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Automation solutions for the converting industry increase efficiency

Increasing the efficiency of machinery and plant through mechatronic optimization, integrated safety concepts and uniform software tools is the focus of the presentation of Siemens Drive Technologies at the trade fair for the converting industry, IEC 2009, in Munich.

The engineering overhead for machinery and plant can be considerably reduced using the software package ‘Converting Toolbox’ from Siemens. Services such as Mechatronic Support provide for more flexibility in machine design, increase cycle rates and reduce changeover times and maintenance costs. Integrated safety solutions reduce wiring costs and increase machine safety.

These products and systems help to boost both the efficiency and productivity of an application considerably. The requirements users place on machinery and plant performance are increasing constantly while, at the same time, new concepts for efficiency and productivity are in demand. This also changes the requirements for automation solutions and the interplay of mechanical system, electronics and software in converting machines which primarily call for exact synchronization of multi-axis systems as well as highly dynamic winders or high-precision tension control and printmark correction. At the trade fair, Siemens is presenting solutions for boosting efficiency and productivity in sophisticated narrow-web applications such as label production.

Here, high-quality printing at low operating costs is required. In contrast to short-grain printing machines, motives and printing lengths are smaller and the higher resolution requires improved quality of the first print and a higher printing performance of the various print methods that are also simultaneously used.

The basis of the automation solutions for the converting industry is the Simotion motion control system. Printing quality and stability are ensured by the register control system integrated into Simotion with directly connected cameras. Register control is suitable for all printing methods and can be adapted to specific requirements thanks to the flexible programming typical of Simotion. By means of simulation tools, machines and applications can be optimized at the engineering phase.

For the machine manufacturer, this reduces development times, helps to save prototyping costs and shortens the time to market. For the user, these tools curtail the commissioning phase and help to reduce the time and costs spent on training and maintenance. Siemens offers a finely tuned software package especially for the converting industry. The Converting Toolbox comprises ready-to-apply (RtA) solutions based on the Simotion motion control platform and the Sinamics drive family. Ready-made and tested applications, such as flying saw, automatic splice, winder, laying device, festoon or cross cutter are contained in the Converting Toolbox. The individual functions can also be easily combined with each other, so that a complete converting line can be automated with minimum time and effort. The graphical programming interface allows the toolbox to be easily integrated into specific applications. Industry-specific solutions can be implemented simply thanks to the open, parameterizable open-source blocks.

Furthermore, Siemens is using the fair to showcase integrated safety solutions for machines and applications. Safety Integrated stands for a finely matched product range, the individual components of which can communicate with each other safely via standard busses.

The Safety Integrated components fulfill the safety-related requirements of the corresponding standards and are certified by accredited organizations, such as the BG Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BGIA) and the German Technical Inspectorate (TÜV). Intelligent safety functions, such as Safe Operating Stop, Safe Limited Speed, Safe Speed Monitor are already integrated in the Sinamics drive system featuring the S110 and S120 converters. The Sinamics range of drives covers both applications with single drives as well as multi-axis applications with high torque accuracy and dynamics.

The Siemens Industry Sector (Erlangen, Germany) is the worldwide leading supplier of production, transportation, building and lighting technologies. With integrated automation technologies as well as comprehensive industry-specific solutions, Siemens increases the productivity, efficiency and flexibility of its customers in the fields of industry and infrastructure. The Sector consists of six Divisions: Building Technologies, Drive Technologies, Industry Automation, Industry Solutions, Mobility and Osram. With around 222,000 employees worldwide Siemens Industry achieved in fiscal 2008 a profit of EUR3.86 billion with revenues totaling EUR38 billion.

The Siemens Drive Technologies Division (Nuremberg, Germany) is the world's leading supplier of products and services for production machinery and machine tools. Drive Technologies offers integrated technologies that cover the entire drive train with electrical and mechanical components. This includes standard products but also encompasses industry-specific control and drive solutions for metal forming, printing and electronic manufacturing as well as solutions for glass, wood, plastic, ceramic, textile and packaging equipment and crane systems. The services provided by the Division include mechatronics support in addition to online services for web-based fault management and preventive maintenance. With around 39,900 employees worldwide Siemens Drive Technologies achieved in fiscal 2008 total sales of EUR8.9 billion.

Volker M. Banholzer | Siemens Industry
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