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Integrated automation solution offers enhanced diagnostics

11 February 2014

An integrated automation solution has helped a machine builder improve production flexibility and control and has enhanced diagnostics for an end-customer.

Orwin, an automation and special-purpose machine builder, was seeking to provide greater flexibility in the production process of its automotive clients, without compromising quality standards. To help develop the solution, the company turned to Siemens Industry and Siemens’ Solution Partner, Cleveland Systems.

The answer has been the specification and adoption of Siemens Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) framework, which is now helping one of Orwin’s customers to address the demands of manufacturing in a sector where being able to meet changing market needs requires flexibility and responsiveness.

Tam Ashcroft, director at Cleveland Systems explains: “To improve system and manufacturing flexibility for the end customer’s 18-axis brake pad machining and assembly line capability we looked at the design and commissioning of the overall automated control system software. We selected the Siemens Sinamics S7-300 PLC, S120 18 axis servo controllers, Profibus distributed links and the MP277 10in touch-screen HMIs as an integrated answer for the machine’s control functionality.”

The reconfiguration entailed the connection of the S7-300 PLC to the S120 drives via Profibus DP. Standard Siemens telegrams were configured to achieve cyclic data transfer, giving full PLC control and monitoring of each drive, including the transfer each way of parameters and data sets. Traversing block control philosophy was used, giving 64 pre-defined movements for each axis and the S120 servo controllers were connected to each motor using Drive CLIQ technology. This provided optimised plug-and-play diagnostic capabilities.

The software design was developed and submitted by Cleveland and Siemens at an early stage of the project, along with sample code and timing plans for the new control system implementation.  At its heart, the modular software design allowed for straightforward system configuration, ease of navigation and future maintenance. This complemented the TIA approach, which allows for accelerated commissioning of communications between the drives, PLC and HMI devices.

Brian Murphy from Orwin said: “With the solution provided by Cleveland and Siemens, all control aspects of the brake pad machining and assembly production have been tackled.  As a result, the end-user has seen significant improvements in terms of reliability, repeatability, clearer diagnostics information, production flexibility and overall efficiencies for the brake pad machining production.”

John Inskip from Siemens Industry adds: “The system now has easily navigable software supported by the communication intelligence that sits behind the Siemens’ TIA approach.  In areas such as recipe controls, the machine operators can simply adjust the parameters over the HMI, and together with the traversing block movements that are also editable from the S7-300 PLC, it now provides the end user with the level of production control and flexibility that is positively supporting its business. 

Murphy concludes: “Siemens TIA has provided a complete automation control solution.  It is delivering tangible benefits for our customer and allowing it to respond to changing market needs in the highly competitive automotive industrial environment.”

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