Machine manufacturer boosts productivity with integral control concept

10 September 2017

Falu AG specialises in the manufacture of machines for producing and packaging cotton swabs, pads and non-woven cotton products. For its new punching machine, the company relies on solutions from Siemens for control, drive and engineering functions, allowing it to increase production speed and drive down manufacturing costs.

Since 1965 Falu AG has been manufacturing the machines that produce cotton swabs, pads and non-woven cotton products. The machines are able to produce 52 packs of cotton pads every minute. As the raw material is very thin and consequently unstable, and also has a tendency to build up a static charge, processing can be difficult. Falu also combines components from different manufacturers in its machines. 

“The predecessor version of the WR2100-SP punching machine required 11 different software files created in four different engineering environments,” explains Martin Triet of Siemens Solution Partner Brütsch Elektronik AG, which supplies Falu with hardware and software solutions for the machines. This situation entailed complex troubleshooting and analysis, as well as elaborate commissioning and maintenance. This is why the company made the decision to use only Siemens components in the new machine.
A single-source solution 
A Simotion D435 handles motion control in the WR2100-SP, while Simotics 1FT7 synchronous servomotors and Sinamics S120 frequency converters are used for the punching machine drive, and operators use a Siemens TP1200 ASi Comfort Panel. Communication now takes place over Profinet instead of a variety of fieldbuses, and the distributed I/O ET200 SP F-CPU (Central Processing Unit) replaces the previously used ASi monitors. 

The conventional safety wiring in the predecessor model has been redesigned, and this function is now taken care of by Profisafe. Using a safe program, a PLC 1512SP F-1PN evaluates all the connected sensors, switches, and pushbuttonsand actuates the safety functions. 

The power supply is now controlled by a Sitop power supply unit. 

The new software and all the components were engineered in the TIA (Totally Integrated Automation) Portal, reducing the time and expense involved in engineering and at the same time making for greater machine flexibility. “The modular structure of the software can be configured to allow the same machine to cover different types of packaging. Further transport of the pads into a separate packaging machine is also possible,” explains Triet. Another benefit for Falu is that the team was able to migrate some of the software from previous models with Siemens components to the new machine with its Simatic control and Simotion drive technology. This now allows feed, punching and discharge to be ideally coordinated.

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