tasks such as energy usage or machine condition monitoring. This makes planning more complex and time consuming. Demands on service personnel have also increased, as maintenance personnel must receive all necessary information for component replacement quickly and efficiently.

Although a favorable purchase price is desired, this doesn’t automatically lead to an economical control panel. The electrical planner works with a product log before it is purchased or integrated. Unfortunately, the burden placed by a component on electrical planning is often overlooked in the purchase decision. The manual creation of a complete dataset for a new project in the ECAD software often takes more than 2-½ hours. Therefore, the ability to use existing data is very important. Fortunately, ECAD systems often offer complete data packages that can be downloaded via data portals.

The use of tools for daily work is also changing. Only a few years ago, a “drawing” was the main way electrical plans were created. ECAD programs offered functions for easy and precise placement of circuit diagram placement and their interconnection. Then, the concept of object orientation was added to the software. A placed symbol is no longer simply a collection of drawn lines, but one of many views of a device that’s integrated into the control panel. With object orientation and automation functions in every ECAD software, users can take advantage of these benefits in their daily work. This “toolbox” concept has been popularized in various industries such as packaging, printing, converting and metal forming machinery. It allows slightly modified and next gen machine builds without the need to redo the entire electrical landscape.  This evolution represents a significant potential savings for builders and integrators alike.

Easily optimized control panels are produced by qualified partners for machine builders.

Easily optimized control panels are produced by qualified partners for machine builders.

In-house projects often lead to delayed deadlines, wasted money and wasted effort. In fact, a significant number of machine tool builders often can’t afford building panels in-house.  Occasionally, in-house cabinet building is done to keep a workforce employed. However, in today’s highly competitive business environment, the builder must evaluate whether or not overall cost could be lowered by reallocating resources?  Often, this is not considered by machine builders, but could prove advantageous. Outsourcing to companies who specialize in electrical control and cabinet builds can establish milestones with contract manufacturers for timeline-based pricing, thus eliminating project management uncertainties and reducing time-to-market for the builder, beyond the time and materials costs.

Innovative projects or highly complex automation or robotic integration schemes often rely on multiple concepts to ensure they stand out in the market. Companies may lack the ability to have more staff working on developing projects. By working with another company, machine tool builders can use diverse teams of technologically advanced engineers to develop projects while eliminating the excess labor and engineering costs devoted to panel and cabinet builds.

As new software, automation technologies and tools continue to evolve, companies are placed in a competitively disadvantageous position. Tools and software programs can require a license or an expensive user fee. By outsourcing to a dedicated partner, machine builders can utilize the newest and most appropriate technologies for projects, in a cost-effective manner.

Problems with the equipment or the software can also lead to inactivity and unplanned expenses for a builder. An outsourced support staff monitors equipment efficiencies, diagnoses problems and repairs equipment in a more effective and economical manner.

Flexible set-up permits on-the-fly adaptation of control hardware, when design changes are required or subsequent iterations of a machine are produced.

Flexible set-up permits on-the-fly adaptation of control hardware, when design changes are required or subsequent iterations of a machine are produced.

By partnering with Siemens, for example, the process of panel building is streamlined and simplified. The company offers a unique product and system portfolio of CNC, PLC, drive, motor and other components in the control loop, backed by many years of expertise, data communications, software and tools. We further help the machine tool builder on the path to digitalization and also offers comprehensive support throughout each of the panel building stages including design, quoting, order, build and support. This achievement is often accomplished in tandem with a Solution Partner, authorized electrical distributor and job shop located in close proximity to the machine tool builder.

In the design stage, our company can assist with UL/EC standards and sizing optimization. Furthermore, the company offers component optimization, expert know-how and content-neutral devices. Additionally, the company can evaluate specification requirements and provide support regarding the application of standards and certifications, based upon the end-user’s market, physical location etc.

When quoting, Siemens and its partners can offer competitive pricing and fast response times to meet application-specific needs.

Ordering is likewise simplified, without complicated purchase orders and numerous line items, once the project details are set.  One of the key reasons for outsourcing the cabinet build is to simplify the procurement process through time reduction. For a typical package, there may be more than 200 line items on the bill of material, each of which must be entered and tracked by someone in procurement. Outsourcing allows that procurement person to focus on obtaining better pricing instead of needless administrative work. In addition, there is no need to store pieces and parts for the panels in-house, as the partners maintain that carrying cost.

The building of the panel takes place in a UL-Certified production facility. There is a dedicated project manager onsite to handle engineering change notices (ECN) and communication.  Our company and its partners provide quality control and assurance, along with clear scheduling and resource management. Continuity testing is performed, as well as automatic routing of the wiring and custom painting, per customer specification. All control panels feature a one-year warranty, pre- and post-purchase consultations, a communication log and a transparent ECN process.

There are several additional benefits when choosing Siemens to outsource panel and cabinet production. The company acts as the builder’s single source for all ordering, service, support and delivery, with comprehensive project management. Using a third-party to build a control panel greatly reduces the builder’s time-to-market. The total cost of ownership for the machine tool builder, which includes engineering, electrical and manufacturing engineering costs, is significantly lower when outsourcing, as well. In addition, our company has invested in a variety of panel shops to develop a “best practices” protocol for various machine categories.

Machine builders further receive competitive pricing by leveraging Siemens global agreements and enjoy extended payment terms, that is, terms at the completion of the project vs. when the order is placed.

Despite being implemented in the market presently for only one year, several machine tool companies are already realizing substantial savings with this new control panel initiative.

The company utilizes a global network of trusted partners with panel design and build expertise. These partners have years of experience and can optimize the overall design, cabinet heating and cooling, footprint, Siemens content, third-party content and more, thereby further enhancing the machine builder’s benefits.

Integrated Control Panels


For more information on this new approach to machine tool control panels, please contact:

TJ Terrell
Machine Tool-Business Development
Siemens Industry, Inc.
390 Kent Avenue
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
770-653-9612
tyran.terrell_jr@siemens.com

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Maya HTT and Siemens PLM sponsor premier showing of “First Man” movie in Montreal

250 aerospace supply company representatives enjoy hospitality, educational presentation and exclusive movie showing at Colossus de Laval in the Cosmodome

On Friday, October 12, approximately 250 suppliers to the bustling Montreal aerospace community gathered at the Colossus de Laval theater and entertainment complex for a premier showing of “First Man,” the new movie which traces the history of the first moon landing in 1969.  The film focuses on the life of Neil Armstrong, the American astronaut who took that “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

This event was sponsored jointly by Maya HTT and Siemens PLM, partners in service to the aerospace industry in Montreal.  Hosting the event was Ms. Rita Azrak, marketing director for Maya, who began the technical presentation portion of the day by musing that the actual “first foot” on the moon was Canadian, as the landing leg cones on the lunar excursion module Eagle were fabricated in Canada, a comment which aroused the crowd’s enthusiasm.

The three main speakers gave insights on their companies’ involvement in the industry and were quite optimistic for the future, as funding for renewed space exploration by both Canada and America is in the works with the respective countries’ governments.  Before the first speaker, a recorded message was shown from the first Canadian astronaut, Marc Garneau, now Minister of Transport in Canada and a veteran of three flights on the Space Shuttle.  He was followed by Mike Greenley, group president for MDA Corporation, a major aerospace supplier, George Rendell, senior director at Siemens and Marc Lafontaine, vice-president of Maya.  All spoke of the longtime benefits derived in our daily lives from the space program, over the decades, as well as the next major project now under way, the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, a lunar orbit space station which, according to NASA documents, will serve as a solar-powered communications hub, science lab, short-term habitation module and holding area for space rovers and other robots.  They detailed some of the advancements and planned developments in artificial intelligence.

The program also included a variety of successes achieved with Siemens PLM products, especially NX CAD and NX CAM through the Teamcenter of product lifecycle management.  Maya is the Siemens partner in Montreal and brings further value to these products and others in the Siemens suite as a Platinum Level VAR, serving a broad spectrum of industries, including aerospace, defense, automotive, marine and commercial building.

Many in the audience were quite moved by the touching story of Neil Armstrong and his Apollo journey to the moon and back.

For more information on this interesting event or the sponsoring companies, contact:

Ms. Rita Azrak, Marketing Director
Maya HTT Ltd
4999 Ste-Catherine Ouest, Suite 400
Montreal, Quebec QC H3Z 1T3
Canada
Phone:  514-369-5706, ext. 236
Rita.Azrak@mayahtt.com
www.mayahtt.com

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Siemens Introduces Updated Converting Toolbox

Software solution combines maximum performance with minimal implementation time

Today’s converting industry requirements are continually increasing, due to higher production rates, more machine flexibility and optimum product quality, combined with new substrates and greater demand for fast changeovers. Industry-specific technologies also continue to demand more from the winding drive and automation systems. Siemens today announces its latest iteration of the popular Converting Toolbox to meet these challenges.   

The toolbox enables machine builders to achieve considerably faster time to market by reducing the time required for engineering, programming, commissioning and documentation as much as 80%.

The Siemens Converting Toolbox has separate modules for each of the Siemens product categories typically found on converting machines, including SIMOTION motion controllers, SINAMICS drives and SIMATIC PLCs.  SIMOTION is designed for high-performance motion control applications with centralized control in conjunction with the SINAMICS S120 drive system. SINAMICS is ideal for drive-based applications with process-related control implementation in the SINAMICS S120 drive system with graphical drag-and-drop programming. Lastly, the SIMATIC platform applies to centralized converting applications implemented in the PLC control to work in tandem with the SINAMICS S120 drive system.

Converting Toolbox for Simotion, Sinamics and SimaticComponents in the Converting Toolbox take the form of pre-programmed function blocks.  Sample applications demonstrate how each function can be efficiently and effectively incorporated into a machine design, whether a modification of a previous generation or an entirely new design. In addition, some applications are ready-to-use, after only minor modifications and include basic HMI functionality. Systems can be implemented in Ladder, Structured text or in a Graphical function block language.

Additional features of the Converting Toolbox include converting base applications such as: center winder, unwind flying splice control, sectional drive with tension/draw control, accumulator, rotary knife with print mark correction, flying saw, traversing control, synchronized multi axis drive control, load sharing, diagnostics Web pages, project generation tools and converting library process and logistic functions.  These function blocks can literally be cut and pasted into a new design, with minimal programming time.

Other specialized application blocks are available upon request.


For more information, please contact:

William Gilbert, Converting Market Manager
Siemens Industry Inc.
5300 Triangle Parkway
Norcross, GA 30092-2538, USA
Tel: +1678 314-4222
William.gilbert@siemens.com
www.usa.siemens.com/converting

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.

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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PaR Systems Uses Siemens Digital Tools to Make Crane Operations More Productive and Safe

It’s happened too many times: injuries, fatalities, and damage to plant assets resulting from crane-related accidents. The complex work performed by material handling cranes within aerospace, automotive, and metal processing facilities can lead to dangerous and costly accidents. How common is the problem? According to the Crane Inspection and Certification Bureau (CICB), approximately 80 crane-related deaths occur every year. Of all crane-related incidents, 90% are due to human error, 50% of the overall incidents result in a fatality, and 40% of the overall incidents involve someone being struck by the crane or an object that the crane is lifting or moving. Most of these errors correlate to a lack of operator training.

The Solution

Fortunately, recent advancements in digital technologies have fueled innovation in the field of crane control, and new solutions have been developed that are safer and smarter. One unique solution for modernizing cranes was designed to help operators by reducing load sway by a stunning 95%. This innovative solution, EXPERTOPERATOR™, was developed by PaR Systems (PaR) of Shoreview, Minnesota (www.par.com). PaR is a global manufacturer of advanced automation, robotic, and specialty material handling solutions. PaR supports global customers in automotive, aerospace, nuclear, life science, marine and other core industries.

EXPERTOPERATOR is an advanced crane motion control system implemented entirely within the Siemens platform. The system uses equipment such as Simatic S7 PLCs, Simatic HMI Panels, and Scalance W Industrial Wireless Modules. Unique algorithms within PaR’s software enables crane operators to more easily, quickly, and safely control the movements of payloads, such as dies and coils in automotive stamping plants. EXPERTOPERATOR is most effective for applications that require high throughput, and precise manipulation of loads to meet production demands and prevent collisions with sensitive equipment and personnel.

EXPERTOPERATOR is currently installed on over 150 cranes worldwide – many of which are located in automotive, primary metal, and heavy equipment industry facilities. Users have indicated that EXPERTOPERATOR has allowed operators to control their crane loads with 95% less sway and 90% fewer “close calls” or collisions. Optional modules to the EXPERTOPERATOR platform provide robust zone control, sideload/snag prevention, and automatic load positioning.

How material handling customers are benefitting from EXPERTOPERATOR

Across 150 installations, EXPERTOPERATOR has improved personnel safety, reduced damages to equipment, increased efficiency, and reduced maintenance costs.

  1. Heightened safety of people and product – EXPERTOPERATOR minimizes payload motion by intercepting an operator’s commands and adjusting the output to emulate those of an experienced operator. This technology is proven to reduce cable sway by 85-95%. Thus, operator concentration can be focused both on the load and on the immediate environment surrounding the adjacent plant floor, instead of controlling load sway. As a result, both the load and the surrounding equipment are less likely to suffer damage.
  2. Increased efficiency and productivity – Many of PaR’s customers run 24×7 operations and have reported significant improvements in productivity. For example, one customer in a high-throughput locomotive manufacturing process reported that the critical path load positioning time was reduced from approximately 4 minutes to less than 2 minutes. This result is not atypical. End users who implement EXPERTOPERATOR generally report between 10 and 50% reduction in load positioning time.
  3. Easier-to-use crane operations – Increased productivity is due – in part – to the reduction of load swing, which makes the crane easier to operate efficiently. The intense manual manipulation ordinarily required by an operator to mitigate load swing is replaced by a simpler manipulation task: positioning a stabilized and swing-free load.

The evidence that EXPERTOPERATOR makes cranes easier to operate is further demonstrated by data captured through operator studies that measured the frequency of button pushes. While using the technology, operators pressed pendant buttons 60- 80% less than while conducting the same manipulation task without EXPERTOPERATOR. This metric demonstrates that fewer commands are needed to manipulate a swing-free load.

  1. Rapid Operator Training – Because EXPERTOPERATOR makes cranes easier to use, novice operators can quickly become proficient. In fact, new operators who utilize the technology generally perform as well or better than their more experienced counterparts who use conventional cranes. This technology effectively accelerates the rate at which operators learn to drive safely and efficiently.
  2. Reduced maintenance costs – Each time a crane operator pushes a button, electric current rushes through the power section of the drives. The current also flows into the motors, and this causes torque to be propagated in the mechanical drive train through to the gears, wheels, and finally the rails of the crane’s infrastructure. When the number of starts, stops and surges in current are reduced by 60-80% with EXPERTOPERATOR, the life of that critical equipment is prolonged. As a result, the mean time between failure (MTBF) statistic is improved by a factor of 2-3 times and maintenance costs are drastically reduced.

 

Siemens reliable products and time-saving tools add value PaR Systems relied on Siemens because they place a priority on reliability and quality.

PaR Systems knew their success would depend on their ability to work with a partner who could provide critical hardware that is robust for industrial environments, quick to deploy, and highly configurable.

In material handling crane operations, wireless capability is a key operational factor. The Siemens Scalance W wireless solution offered PaR Systems a wireless component that was reliable and predictable. PaR had experience with non-Siemens wireless solutions in the past that were problematic, both functionally, and from a manufacturer support perspective. The Scalance W wireless solution can be configured to operate in a less congested frequency range (5 GHz), allowing for a more robust wireless signal. Since installing Siemens Scalance W wireless modules as part of their solutions, customers have experienced 100% uptime of their wireless communications. In addition to reliability, the Scalance Wireless Modules offered PaR exceptional customer and OEM technical support.

EXPERTOPERATOR is an advanced crane motion control system that is implemented entirely within the Siemens platform. The system uses equipment such as Simatic S7 PLCs, Simatic HMI Panels, and Scalance W Industrial Wireless Modules.

Time to market is also important to PaR Systems when delivering customer solutions. The Siemens Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) portal provided a platform to shorten engineering time through its simulation tools, programmer productivity tools, and additional diagnostics. PaR Systems benefitted from unique capabilities when programming the Simatic S7 PLCs and Simatic HMI Panel. They were able to dynamically change the cycle time of the main control loop during runtime, which is critical for optimizing the performance of their unique motion control. Debugging capabilities were enhanced because the tool monitors values and updates programs in real time for instantaneous feedback. Such tasks that are tedious and time consuming within other platforms happen automatically and dynamically when using the Siemens TIA solutions.

Material handling requires a fine balance between precision, efficiency, productivity, and most importantly, safety. As a result of the collaboration between PaR Systems and Siemens, new and experienced crane operators around the world can now confidently perform their tasks and contribute to enhanced plant safety and operational efficiency, while reducing equipment maintenance.


To learn more about how Siemens and PaR Systems can help digitalize operations, improve safety, and boost operational efficiency, visit https://www.siemens.com/global/en/home/products/automation.html or https://www.par.com/technologies/crane-controls/

Siemens Industry, Inc.
5300 Triangle Parkway
Norcross, GA 30092

For more information, please contact our Customer Support Center.
Phone: 1-800-241-4453
E-mail: info.us@siemens.com
usa.siemens.com

For specific information on this application, please contact:
Adam Shively
OEM Account Manager
Siemens Digital Factory
Phone:  952-221-3791
E-mail:  adam.shively@siemens.com
Support:  (800) 333-7421

 

The technical data presented in this document is based on an actual case or on as-designed parameters, and therefore should not be relied upon for any specific application and does not constitute a performance guarantee for any projects. Actual results are dependent on variable conditions. Accordingly, Siemens does not make representations, warranties, or assurances as to the accuracy, currency or completeness of the content contained herein. If requested, we will provide specific technical data or specifications with respect to any customer‘s particular applications. Our company is constantly involved in engineering and development. For that reason, we reserve the right to modify, at any time, the technology and product specifications contained herein.

 

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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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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