Faced with an obsolete DC drives system and an ageing relay control which was making process improvements difficult, an aluminium manufacturer called on the expertise of Siemens solution partner, Iconsys and the latest technology from Siemens Industry.
The strip transport drive system on one of the manufacturer's high-speed paint lines was one element of the plant in need of updating to ensure efficient production. To enable the upgrade project to be as efficient as possible, a comprehensive study of the site was completed to determine if the original DC motors and six edge/centre guide systems were in a good condition and whether they would need replacing.
While upgrading the high-speed paint line, Iconsys also undertook several other projects. These included installation of a new line control system, replacement 220V AC and 400V AC 3 phase distribution, re-cabling of the line, installation of new operator stations and removal of obsolete cables and equipment. As a busy production plant, all of the projects had to be completed with minimum disruption to avoid interference with production schedules and potentially costly downtime.
Iconsys designed and built a 14 drive system using DCM drives from Siemens Industry integrated using an S7-400 PLC based multiprocessor control system. Ancillary AC drives were selected from the Micromaster 440 range and extensive use of remote I/O stations from the Siemens ET200S range ensured re-cabling work could be kept to a minimum.
Safe operation of the paint line was assured by using "˜ProfiSafe' communication between an S7-400F safety processor and ET200M/S safe I/O. Other networks used across the site included Ethernet and Profibus. The upgrade project ensured all areas of the line were controlled by PLC software. For example, drive control, uncoiler and recoiler diameter calculation, entry and exit section tension and accumulator control, oven catenaries and stitch tracking.
Another important element of the project was fitting the new operator desks with PCs running WinCC Flexible HMI software and enhancing operator visualisation with the addition of new SCADA screens to the existing WinCC system.
Iconsys also replaced all of the 3 phase 400V AC motor starters including DOL, soft start and inverter technologies. In addition, where possible, the areas of the plant fed from a 3 phase 200V AC system were changed to 400V AC, and where it was not possible new supplies were provided. The 220V AC system also fed all of the building services including lighting, heating and power sockets and new supplies were provided for this.
Nick Darrall, Operations Director from Iconsys, comments: "Due to comprehensive planning we were able to complete the full upgrade project in just four weeks. This was crucial to ensure the production schedule was not significantly affected. The improvements to the site have increased operational efficiency, enabling the manufacturer to meet and exceed the production expectations of its customers."
For more information about automation technology and industrial software from Siemens, please go to www.industry.siemens.co.uk/.