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Siemens Partners with Morgan Automation To Supply New “Motion Picture” at Steel Mill

Fully automated non-manned coil handling cranes and coil transfer cars integrated with motion control and communications hardware; zero downtime after six months of operation

Autonomous Coil Yard (ACY) run at major steel company in the Midwest, operated by crane system provided to the mill by Morgan Automation of Alliance, Ohio. Myriad Siemens controls are onboard the system, both hardware and software.

A major U.S. steel mill in Arkansas required an entirely new approach to coil handling for its rolled-to-order production strategy.  Its engineering and materials handling equipment partner, Morgan Automation, devised and implemented a fully-automated, non-manned series of three cranes to work with two coil transfer cars accepting hot coils off the walking beam from the hot mill.  In manufacturing this system solution, Morgan turned to its longtime drives and motion control partner, Siemens, who provided a full complement of drive, plc, safety I/O, power quality meters, PCs, wireless hardware plus communication software and its TIA Portal for commissioning and monitoring on the project.  According to the president of Morgan Automation, Mark Sharamitaro, “The excellent reliability and performance of the Siemens solution on this project was invaluable in helping us achieve complete operational efficiency and zero downtime during the first six months of operation.”

Typical control cabinet houses drives and other hardware to run the crane system.

This greenfield project involved the handling of approximately 1000 coils or 30,000 tons of steel a day at the mill.  A typical coil in this yard is approximately 83” OD x 82” W and weighs 28 tons on average.  As the mill operates on a “made to order” mindset, there is a dual challenge of handling hot coils from the mill and organizing their staging for shipment by truck, rail or barge, with an additional quadrant on the ground for coils heading via the coil transfer cars provided by Morgan to the Pickling Line Tandem Cold Mill (PLTCM) on the premises.  In the proposed and enclosed coil yard, the walking beam would deliver the coils from the hot mill, then the crane grab would secure the individual coil and place it in the coil transfer car or on a saddle in the appropriate quadrant on the floor.  During low production times, the system would defrag the coil assortment into the proper positions to conserve storage space with full tracking in real time.  Each crane has a thermal imaging camera for temp sensing plus a patent-pending laser positioning system. The comprehensive data tracking is clearly displayed in the mill control room with real time KPI calculations. 

The goals for this new autonomous coil yard (ACY) included the indoor facility to reduce rust and corrosion, improved coil handling to meet the shipping protocols, reduced energy costs by eliminating lift truck handling and reducing physical distancing of coils, plus faster location of the coils on their saddles for crane handling into shipment staging areas.  Critical overall was the safety of the personnel, so a system of nine remote I/O cabinets and 21 safety gates was to be implemented.  Integration of the entire operation was to be handled by the proprietary Morgan CEPHAS logistic management system with a rules-based engine for algorithmic decision-making.  All the information management would be transmitted and handled by mill personnel, using the in-house platform and virtual private network (VPN). 

With those logistics, performance goals and system integration requirements, Morgan began the process of working with the Siemens team to utilize the full range of product and software options for construction of the optimum materials handling, motion control and data management system for the ACY.   According to Mark Sharamitaro, “We were bringing our established CEPHAS warehouse management system to this challenge and seeking to marry it to a single user interface, driven by the rules established by our customer, so there’s essentially a single bucket of data on each coil.”  In that “bucket” are all the physical characteristics and temperature of the coil plus the determined location for placement.  All these data are transmitted through a series of Siemens SINAMICS drive modules, SIMATIC PLCs and the SINEMA network monitoring server, complemented by WinCC V16 supervisory control for monitoring over long distances.  In addition, Siemens offered its SCALANCE wireless suite of ethernet switches and access points to communicate the ring topology and VLAN data to the mill control room personnel.

Morgan technician programs the Siemens PLC to coordinate with the Morgan CEPHAS system for ACY control

The Siemens SIPLUS controller components were used outside of the e-house because of the higher ambient temperatures, as these devices are built for more hostile environments.  Sharamitaro reported that the Morgan team actually tested these components beyond their published ratings, so his team knew they would perform in this application, especially at the moment when the crane would pick up a hot coil and hoist it up near the trolley with the controls onboard. 

Sharamitaro also noted the need for an embedded quality system to identify secondary coils on the floor and determine their transfer path.  As each coil is grabbed, a full battery of sensors, switches, I/O power supply, drives, PLCs and wireless communication sends information from the crane trolley directly to the control house.  The three 190-ton cranes are thus fully synchronized for handling the incoming coils from the hot mill plus the placement of the coils in the transfer cars and staging lines.  The information feeds the CEPHAS system of Morgan Automation, which makes the algorithmic determinations for each coil, based on predetermined parameters set by the mill.  An extremely efficient and reliable system of coil handling is achieved, as a result. 

Mill personnel (as shown in the video link) cannot access any of the four quadrants in the ACY if the lockout devices are engaged. The ground-based safety system literally “asks” the crane for permission before allowing personnel to access the area. 

CEPHAS logistic management system tracks every coil being handled

Leading the project for Siemens were Roland Najbar, business development manager, as well as Rick Ludlow, account manager, both focused in the crane industry.  Najbar comments on this project, “Once we had the full requirements from Morgan, we went to work assembling our motion control and material handling product and software suites to accommodate them.  The need for fully unattended operation and wireless communication in the mill presented some challenges, but our team responded with a combination of time-tested drive, wireless and PLC products as well as some newer offerings such as the SINEMA network monitoring system.”  He further noted that Morgan took the Siemens offerings to new heights of performance, through the integration with CEPHAS, the Morgan logistic management system that performs inventory tracking and routes every coil from the mill to the shipping stage in a time-sensitive and deterministic order of motion. 

The SINAMICS drives interface with the SIMATIC S7-1500 PLCs on this application to seamlessly distribute data and commands through a network of safety I/O, also supplied by the Siemens crane team. 

Najbar also cited the intentional redundancy in the drive safety and production isolation that allowed the cranes to keep working independently but in a highly integrated manner to achieve a non-stop production environment at the mill.  Through the Siemens SIMATIC S7-1500TF PLC, integrated safety is provided, along with the drives in this system.  The open communication protocol on the PLC allows for C++ high-level language applications, such as protocol converters, database connectivity, complex algorithms such as those on the Morgan CEPHAS system plus integration of crane vision systems and laser trackers. 

CEPHAS system provided by Morgan tracks the position and status of every coil in the ACY, divided by grid location for staging of shipments.

To evidence the energy savings, Siemens also provided its PAC3200 power meters that track and record power consumption ongoing in a system and efficiently communicate data over a network protocol.  Another key component in the Siemens solution here was the SINAMICS S120 Smart Line Module for crane applications, which features onboard regenerative drive.  This feature takes the excess motor power from a crane hoist, for example, during descent and feeds it to another component in the system or back to the grid for trackable energy savings to the customer.  Further, this Smart Line Module has particular application in the crane world, as it features a line-commutated infeed that is enhanced by the use of IGBTs that avoid commutation faults typical of thyristor-based rectifiers.

Morgan Automation is sister company to Morgan Engineering and part of the Morgan Industries group of companies, which has served the steel industry for over 150 years.  Morgan designs, engineers, builds, commissions and services its systems.  Morgan Engineering is well known throughout the world as the leading designer of overhead electric traveling cranes, a holder of thousands of patents and designs, and manufacturer of more than 30,000 cranes. In addition to custom overhead cranes for aluminum companies, steel mills, electric power plants, refuse facilities, container handling and general industry, Morgan manufactures equipment such as transfer cars, ladles, scrap buckets, presses, manipulators and large fabrications.  It has been in a close supplier relationship with Siemens Motion Control for over a decade. 

For a full video on this coil handling operation, please click here:

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New Sinamics G115D distributed drive system specifically designed for conveyor applications

Comprised of the drive, motor and gear box, this new distributed drive system is available as a complete solution for motor-mounted and wall-mounted horizontal motion control conveyor applications.

With its new Sinamics G115D, Siemens is introducing a new, compact and powerful drive system specifically designed for horizontal conveyor applications.  The drive system comprises the motor, drive and gearbox in one unit and is offered in two versions — wall-mounted and motor-mounted.

The Sinamics G115D drive system is characterized by a robust design with a high IP protection class (up to IP66 / UL Type 4X) and is suitable for use in harsh environments.  Thanks to its compact dimensions, the Sinamics G115D can be easily installed in confined areas.  The drive system can also be operated reliably over a wide temperature range of -30 to 55 degrees Celsius (-22 to 131 degrees Fahrenheit), enabling operation in deep freezing applications.

Sinamics G115D is suitable for applications in intra-logistics and airports, as well as in the automotive and food and beverage industries. Its power ranges from 0.37 to 7.5 kilowatts
(1/2 to 10 hp) for wall-mount applications and 0.37 to 4 kilowatts (1/2 to 5 hp) for motor-mounted applications.  The drive system can be put into operation quickly and easily with comprehensive integration into the Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) portal including Startdrive commissioning software or the Sinamics Smart Access Module (SAM) web-server for Wi-Fi setup and diagnostics.

To be prepared for digital transformation and to enable cloud-based analysis, Sinamics G115D is integrated into the entire MindConnect portfolio and is compatible with MindSphere applications such as Analyze MyDrives.

Thanks to Profisafe, the Sinamics G115D has Safety Integrated in the form of STO (Safe Torque Off) SIL2, which standardizes and facilitates the certification process.  For flexibility in terms of installation, service and maintenance, the solution is equipped with a plug-in connector and flexible connection possibilities.  The device is particularly suitable for interaction with Simatic controllers such as the Simatic S7-1200 or Simatic ET200 for motion control. 

Siemens offers warranty extensions for Sinamics G115D through its Service Protect package. As part of this service package, an additional one or two-year warranty extension may be purchased for failure coverage.  The package offers simplified processing under normal warranty conditions for the extended period.

With its new Sinamics G115D, Siemens presents a new, compact, and powerful drive system specifically designed for horizontal conveyor applications.

For more information regarding Sinamics G115D, please visit:

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

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 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


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

Siemens Industry, Inc.
Hollie Davis
(770) 751-4882


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

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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