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An increasing drive towards integration

05 November 2013

Control Engineering Europe finds out more about the benefits offered by integrated drive systems. Increasingly, automation and drives systems are being integrated to form system solutions with the aim of optimising the value added along the entire process chain. "Drive systems, sensors, and automation are now becoming a driver for change," explains Ralf-Michael Franke, CEO of Siemens Drive Technologies Division.

Siemens portfolio of products, systems, and services are able to work together, thanks to software and hardware-based integration along the entire value chain and key to this is its Totally Integrated Automation (TIA), concept.

The core element of Siemens integerated drive system (IDS) concept is the three-way integration of the drive train – horizontally from the coupling and gear unit to the motor and converter along the energy flow; vertically up and down the automation pyramid in the control architecture of industrial production processes; and digitally within the product life cycle.

Horizontal integration can enhance the machine productivity, quality of production, and machine efficiency. Vertical integration can enhance the plant performance or plant productivity, the flexibility and the transparency of production, and the produc-tion processes and provides additional functionality for safety, maintainability, and environmental protection. "The aim of this integration is to optimise value added along the entire process chain," explains Franke.

IDS provides a drive train that is optimised from the inverter to the coupling, includ-ing automation interfaces. It also involves the engineering phase, where different configurations can be simulated and optimised for use in production.

"The Integrated Drive System is an important step on the way to integrated product and production life cycles," said Ralf-Michael Franke. "Integration of the drive tech-nology into the TIA Portal drastically simplifies engineering, commissioning, and diagnostics.
On the physical level, because the individual components of the drive train are opti-mally attuned to one another in terms of function, the mechanical system and en-ergy efficiency will well suited to the task in hand.

The drive components are also seamlessly integrated into the automation environ-ment within the automation pyramid, via the TIA Portal. During operation itself, all systems – starting from the drive system and the field devices, via the automation level to the manufacturing execution systems – will interact perfectly. The transpar-ency and data integration achieved by this creates the preconditions for production with maximum value added.

Czechoslovakian glass machine manufacturer, Sklostroj Turnov, was one of the first companies to utilise the potential of the IDS concept, in a bid to boost efficiency and it provides a good example of how horizontal and vertical integration complement each other.
Originally, the complex inter-clocked process undertaken by the machine was con-trolled using mechanical cam rollers to define the timing for the control of hydraulic and pneumatic drives. With its latest machine, Sklostroj has replaced the pneumatic solution with integrated servo drives and control systems.

In this application the horizontal integration improves the machine productivity, the quality of production and the efficiency of the machine, while vertical integration in-creases the plant or system productivity, the flexibility and transparency of produc-tion and with additional functions, ensures security, maintainability and environ-mental protection. The objective of this integration is to optimise the value added over the complete process chain.

The new machine was engineered using the Simotion Scout 4.3 engineering system – and operated in the context of Step 7 V5.5. Telegrams can be configured, and technology and drive objects can be symbolically integrated. Communication is automatically configured for distributed synchronous operation between two con-trollers. All of the controller signals can be recorded and graphically analysed using the system trace functionality. This helps to shorten commissioning times and keeps service calls short.

The machine has a total of 12 stations and is equipped with 166 servo axes. Equipped with 1FT6 and 1FT7 Simotics motors, Sklostroj can design and build more compact machines. A central safety control is equipped with a fail-safe ET 200S Safety PLC IM151-8F, achieving performance level D. All safety functions are con-trolled with Profisafe, via Profinet. The complete system is monitored using the Si-matic WinCC V7 visualisation system, while mobile operator panels are controlled via Scalance W. To address various customer requirements and the selected cool-ing type, the new machine can be equipped with between nine and 17 servo axes per station. Depending on the particular product, it runs through each station with up to 25 cycles per minute. This means that the most modern container glass machine is equipped with the highest number of servo axes in the market.

Based on the IDS concept, the various units of the machine are precisely synchro-nised, offering increased productivity. The risk of collisions, especially at the transfer side on the cooling belt, is also reduced as a result of the control via the central vir-tual axis and the high cycle frequency in the microsecond range.

“With the new triple integration of the drive system and motion control system we can reduce the energy consumption of our machines by approximately 4% and in-crease our machine availability by 15% compared to the previous system. We also achieve a high level of data integration, which certainly pays off when constructing and commissioning the machine and in production," concluded Rolf Themann, MBA executive and technical director of Sklostroj.



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