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User benefits include seamless network integration, integrated drive safety, versatility, easy commissioning and servicing
Siemens is extending its drive portfolio in the safety extra-low-voltage range for 24-48V EC motors by introducing a new servo drive system named Simatic Micro-Drive. The new system with UL and CE marked components consists of the PDC (Profidrive Control) servo drive in conjunction with a flexible range of motors and connecting cables from product partners.
Simple connectivity to Simatic programmable logic controllers (PLCs) helps significantly reduce the engineering workload, while integration into Siemens automation technology via its TIA Portal makes for simple commissioning and servicing. Attributes such as smart encoders and one-button tuning add to its plug-and-play startup. Communication takes place over Profinet using Profisafe and Profidrive profiles. The new Safety Integrated function SLT (Safely Limited Torque) limits torque by monitoring motor current in running operation.
The Simatic Micro-Drive will offer units from 100 watts to 1 kilowatt and allow side-by-side rail mounting. The Micro-Drive PDC is available in a standard (only hardwired Safe Torque Off (STO)) and fail-safe version. STO, SS1, SLT, SLS, and SSM Safety Integrated functions are included with the Micro-Drive F variant. TIA Portal can be used to activate the safety functions with a Fail-safe PLC via PROFIsafe. Operating data can be transmitted directly to the controller from the Micro-Drive and transferred to Cloud-based platforms such as MindSphere over MindConnect.
To address its customers’ requirements with maximum flexibility, Siemens utilizes product partnerships with companies such as Dunkermotoren, ebm-pabst, Harting and KnorrTec when it comes to the motors and cables used with Micro-Drive. The servo drive system is suited to a wide range of diverse applications such as precise positioning, shuttles for storage and retrieval machines or warehousing systems, automatic guided vehicle systems (AGVs) and medical technology.
Siemens expands its drive portfolio with a new extra-low-voltage drive for 24–48V EC motors. The new Micro-Drive system brings industrial networking and integrated safety to a wide range of applications including battery operated equipment.
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.Continue reading
Advanced motors, drives and rapid feedback controls make substantial improvements in machine performance at Grand Rapids supplier to poly foam insulation and padding industries
As Rick Hungerford, president and CEO of Edge-Sweets (ESCO) points out, think of the mattress that remembers, the steering wheel that saves lives or the bandage pad with built-in antibiotic. All these products start from blocks of cast polyurethane foam in various densities, then get cut, profiled or shaped by special machinery. ESCO is a leading manufacturer of such machinery, supplying the furniture, mattress, automotive, packaging, pipe insulation, healthcare and other industries with automated CNC profilers and horizontal cutting machines. Production speeds up to 840 inches per minute (21.33 meters per minute) are achieved on flexible and rebonded polyurethane, latex and viscoelastic materials, when used as either stand-alone cutting machinery or in tandem with automated materials handling and packaging lines. The ESCO end user base reaches into many industries in the global market.
On two recent developments in the company’s machinery line, an engineering evaluation of competing motor, drive and controls lines was conducted, under the direction of Hungerford, who notes, “On our PMIII-1530, a horizontal profile saw with a 1.5 meter x 3 meter block cutting capability, we worked with one of our most trusted local suppliers of automation components, Wes Morgan from Electro-Matic Products, who introduced us to the Siemens motion controller, servomotor, gearmotor and drive package. We were seeking a controls platform that would have global support and standards compliance, as more of our machines are utilized for production outside the U.S. today than at any time in the past.” Hungerford further noted that, while the axes of motion are relatively limited on his company’s machine lines, the high-tension maintained and the need for precise positioning of the cutting wire on this machine made it necessary to have the most accurate and durable motor and drive combinations available onboard.
Incorporating the Simotion motion controller, Sinamics low-voltage drives and Simotics S-1FK7 servomotors from Siemens gave ESCO not only the performance levels desired, but also the global application engineering, technical support and parts inventory benefits of this international supplier. “Our machines are in use around the world,” states Hungerford, “and we needed great confidence in our control package supplier’s ability to support the machines and our sales team with parts and service, everywhere in the marketplace. In Siemens, we found such a partner. Plus, their local representative here in Grand Rapids, Electro-Matic, had established a solid relationship with our company and my team.”
Functionally, according to Hungerford, the Siemens package allowed a single, common DC bus without stand-alone drives plus the system provided by Siemens is scalable to allow the cutting machine being interfaced with additional mechanisms and loading/unloading devices as part of an overall automated production line for customers. The PMIII-1530 is operated by a single PC plus a remote operator pendant that allows free movement with full operation control of the machine during setup.
In selecting and programming the proper components for the ESCO machine, Siemens and Electro-Matic Products provided an optimized solution using the Sizer and Simotion Scout software provided by the component manufacturer. Once all the parts are in-house, construction of this machine is typically achieved in approximately 30 days, according to Hungerford, as ESCO does the bulk of the framework and final assembly onsite at the Grand Rapids factory.
The operation of the machine (as shown in the photos) begins with the CAM programming software written by the ESCO engineering team, plus additional data programs made available through ASTM for pipe and tube configuration. Hungerford mused, “It’s sorta like Etch-A-Sketch, but hardly a toy. Our engineers can take the canned programs and quickly make the necessary adjustments to the cutting paths to suit the machine cutting capabilities and the workpieces our customers are producing.” The software program is vital in accomplishing both an effective cutting as well as optimum utilization of the raw materials, through the nesting of the parts in the master workpiece block, done by the computational algorithms in the program.
The workpiece is then loaded onto the vacuum table, the cutting head is positioned and the process begins. The material used by the ESCO customer, in this case, is Owens Corning Foamular®, a rigid polystyrene prepared in a tongue-and-groove configuration for industrial pipe insulation as the end product.
In operation, the motors, drives and feedback devices work in tandem to ensure a quick, smooth and efficient cutting of the material into the desired shapes.
The customer using the upgraded controls model of this ESCO machine is currently reporting a reduction in its cutting cycle times from 3½ hours to 20 minutes, according to Hungerford.
Commenting further about the drive performance, Wes Morgan of Electro-Matic noted that the Sinamics drive platform offered three distinct benefits. “The product line is consistent across a wide range of motor capacities, which is a real advantage for ESCO. Also, the regenerative feedback feature creates substantial energy savings for the end users, plus the Sinamics drives have a smaller footprint, owing to the dual motor modules and common DC bus system and this results in a more compact control cabinet.” He also noted the Simotion motion controller allows ESCO a single platform to perform simple axis to very complex integrated motion controls with a standard product, resulting in greater efficiencies in the design, programming and installation time for this builder and its customers.
On the second machine where ESCO implemented a controls upgrade, the HTX high-tension slitter/stacker incorporates a Simatic PLC, Sinamics variable frequency drives, Simotics servomotors, motor starters and contactors from Siemens. This machine, instead of a cutting wire, utilizes a tangential razor-like blade in a slit-and-retract motion, with the blade articulating on each pass through the material workpiece and then being automatically coated with silicone in the blade housing to maintain cut integrity.
The unit shown in the photographs here is the HTX 51-88 (indicating a 51” high x 88” wide x 132” long cutting zone), making ¼” thick cuts in a poly foam block. The machine is further capable of 1/8” cuts in production, as Hungerford noted. “This machine operates in tandem with other machinery we build, so the conveyor feed mechanism positions the workpiece for the cutting at the first station, then indexes it through the HTX to the next stations, where additional cuts and profilings are performed.
ESCO also produces vertical cutting machines, convoluters, roll splitters, contour cutting machines, metering and dispensing solutions for lab and production use, plus the company supplies fully integrated systems for polyurethane processing, including robots, curing ovens and mold designs to its worldwide customer base.
For more information on this story, please contact:
ESCO GROUP INC.
2887 Three Mile Road NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49534
Attention: Rick Hungerford, Jr., President & CEO
SIEMENS INDUSTRY, INC.
GENERAL MOTION CONTROL
390 Kent Avenue
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Attention: John Meyer, Manager, Marketing Communications
Watch videos of these machines in operation! https://youtu.be/4lpQ22d7niM