spectrum

siemensindustry

spectrum

spectrum

October 2012

METAL FORMING

The Magazine for the Metalworking Industry

Press Line Simulation Parallels Processes

Fast Set-Up

of Press Lines

Servo-presses

Energy-Saving

Servo Technology

Hydroforming

Precise

Repeatability


Contents spectrum METAL FORMING 2012

page 14

page 22

page 24

Wilhelm Media Sabatier / M. Laurent

Andritz Metals, Bretten

Andritz Kaiser manufactures

servo-presses with energysaving

drive concept

Three-piece metal cans are

produced in record time with

Simotion

Sinamics converters form

the centerpiece of the

cut-to-length line from Kohler

spectrum METAL FORMING 2012

Editor

Siemens Aktiengesellschaft,

Gleiwitzer Str. 555, 90475 Nuremberg

Germany

Drive Technologies Division

CEO Ralf-Michael Franke

Editorial Responsibility in Accordance

with the German Press Law

Benjamin Schröder

Responsible for Technical Content

Bernd Heuchemer

Editorial Committee

Elke Pilhöfer, Stephan Schäufele

Cover picture: Siemens AG / P. Körber

2 spectrum METAL FORMING 2012

p Editorial

p Press simulation

4 Shortest Possible Set-Up Time

for Press Lines

Press Line Simulation (PLS)

6 Productivity Boost for

Press Lines

Volkswagen AG, Germany

p Press automation

8 Automation Made Easy

AP&T AB, Sweden

p Servo-presses

10 Servo-electric

Hydraulic Pumps

Lasco Umformtechnik GmbH,

Germany

12 New Approaches in

Metal Forming

ebu Burkhardt GmbH, Germany

14 Pioneering Drive Concept

Andritz Kaiser GmbH, Germany

p Retrofi t

16 Retrofi t Delivers New

Maximum Output

Automatic-Systeme Dreher GmbH,

Germany

Publishing House

Publicis Publishing,

P.O. box 32 40, 91050 Erlangen

Germany

Tel.: +49 (0) 91 31 91 92-5 01

Fax: +49 (0) 91 31 91 92-5 94

magazines@publicis.de

Editorial staff: G. Stadlbauer, D. Pott

Layout: R. Degenkolbe, N. Wachter

Copy editors: S. Wanke, S. Zingelmann

DTP: M. Willms

Print: Druckerei Wünsch, Neumarkt

Germany

Circulation: 2.000

The following products are trademarks

of Siemens AG:

ET 200, DRIVE-CLiQ, MICROMASTER, MP,

MP377, S7-300, SCALANCE, SIMATIC,

SIMATIC Multi Panel, SIMATIC NET, SIMATIC

Panel PC, SIMATIC Safety Integrated,

SIMOTICS, SIMOTION, SimoTrans, SINAMICS,

SINUMERIK, SIPLUS, SITRANS, STEP, WinCC

If trademarks, technical solutions or similar

are not included in this list, it does not imply

they are not protected.

Job number: 002800/41994

Order-Nr.: E20001-A1740-P620-X-7600

p Deep drawing presses

18 Optimally Tested

S. Dunkes GmbH, Germany

p Forging presses

20 Hot Rolls

TMP, Russia

p Packaging machines

22 Safely Packaged

Sabatier S.A.S., France

p Strip leveling

24 Gentle, Fast, and Safe

Kohler Maschinenbau GmbH,

Germany

p Hydroforming machines

26 Precise Repeatability

Silfax, France

The information provided in this magazine

contains merely general descriptions or

characteristics of performance which in

actual case of use do not always apply as

described or which may change as a result of

further development of the products. An

obligation to provide the respective

characteristics shall only exist if expressly

agreed in the terms of contract.

© 2012 by Siemens Aktiengesellschaft

Munich and Berlin. All rights reserved by the

publisher. This edition was printed on

environmentally friendly chlorine-free paper.

Printed in Germany


Editorial

“ Extensive

portfolio with

press expertise”

Metal-Forming Team

Speed, productivity, and fl exibility are the key requirements for machines in the

metal-forming industry. Siemens offers an extensive portfolio of solutions for

servo-presses that is gaining increasing recognition worldwide. It is only possible

to achieve this success because we constantly adapt our products to current

requirements. As a result, we have supplemented our range of motors at the

upper and lower end, respectively, with the Simotics T-1FW4 heavy-duty torque

motor – perfect for large machines with just under 30,000 Nm of torque –

and the Simotics T-1FW3 heavy-duty torque motor with a shaft height of 200,

designed for smaller machines. In terms of software, we have extended our

intelligent path control with multipoint and oscillation functions.

There have also been a few changes with regard to energy management. We now

offer the option of both kinetic and electrical storage. The key feature here is that

the energy is kept in the system, resulting in a smaller connected load. We can

also provide suggestions to help you optimize the design of your press. Against

a background of increasingly scarce resources, energy effi ciency is rapidly gaining

in importance. It is possible to operate hydraulic presses considerably more

effi ciently with the help of Sinamics servo-pumps. The result is energy savings

of up to 70 percent.

The Press Line Simulation software is an additional highlight in our already

extensive portfolio. It is used for comprehensive programming, analysis, and

simulation of multistage presses with the aim of exploiting their potential to the

fullest. Combining the planning simulation tool with automation is the most

important innovation we have introduced in this area. It has created a direct link

between two previously separate areas – a world fi rst with countless advantages

from which you can benefi t.

In order to make our extensive expertise completely available to you, each area is

supervised by a designated specialist from our team. Regardless of the problem –

the drafting of safety concepts, the hydraulics of a new press, or training courses

for commissioning – we have the right contact with the right answers. See for

yourself!

Your Metal-Forming Team

spectrum METAL FORMING 2012 3


Press simulation

p Press Line Simulation (PLS)

Shortest Possible Set-Up

Time for Press Lines

If the many independent process steps of a press line are simulated, it is

possible to optimize tools, material fl ows, and press movements on the PC.

The result is fast production start-up and high cycle rates.

During press set-up – that is, the preparation,

installation, and optimization of the press

lines for a workpiece – it is necessary to

coordinate and synchronize a large number of technological

components, mechanical settings, and

automation parameters while adhering to a chronological

sequence of work steps. Due to the highly

complex nature of this process, it is almost always

necessary to carry out several time-consuming correction

cycles on tools, transfer devices, and control

parameters, and in the past this has made set-up

both time-consuming and expensive.

Using simulation to save time

Mapping the press line set-up in a simulation environment

such as Press Line Simulation (PLS) remedies

this problem. Based on a technically precise and

PLS at a glance

3 Method planning and material fl ow: Checking

whether the sheet metal parts can pass through the

press in the way planned

3 Determination of the stroke rate: Calculation of the

maximum stroke rate for various scenarios of sheet

metal part transport

3 Tool verifi cation: Simulation of driver and slide

combinations, testing of tools for internal collisions

3 Final inspection and documentation: Checking for

external collisions, issuing of certifi cates,

communication with others involved in the process

4 spectrum METAL FORMING 2012

modularly designed model of the press line, PLS

allows both the basic manufacturing process and all

the process-relevant details to be defi ned on the PC,

adapted to each other, optimized, and checked. It is

also possible to compare and contrast alternative

process strategies or motion sequences quickly and

with very little effort, as well as to verify tools and

fi xtures based on check calculations. As a result,

a great deal of time is saved by simulation during

press set-up. When using the conventional procedure,

checking cannot begin until the relevant

design phases are complete or the tools and fi xtures

have already been constructed.

Accurate mapping of the press line

The Press Line Simulation software from Siemens

comprises a standard basic software program with

the simulation algorithm and user interface as well

as libraries containing basic models adapted to the

specific line of all the simulation components

required (press stations, drawing cushions, blank

and orientation stations, material supply and storage,

tooling components, and control and drive system).

This means that set-up using PLS is suitable for

very different press designs but provides the maximum

benefi t in servo-presses and press lines with

electronic transfer.

To use PLS in a real press line, the existing model

components are adapted so that they match the

conditions of the real press line as accurately as possible

– particularly with regard to collision-relevant

geometries and important programming parameters.

The PLS software structure enables separate

processing of each functional area of a press line,

with the result that every PLS installation is equipped

with the press-specific functions required in that


Siemens AG

Install error-free tools

particular case. Workpiece and tool data are imported

from the CAD/CAM system in order to set up the line

for a specifi c tool set. Then the production process is

planned, verified, and optimized down to the last

detail on the PC. The collision testing includes the

installation space of the tool and possible collisions

during sheet transport. In addition, a simplifi ed fi nite

element method (FEM) process in the PLS calculates

the dynamic deformation of the sheet metal according

to the stroke rate. It is thus possible to achieve

reliable, collision-free transport and precise positioning

of the metal sheets even at very high stroke

rates.

Optimum combination of controller and PLS

It is particularly easy to reliably link the simulation

with the real press lines if the press simulation

includes not only the actual software used on the

press’s hardware controllers but also enables direct

data exchange with the press controller. This is the

case with PLS for Simotion, the motion control system

used in many press lines. Thus, it is possible to

query the current motion curves of the plunger,

transfer them from the Simotion controllers, and

visualize them in the simulation. Electronic cams

optimized and verifi ed in the simulation can be

loaded directly into the controller for the individual

drives of the press and the transfer, which not only

saves time but also considerably reduces the probability

of transmission errors.

Saving time, reducing costs, and

improving productivity

With PLS, press set-up becomes easier, faster, and

safer, which speeds production start-up and reduces

unproductive time. It is also possible to increase the

productivity of the press line or at least utilize it better.

What’s more, with PLS it becomes much easier to

control additional manufacturing processes, such as

the use of multicavity molds. Overall, the use of PLS

leads to a signifi cant increase in production capacity

and provides the fl exibility to respond to requests at

short notice. For this reason, press line simulation is

becoming increasingly essential in competitive markets

such as contract manufacturing and component

supply industries. p

info

contact

PLS offers many advantages such as the

calculation of the dynamic deformation of

sheet metal at high stroke rates, for example

Reduce set-up time

www.siemens.com/plm

ulrich.lorenz@siemens.com

Increase stroke rate

Improve fi xture construction

spectrum METAL FORMING 2012 5


Press simulation

6 spectrum METAL FORMING 2012

p Volkswagen AG, Germany

Productivity Boost

for Press Lines

Higher stroke rates, fl exible manufacturing, and quick

product changeovers – these are just some of the benefi ts

of implementing electronic transfer in the Volkswagen

press p shop pin Wolfsburg. g

Volkswagen AG / Siemens AG

The manufacture of

body panels in the

Volkswagen press

shop involves

frequent product and

tool changeovers


As part of a modernization of the press

shop, Volkswagen Wolfsburg decided to

retrofit three 15-year-old press lines.

Because of the increasing diffi culty of sourcing

spare parts for the control technology, the project

team decided to change the mechanical transfer in

the lines to motion-controlled servodrives.

Retrofi t allows rapid resetting of the lines

Volkswagen modernized the press lines itself, but

Siemens was involved at an early stage as a partner

for the electrotechnical equipment. With regard to

the hardware and software, Volkswagen was able

to use internal standards that had been drawn up

jointly with Siemens in the course of previous projects.

“For example, we are using fail-safe Simatic

PLC and Simotion hardware controllers. On the

software side we are using, among other things,

a hydraulic controller developed by Siemens and

Fraunhofer,” explains Mark Walz, Volkswagen project

manager and responsible for press retrofi ts at

the Wolfsburg press shop. The three press lines are

being used to make various body panels, and this

requires frequent changes of products and tools. It

is therefore important for production planning to be

able to reset the lines quickly when required. Also,

the tools, settings, and motion profi les need to be

interchangeable between the lines. This means that

all three lines must be able to produce multiple

parts.

Press line simulation maximizes potential

Despite the fact that the lines have different pressing

forces, Volkswagen has equipped all three with

identical components – that is, equivalent feeds,

drive controls, and motors. “The savings far outweigh

the extra costs of the individual components,”

stresses Walz. The installation of the multiaxis

electronic transfer system also enhances the

possibilities for positioning the sheet metal. The

performance of the planned transfer was checked

in advance via simulation. To do this, the Press Line

Simulation software produced a virtual model simulating

all mechanical, electrical, and software components

that are relevant for dynamic motion control.

“Without being able to test it in this way, you

can’t really fully exploit the potential of a servodriven

transfer,” says Walz. Initial simulations then

also confirmed that additional time would be

required for reliable sheet metal transport at higher

stroke rates. The time required to reduce the maximum

acceleration was gained by means of a phase

displacement of the plunger. This meant that safe

parts transfer was possible despite the higher

stroke rates.

Increased productivity and high availability

For the fi rst time, the modifi ed press lines now have

a direct data connection between the press line simulation

and the press line controllers. Thus, the prepared

motion profi les can be transferred to the plant

in a matter of seconds. Similarly, motion profi les that

exist on the plant can be loaded into the simulation

software, optimized, and transferred back to the

controller. In this way the simulation not only

reduces the set-up times for introducing new workpieces

but also makes for quicker resumption of production

after tool changeovers. In the long term,

the associated increase in productivity meant that

the number of press lines could be reduced from

17 to 8. This offers considerable potential savings,

but it also increases dependence upon the individual

machines. Consequently, another important objective

of the retrofit was to achieve availability of

at least 96 percent. The press lines are therefore

monitored by the Siplus CMS condition monitoring

system.

Another welcome outcome is the drastic reduction

in energy consumption. Thanks to the DC link coupling

of the Sinamics converter, the braking energy

that is regularly produced during cyclical movements

can be directly reused for acceleration processes.

Moreover, high-maintenance uninterrupted power

supplies can be eliminated completely. Because of

the consistent DC link, the kinetic energy stored in

the press is suffi cient to bring all the axes into a safe

state in the event of a power outage and to run

down all the control technology in an orderly manner.

Simple, cost-effective, and fl exible

Everyone involved was delighted by the greater simplicity

of the automation system and has rated the

project a huge success. The retrofit has made an

important contribution toward standardizing

machine automation in the press shop. In addition,

maintenance is much simpler and more cost-effective

because of the standardized technology. Electronic

transfer also means that sheet metal transport

is considerably more fl exible, and the sheets can

now be positioned with greater accuracy as well.

In view of the enormous boost to productivity in the

press shop, the retrofi t has proved to be much more

economical in the long term than buying new press

lines with a comparable output. p

info

contact

www.siemens.com/metalforming

joerg.pliskat@siemens.com

spectrum METAL FORMING 2012 7


Press automation

p AP&T AB, Sweden

Automation Made Easy

By using standardized electrical equipment, AP&T, a Swedish

workfl ow automation specialist, has housed all the automation in

one control cabinet and as a result has ggreatly y reduced costs.

Automation, Press and Tooling (AP&T) develops,

produces, and markets automation systems,

presses, tools, and complete production

lines for the metal-forming industry. One of

AP&T’s core competencies is in the area of workfl ow

automation. The company supplies complete solu-

tions and considers itself responsible for all subareas.

AP&T has now succeeded in standardizing the automation

to such a degree that the required technology

can be housed in just a single preassembled

control cabinet. This is suffi cient to operate robots

and other automation units.

Use of Simotion provides freedom

Christer Bäckdahl, development manager at AP&T,

reports, “We concentrated very early on consistent

modularization while pursuing the strict standardization

of these modules. Our automation has now

been based on the Simotion motion control system

since 2006. In particular, Simotion allows the standardized

modularity that we have established in the

mechanical system to be transferred to the electrotechnical

equipment and ultimately to be mapped in

the software as well.” Summing up, he says, “The

use of Simotion has greatly reduced our engineering

8 spectrum METAL FORMING 2012

costs.” Modularization and standardization also provided

AP&T with freedom to become involved in

other aspects of the process. The Simotion motion

control system is now considered to be a basic

requirement for modularization and standardization

– and therefore also for the development of com-

»End users particularly appreciate the

guaranteed high quality of the products

manufactured by Siemens.«

Christer Bäckdahl, Development Manager, AP&T AB

plete solutions in the area of workfl ow automation

and the manufacture of customized control cabinet

solutions.

Fast commissioning and high level of

customer acceptance

Together with Siemens Sweden, AP&T was able to

automate all units using a single control cabinet variant.

For this purpose, the signal routings and designations

were standardized, confl ict-free identifi ers

for addresses and variables assigned, the power

requirement and the connection values matched for

all appropriate machine modules, and fail-safe

Simatic ET 200S modules confi gured for all safety

equipment. Siemens System Engineering Plant

Chemnitz optimized the control cabinet layout based

on these specifi cations. In this case, both IEC- and

UL-certifi ed variants were created, and both can be

ordered in either the electrically cooled or water


Photos: W. Marschner

Consistent modularization permits

the use of uniform, standardized

control cabinets for the feeder,

press, and stacker

cooled variant. The control cabinets are brought

fully pretested from the warehouse shortly before

starting commissioning and are connected to the

machine via Profi net and the motor cables. The service

technician then installs the standard software

and sets the customer-specifi c machine parameters

on the CPU – then commissioning can begin immediately.

Bäckdahl observes, “The standardized control

cabinets not only result in reduced costs in terms

of design engineering, installation, and commissioning,

but the lead time is now shorter too. We profi t

from this on every single job.” The control cabinets

are very compact, which is also benefi cial for transport

and storage. The development manager sums

up: “The compactness also contributes to a high

level of acceptance by end users; they particularly

appreciate the guaranteed high quality of the products

manufactured by Siemens.”

The modularization and standardization of the control

and drive technology provided by the control

cabinets are also opening up new prospects. Now,

depending on the production job, it is also possible

to use recipe-controlled confi gurations with other

stations to form press groups that process the current

job over a specifi c period after the individual

systems have been synchronized and coordinated

with each other. When required by the next production

job, the operator can activate another recipe

and then use the press, including the feeder and

stacker, as a stand-alone station or in a different line

confi guration.

New quality for standardized control

cabinets

Once again, AP&T has proved its competence in this

area thanks to modules and standards that are easy

to understand and that can be used fl exibly. Standardization

of the electrical equipment for the modular

machines of the metal-forming specialist has

resulted in a new level of quality in the control cabinets.

In addition to easier and faster completion of

customer jobs, they enable even more fl exible, recipecontrolled

confi guration of machine modules for the

construction of complete manufacturing lines. p

info

contact

www.siemens.com/metalforming

andreas.michalik@siemens.com

spectrum METAL FORMING 2012 9


Servo-presses

10 spectrum METAL FORMING 2012

p Lasco Umformtechnik GmbH, Germany

Servo-electric

Hydraulic Pumps

The press manufacturer Lasco uses an electric servo-pump

control for mass forming and the optimization of large

hydraulic presses, thus achieving energy savings as well as

improved p dynamics. y

Lasco Umformtechnik GmbH, a prestigious

manufacturer of mass forming and sheet

presswork equipment based in Germany, is

always focused on improving its processes and technologies.

One such technological milestone is the

servo technology used in a recently delivered deep

drawing press with a force of 800 tons for up to

40 strokes per minute. This offers huge benefits

» Among other things, our new

servo technology enables

operators to achieve

appreciable energy savings. «

Harald Barnickel, Head of Electrical Engineering Department,

Lasco Umformtechnik GmbH

from a technical point of view and also in terms

of energy consumption. “Among other things, our

new servo technology enables operators to achieve

appreciable energy savings,” reports Harald Barnickel,

head of Lasco’s electrical engineering

department.

Servo technology delivers

outstanding results

Servomotors that are flange-mounted directly onto

the hydraulic pump form the heart of the solution.

The power control of the drive is controlled by a

Sinamics S120 frequency converter, while the

Simotion D445 controller is responsible for the

overall control of the axis path, speed, and position.

“Initial operating data have indicated that this servo

technology delivers outstanding results in many

respects – with regard to both energy consumption

and technology,” confirms the electrical engineer.

The deep drawing press is to be used to manufacture

seat rails for motor vehicles in six consecutive stations.

For this, pressing force and stroke speed

needed to be adapted to an individual movement

profile. The pressing force can be adjusted at the servomotor

by means of the torque. The plunger speed,

however, is controlled via the motor speed and

therefore via the flow rate of the pump. Thanks to

this technique, valve technology savings of up to

40 percent are possible in the press.

Energy savings and system continuity

The use of servo technology also results in a significant

improvement in the energy balance. “It was previously

necessary to use large cooling systems for

the oil, but much smaller units can be used with the

servo technology,” says Barnickel. The associated

improvement in efficiency, which the press manufacturer

considers to be well into double figures, is

reflected by massive savings in electricity costs compared

to the older machines. An added advantage is

that energy can be recovered during decompression

of the hydraulic fluid. “The opposite would be true of

other concepts, where there would even be additional

heat losses,” explains Barnickel.

According to Barnickel, an additional plus point is

the system consistency offered by the Siemens solutions.

For example, the Simotics M-1PH8 servomotor,

available as a synchronous or asynchronous

motor, is automatically identified by the frequency


converter and its parameters are imported. The

choice of motors depends upon the application,

that is to say, the required dynamics. “Ultimately,

this new drive concept for hydraulic presses, which

is based on an electric servo-pump control, results

in a significant overall improvement,” says Barnickel.

“In addition to the possible energy savings already

mentioned, we also have a great advantage over

straight valve controls thanks to the incredibly precise

controllability.”

Integrated safety

Lasco chose the fail-safe Simatic S7-319 F 3PN/DP to

control the entire plant. “It offers us the freedom to

implement all the safety technology without a lot of

additional expenditure,” explains Barnickel. The failsafe

signals are read via Simatic ET 200S distributed

I/O stations and relayed to the control via Profisafe.

It is an elegant overall solution, says Barnickel: “It

enables us to achieve clear structures in the machine.”

For example, there are normally two monitored valves

that provide for the security of the press plunger

during set-up. The new solution is now more

refined: the reduced speed (Safety Limited Speed:

SLS) and, among other things, safe stop (Safe Stop

1: SS1) are monitored via the Sinamics S120 fail-safe

frequency converter.

Convincing overall concept

The development of the new servo technology for

large hydraulic presses, as based on the Simotion

motion controller at Lasco Umformtechnik GmbH,

has already aroused a great deal of interest among

users, even after such a short time. Thanks to the

standard concept consisting of the Simotics M-1PH8

servomotor, Sinamics S120 frequency converter, and

Simotion D445 motion control unit, there has been a

significant improvement in dynamics, precision, and

energy consumption. “And all because we dared to

opt for electric servo-pump control in the hydraulic

press as opposed to valve technology,” declares

Barnickel. p

info

contact

www.siemens.com/metalforming

jakob.einwag@siemens.com

The electric servopump

control in the

Lasco press uses

significantly less

energy than

traditional valve

controls

spectrum METAL FORMING 2012 11

Lasco


Servo-presses

p ebu Burkhardt GmbH, Germany

New Approaches in

Metal Forming

A servo-electric drive and control unit expands the possibilities of

cutting-edge automatic punching machines. The machine manufacturer

is delighted with the fl exibility gained as a result.

The core competence of ebu Burkhardt GmbH

in Bayreuth, Germany, lies in the punching

and metal-forming segment, with a focus on

the manufacture of automatic punching machines.

The product is the same as always, but the technology

has evolved over time. While in the past an

appropriately large fl ywheel mass ensured that the

12 spectrum METAL FORMING 2012

force required during the punching process was

available, the Bavarian company now uses a servoelectric

drive and control unit for this purpose.

Creation of individual motion profi les

At the metal-forming specialist’s premises in

Bayreuth, this task is carried out in part by two

The ebu Burkhardt

servo press stands out

due to its servoelectric

drive concept

All pictures: ebu Burkhardt GmbH


Simotics T-1FW4 heavy-duty torque motors, because

with the help of this cutting-edge technology, the

required energy can also be supplied by means of an

electric fl ywheel mass. The mechanical fl ywheel mass

is thus rendered obsolete. The major advantage is

that the servo-electric drive solution makes it easy

to transfer individual motion profi les to the plunger

and thus to the tool. The use of servo technology

will enable the company to pursue completely new

possibilities in metal forming. Jörg Berger, managing

director of ebu Burkhardt GmbH, explains the decision

in favor of servo technology: “Servo technology

holds massive potential. It’s very fl exible in use.

What’s more, it can be used to achieve superior parts

quality.”

Intelligent temporary storage of

electrical energy

Berger continues, “Regardless of new technology,

at the end of the day the energy balance must be

right.” To ensure this, the excess electrical energy

from the punching process is stored temporarily in

other systems. This storage takes place with the help

of the Sinamics S120 frequency converter, which

determines the torque motor’s speed. Thanks to the

integrated energy-regeneration capability of the

water-cooled power sections, the unit is able to

induce the recovered electricity from the braking

processes into the DC link. The electricity is then

» Due to this ongoing

close collaboration

with Siemens, we

know at an early

stage what inno va-

tions we can expect in the fi eld

of open-loop, closed-loop, and

switching technology. This helps

us meet our goal of building

innovative machines.«

Jörg Berger, Managing Director, ebu Burkhardt GmbH

available again for the next punching process. There

is also another option for storing excess energy. For

this purpose, an additional asynchronous motor is

brought up to speed in the automatic punching

machine and thus serves as a kinetic energy accumulator.

At the moment of punching, it acts as a

generator and delivers the additionally required electricity

when needed.

Servo technology enables

maximum fl exibility

All processes are controlled by a Simotion 435D. But

the motion control unit can handle more than just

motion control. Because of its effi ciency, it also

offers the option of controlling the whole machine

– meaning that no additional controller is required.

Berger sums up: “The servo-electric drive technology

combined with Simotion allows us to get considerably

closer to the technological limits than was previously

possible.”

The greatest advantage of the servo-electric drive

technology, however, is the ability to adjust fl exibly

to production processes and different workpieces.

Berger reports, “We can map around 80 percent of

the standard machines with this new solution.” The

motion control unit can store different motion profi

les, which the servodrive then transfers to the

workpiece. Berger says, “No one yet has a curve

changeover of this type that boasts such speed.”

These variable motion profi les also make incremental

metal-forming processes possible, which, in turn,

allow not only the achievement of superior parts

quality but also the realization of process improvements.

Leading position thanks to system partner

According to Berger, “We have gained this technological

advantage in tandem with our system partner

Siemens.” The servo technology described was

developed and brought to market readiness thanks

to the additional support provided during confi guration,

design, and commissioning. The machine manufacturer

focuses specifi cally on integration, following

the Totally Integrated Automation model offered

by Siemens. Berger stresses, “We benefit hugely

from the fact that our system partner has a large

number of tried-and-tested solutions in its portfolio

that are all coordinated with each other. Due to this

ongoing close collaboration, we also know at an

early stage what innovations we can expect in the

fi eld of open-loop, closed-loop, and switching technology.

This helps us meet our goal of building

innovative machines.” Berger comments happily,

“After all, we want to become a technological leader

– and with the new servo technology we are doing

just that.” p

info

contact

www.siemens.com/metalforming

jakob.einwag@siemens.com

spectrum METAL FORMING 2012 13


Servo-presses

14 spectrum METAL FORMING 2012

p Andritz Kaiser GmbH, Germany

Pioneering Drive

Concept

Andritz Kaiser has been able to signifi cantly increase the

productivity and energy effi ciency of its stamping and forming

presses by combining the time-tested drag link system with an

innovative servodrive concept. p

Over the last 20 years, the drag link system

patented by Andritz Kaiser GmbH from

Bretten, Germany, has stood the test of

time in over 300 stamping and forming presses

under harsh operating conditions. The “intelligent

gear unit,” as managing director Stefan Kaiser refers

to the drag link drive, features a variable transmission

ratio and force paths within the operating

range that are almost twice as large as those in

eccentric presses. Using the servodrive means that

the plunger motion also becomes programmable by

the user. The press is therefore highly fl exible and

Andritz Metals, Bretten

Among other things, Hako

Automotive produces

challenging deep-drawn parts

for the automotive industry on

this KSTU 8000, an 800 t press

by Andritz Kaiser

can be adapted easily to different tasks or materials.

For many parts, optimized motion control increases

output by up to 80 percent compared to eccentric

presses.

Lower consumption thanks to energyeffi

cient drives

As the basic motion of a drag link drive approximates

very closely the motion profi le of a servo-press, it is

usually possible to signifi cantly reduce the number

of drive motors required compared to a purely

eccentric press, thereby considerably decreasing


energy consumption. Heavy-duty water-cooled complete

torque motors of the Simotics T-1FW3 series

were used in all the servo-presses. Mounted centrally

above the press, one or several of these torque

motors drive the drag link system and therefore the

plunger via an internal gear. The drive system is

completed by an energy accumulator, optionally in

the form of capacitor modules or an additional compact

asynchronous motor of the Simotics M-1PH8

series. This temporarily stores the regenerative

energy produced during braking and releases it

again to cover peaks in demand during acceleration

processes.

Targeted motion control with Simotion

The drag link servo-presses by Andritz Kaiser are

controlled by the Simotion D445 motion control system

in the modular mounting technology of the

Sinamics S120 drive system. An optimized plunger

travel profi le is generated automatically using the

“curve generator” tool specially developed for use

with Simotion in servo-presses. The press manufacturer

has fl exibly integrated the tool into its operator

interface under Simatic WinCC and created a simple

operating screen for a Simatic Multi-Panel MP377.

The installation of new tools is made easier with a

handheld controller. Thanks to servodrive technology,

the handheld device can also be used to arrive

The Simotion curve generator automatically

calculates an optimized plunger motion and

determines the exact feed length or transfer time

precisely at the required plunger position and to

incorporate it into the program. The Multi-Point

function is another new addition, enabling data

points to be programmed at any point in the plunger’s

travel. The forming motion can be reduced at

such data points – for example, to cut threads or to

introduce inserts. Wolfgang Wiedenmann, deputy

sales manager at Andritz Kaiser, predicts that “hybrid

processes such as this will be required more and

more in the future.” The press manufacturer has also

extended the tried-and-tested curve generator by an

input fi eld for feed length or transfer time. The oper-

ator can therefore see at a glance the feed length or

transfer time generated by his or her entries. It is

then easy to make a comparison with the transfer

controller. This shows whether the machine can travel

the motion profile selected. Wiedenmann says,

“Processes are becoming increasingly complex, and

therefore even semiskilled operators must still be

able to manage the press easily and safely.” He adds,

“It is possible to ensure this by using the Simotion

curve generator.” In order to guarantee the necessary

safety, the management at Andritz Kaiser decided

on a Simatic S7-300F with fail-safe S7-317F-2 DP CPU.

An additional library with press safety modules is

also included in the dedicated Distributed Safety

option package. The curve generator is an integral

part of the press controller.

Increase in productivity and product quality

One of the fi rst users of the latest generation of

servo-presses by Andritz Kaiser is Hako Automotive,

a division of Ferdinand von Hagen Söhne & Koch

GmbH & Co. KG. The stamping facility located in

Wuppertal produces complex structural and assembly

components for leading car manufacturers on

a KSTU 8000 drag link servo-press with a press force

of 800 t, a 400 mm stroke, and automatic stroke

adjustment. The diversity of the stamped and formed

parts requires a particularly flexible machine.

»Processes are becoming increasingly

complex, and therefore even semiskilled

operators must still be able to

manage the press easily and safely.

It is possible to ensure this by using

the Simotion curve generator.«

Wolfgang Wiedenmann, Deputy Sales Manager, Andritz Kaiser GmbH

Stefan Kaiser sums up, “The experience and results

gained with and from Hako Automotive and other

users were thoroughly convincing. Our expectations

with regard to productivity, product quality, and

energy efficiency were greatly exceeded. The userfriendliness

is excellent as usual, and machine

handling is still easy.” p

info

contact

www.siemens.com/metalforming

stephan.hoja@siemens.com

spectrum METAL FORMING 2012 15


Dreher GmbH

Retrofit

16 spectrum METAL FORMING 2012

p Automatic-Systeme Dreher GmbH, Germany

Retrofi t Delivers New

Maximum Output

A fast loader, user-programmable transfer systems, and shuttles

form the basis of a completely reautomated press line for automotive

structural components. The advantages are higher output, greater

fl exibility, y and an assured long-term g supply pp y of spare p pparts.

The press line modernized by Dreher Automation and

Siemens delivers around 30 percent higher output


The electrical equipment of the established

six-stage press line for automotive structural

components at Audi AG in Neckarsulm,

Germany, was showing its age. Total Productive

Maintenance (TPM) measures increased and it

became diffi cult to procure the necessary spare

parts. As a result, the company decided on an

extensive retrofi t of its press shop in Neckarsulm.

In the course of this retrofi t, the rigid mechanical

coupling of the transfer devices to the plunger

motion was replaced with an up-to-date solution.

Increasing the stroke rate as top priority

The retrofi t was carried out by Automatic-Systeme

Dreher GmbH, based in Sulz-Renfrizhausen. Dreher

replaced the old mechanical automation system

with an integrated electronic solution, while

Siemens upgraded the controllers and the operator

control and monitoring systems of the six presses.

According to managing partner Klaudijo Dreher,

Automatic-Systeme Dreher GmbH

Automatic-Systeme Dreher GmbH is a leading global

manufacturer of automation equipment for sheet

metal and mass forming. The company has played a

leading role in the development of press automation

for the past 40 years. As a Siemens Solution Partner,

Dreher analyzes requirements in dialogue with its

customers and identifi es appropriate solutions.

Established: 1970

Company

headquarters: Obere Talstraße 1–5

72172 Sulz/Renfrizhausen, Germany

Tel.: +49 (0) 74 54 / 88 10

Fax: +49 (0) 74 54 / 88 111

“As a Siemens Automation Solution Partner, we

have already proved in several joint projects that

we can also complete complex tasks such as these

on schedule.” The operator’s specifi c requirements

included increasing the stroke rate from 12 to

16 per minute, or, in other words, increasing output

by more than 30 percent. Up to that point, the

stroke rate had been limited by the rigid sequences

determined by mechanical cams and vertical shafts.

Dreher has now replaced the mechanical automation

with six electronic transfer systems in the

presses, fi ve so-called shuttles, and a turning device

between the presses. A new highly dynamic blank

destacker was also designed jointly with Audi.

Freely positionable and user-programmable

Dreher’s electronic transfer systems consist of two

identically constructed units for each end of the

press. This means that the blanks can be freely positioned

in all three axes – irrespective of the plunger

motion. Now the traverse paths of the shuttles can

also be programmed by the user independently of

the plunger motion. It is possible to configure the

motion sequence of the transfer systems and shuttles

with a high level of fl exibility now that they have

been decoupled mechanically. Waiting times are

minimized, and the desired increase in productivity

is achieved. The intermediate conveyor designed

as a turning device can be used in any position,

enabling even more fl exible processes. All connections

were designed to be plug-in, so that the transfer

units can be replaced. This was also one reason

for using Simotics S-1FK7 servomotors in the highly

dynamic version with Drive-Cliq, and for moving all

ports to the outside. Four state-of-the-art motors

with a further reduced moment of inertia were

installed on the blank stacker.

Complex motion control with Simotion

Drive-based Simotion D445 motion controllers, one

for each of the blank stackers and for each transfer

system, ensure fast motion sequences that are nevertheless

gentle on the mechanics. As the master,

the Simotion assembly specifi es the guide value for

all the other presses via the Drive-Cliq digital system

bus integrated into the system, and for this purpose

it is linked to a virtual master axis in the Simotion

system. The actual press controllers are subordinate

to the motion controllers as slaves on the Profi bus and

in turn are synchronized with each other via Profi net

in synchronous operation. All movements are userprogrammable

and can be modifi ed at the touch of

a button. Dreher has achieved this by using the prefabricated

modules of the standard SimoTrans for

Simotion application. STO (Safe Torque Off) and SLS

(Safely Limited Speed) are used as safety functions.

The press safety modules of the Simatic S7-F/P library

were also used to create the safety program. These

are easily integrated into the distributed safetyprogramming

environment in Step 7.

Availability and effi ciency assured

Use of Siemens state-of-the-art control and drive

technology means that the age-related malfunctions

and downtimes no longer present a problem, and

this in turn has permanently increased both the

availability and the output of the press lines. Thanks

to the retrofi t, it is now possible to create more fl exible

motion sequences. The line’s overall energy consumption

has also dropped signifi cantly due to the

energy regeneration capability and energy effi ciency

of the cutting-edge drives. In conjunction with the

higher productivity, the result is a further reduction

in the energy cost per item. p

info

contact

www.siemens.com/metalforming

koenig.georg@siemens.com

spectrum METAL FORMING 2012 17


Deep drawing presses

18 spectrum METAL FORMING 2012

p S. Dunkes GmbH, Germany

Optimally Tested

S. Dunkes has developed a frame deep drawing press that

can be used in the auto parts industry to comprehensively

try yout tools for subsequent q usability. y

The variety of models produced by the automotive

industry is continually increasing,

while production cycles become shorter and

shorter. In order to keep pace, new tools must constantly

be developed. For more than 50 years,

S. Dunkes GmbH from Kirchheim unter Teck in Germany,

has been making machines and systems associated

with forming and connection technology.

The company has now made a hydraulic tryout

Simatic Panel

PC 677 Touch

Simatic

ET 200S HF

Control elements

Displays

Interface

Simatic

CPU 319F

Profinet Profibus

Hydraulics

Simatic Net

Scalance X-000

press for an auto parts supplier – it features a maximum

force of 5,000 kN and is used for toolmaking.

Precise coordination of all production

parameters

This HDZ 500 frame deep drawing press is used in

toolmaking to try out stepped tools, transfer tools,

and progressive dies. The press is also used to press

out the fi rst lot sizes and to develop components

ready for series production. In order to meet stringent

requirements for precision, the press is

General

functions

adjusted with an extremely high guidance ratio by

means of an active parallel control for the plunger.

The sensor technology of the highly dynamic control

picks up the initial tilt that occurs particularly during

tool contact, and the servo-valves integrated into

the control circuit regulate this within milliseconds.

The high variability of the closing and pressing

speed allows the subsequent usability of the tools

on mechanical presses to be comprehensively

Siemens

Micromaster 440

Tryout process

In the tryout process, the tool

stages are tested individually

and in succession until both

the quality and the cycle time

(output) are satisfactory.

A prerequisite for this is the

precise input of nominal physical

values such as pressure (force),

distance, speed, and time. All

parameters must be regulated.

tested. In order to be able to precisely coordinate the

required production parameters, the press was also

fi tted with a sensitive joystick control. This extensive

equipment enables the required multifunctional and

wide-ranging application of the press.

Panel PC facilitates clear data handling

Dunkes presses are generally known for their userfriendliness.

For automation, the company relies on Siemens

products due to the positive experiences to date.

The tryout press uses a Simatic Panel PC 677 Touch


S. Dunkes GmbH

in conjunction with the Simatic S7-319F CPU safety

control. With this confi guration it is possible to operate

the press in combination with the chosen HMI software;

it also affords transparent programming, navigation,

and storage and transfer of process and tool

data. In this way Dunkes can easily manage parameter

confi guration for the press. Moreover, the highly

effi cient programmable logic controller (PLC) also

offers the high performance required even for such

a powerful press. The central component of the

distributed I/O devices is the Simatic ET 200S HF –

a multifunctional, modular distributed I/O system

that can be adapted specifically to the automation

task at hand. In this case it regulates not only the

control elements, displays, and interfaces but also

the hydraulics and other general functions. Communication

between the control and the operator unit

takes place via Profi net, and the connection to the

I/O devices is via Industrial Ethernet.

Users benefi t from high parts quality

Thanks to the sound basic concept and the expansion

potential for Dunkes tryout presses, manufacturers

can try out their various tools at high speeds

and, if necessary, rework them before delivery. Previously,

tools were tried out on presses with only one

station; individual stepped tools therefore had to be

mechanically tested and were only brought together

in the production press. This not only resulted in

long tryout times but also frequently led to delays in

the production process. The benefi ts of the new process,

by contrast, soon became apparent: Not only is

the running-in period required for a new tool much

shorter, but users benefi t from higher parts quality

right from the start. With the Siemens technology it

is also possible to control the process parameters.

Ideal collaboration

The new solution was implemented in close collaboration

between Dunkes and the designated Siemens

consultants. In this way, any questions that arose

could be discussed in advance and the solution

thereby optimized. Both Dunkes and the auto parts

supplier were extremely pleased with the complete

plant that was delivered. The press manufacturer is

therefore eager to continue its collaboration with

Siemens in the future. p

info

contact

www.siemens.com/metalforming

stephan.schaeufele@siemens.com

With its extensive

equipment, the

Dunkes 5,000 kN

tryout press offers a

multifunctional range

of application

spectrum METAL FORMING 2012 19


Forging presses

p TMP, Russia

Hot Rolls

The Russian company TMP successfully managed to increase the

throughput of hot mills by increasing the degree of the production

process automation. Programmed control systems and robotic

handlers helped p them to achieve this aim.

» The qualifi ed professionals at Siemens

helped us select and confi gure the control

system and debug the real-time programs

on time and within budget.«

Igor Valikov, Leading designer JSC TMP

20 spectrum METAL FORMING 2012


TMP, based in the ancient city of Voronezh,

Russia, is the largest developer and builder of

equipment for the country’s metal forging

industries. In terms of world presence, of the 17 hot

forging presses with pressure greater than 10,000 t

in current operation across the globe, 8 were built

by TMP. Because of the tough market conditions

that the world’s machine tool builders are faced

with, companies try especially hard to secure business

in their own domestic markets. This is particularly

so in the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China).

Against this diffi cult backdrop, the Russian machine

builder TMP was awarded a contract to build an

innovative new hot steel rolling project in Brazil.

The main task of this project was building a hot rolling

press system, called Rollers. The Rollers produce

one of the suspension details of trucks and consist

of the hot rolling press with special manipulator, the

system of transport of hot billet and other technological

equipment. For this mill, TMP developed an

intelligent automated handling system, called Rollers,

to manipulate the hot working material.

Automating complex procedures

The technological algorithm of rollers is divided into

several parts. First, the general receiving manipulator

transfers a red-hot billet to the feed conveyer by an

exactly defi ned path calculated according to the safety

standards. The feed conveyer transfers the billet to the

roller manipulator, which grips the billet and begins

the multiple rolling process. Each roll has four deep

grooves. A billet is rolled through couple rolls which

are formed in the shape of a billet. Usually after four

forming cycles, the roll manipulator transfers the billet

to the outfeed conveyor, which in turn transfers the

billet on to the next manufacturing stage. The control

system within rollers performs a variety of important

tasks. In addition to the precision movement of the

working material, it controls system temperatures,

the hydroelectric equipment, and braking control.

The PLC also coordinates the functioning of the rollers

with other systems such as the furnace and other

handlers, with communication passing via Profi bus.

Drive-based motion control platform

The intelligent control driving the rollers is based on

Simotion D435, a compact drive-based motion control

platform combining motion control, logic control,

and drive control within a single hardware

environment. Simotion is the natural successor to

earlier PLC approaches based on the S7-300 plat-

form. Its greater power enables a larger volume of

programs to be run simultaneously. For the main

drive, Sinamics S120 was chosen. Sinamics S120 is

a modular motion control drive system for complex

tasks. It carries out the complex motion control of

two axes of the roller manipulator, with each axis

being equipped with 5 kW Simotics S-1FT6 motors.

The distributed I/O system is an ET 200M station,

connected to the Simotion D435 via Profi bus. The

control provides the operators with system information

such as the drive operating hours, number of

cycles, axis drive currents, and fault reports. For the

Rollers project the programs are written using

Simotion Scout, the network topology is performed

in NetPro, and the HMI is provided via WinCC Flexible.

These different systems all integrate seamlessly

with the hardware platform. The open system integration

enabled the TMP engineers to clearly specify

and implement scalable solutions for complex technological

tasks.

Variable behavior

The main challenge in developing the rollers was the

two-axis motion control of the roller manipulator.

When a hot billet is rolled, its shape changes dramatically,

with each billet behaving in a slightly different

manner. Because of this variance, the precise position

of the billet as it exits from the rollers cannot be

predicted by mathematical modeling. In order to

achieve accurate control of the handling, a motion

control system with on-the-fl y switching of control

algorithms for each axis was developed. The main

principle of the algorithm is the capability to switch

from master to slave mode on-the-fly. With the

sophisticated control system implemented by TMP,

the roller achieved a throughput of 130 billets per

hour. This Rollers project was TMP’s first motion

automation project using Simotion controls and

Sinamics drives. Despite their relative lack of experience

with this environment, the TMP engineers were

successful in accomplishing an ambitious project

that included the fast switching algorithms for the

roller manipulator. The experience gained opens up

opportunities for TMP in the development of further

complex integrated machines. p

info

contact

www.siemens.com/simotion

alexey.taranchenko@siemens.com

Siemens AG

spectrum METAL FORMING 2012 21


Packaging machines

22 spectrum METAL FORMING 2012

All photos: Sabatier / M. Laurent

p Sabatier S.A.S., France

Safely

Packaged

Sabatier, manufacturer of machines

for metal packaging, uses the

Simotion D motion control system for

the axis control of a production

machine that was fi rst launched at

Metpack last year. The machine was

equipped q pp with 27 axes in record time.

For more than 40 years, the French company

Sabatier, a member of the Swiss Soudronic

Group, has been developing and producing

machines for the manufacture of three-piece metal

cans in Vitrolles (Bouches-du-Rhône), France. The

metal cans – consisting of base, body, and lid – are

used mainly for industrial products such as oils, solvents,

lacquers, and paints.

Electrical axes revolutionize

production processes

The ability to produce metal cans of this type

requires the use of a large number of axes. Motion

control is therefore a key factor for a machine producer

like Sabatier. Due to the diversity of the containers,

some of Sabatier’s machines have up to 60

numerically controlled axes. Although this guarantees

great fl exibility, it also means that motion control

becomes a signifi cant challenge. Originally,

hydraulic actuators were used at Sabatier for forming

the container body and for seaming. However,

this required as many machines as there were operations

– at that time the production line alone was

around 60 meters long. Then 15 years ago, Sabatier

started a small revolution with its decision to drive

all the axes electrically. The improvements in the

production sequence were noticeable immediately:

from then on, a single machine could manage the

different production stages on a line only 12 meters

long. Nevertheless, it was still necessary to fi nd a


permanent solution for the axis control, because

only in this way would it also be possible to achieve

the required improvements in machine safety. As a

result, Sabatier completely redefi ned its strategy for

control of the electrical axes.

Centralized control intelligence

thanks to Simotion D

To begin with, the architecture of the Simotion D

motion control system and the Sinamics S120 inverters

enabled the machine producer to centralize the

program. Daniel Levert, automation engineer at

Sabatier, explains, “At fi rst each inverter connected

to the direct current bus had its own control program,

which meant that multiple programs had to

be managed using an equal number of modules.

Now, with Simotion D, we only need a single one.”

This has meant a signifi cant reduction in development

time and has also made it possible to design

the machine so that maintenance is considerably

more consistent, particularly when it comes to

replacing the inverters. “In this case, it’s no longer

necessary to reload the program. Replacement itself

is suffi cient to restart the machine,” says Levert.

Improved safety and shorter downtimes

Thanks to this fundamental restructuring of the

automation systems, Sabatier also had the opportunity

to replace signal transmission via cable with an

AS-i bus solution. In this case, 15 door-monitoring

sensors are linked to a single bus, and the AS-i master

integrates a Profi safe transition for the connection

to Simotion D. Levert adds, “This solution

matches our linear backup process precisely. The

additional material costs have already paid for themselves

due to the time saved on installation and the

useful functions for operation and maintenance.

Another positive effect we have noticed is the reduction

in downtimes.” The continuous connection from

safety sensor to motor controller means that it is

also possible to use the SLS (Safely Limited Speed)

safety function via Simotion D. Levert stresses,

“Access to Safely Limited Speed via a dead man’s

switch when a door is open radically alters the possibilities

for control and maintenance.” Not only that,

but the system also notes the address of the opened

doors. As a result, the machine stops completely

when a further safety protection circuit is interrupted.

Thus the controllers also inherently offer the

STO (Safe Torque Off) safety function.

Signifi cant productivity increase

By choosing Simotion, Sabatier considerably

improved the ergonomics of its machines and their

functionality, with the end objective of a signifi cant

productivity increase. Levert confi rms, “There are

lots of advantages.” The Sinamics S120 inverters, for

example, radiate appreciably less heat, which means

there is no longer any need for air-conditioning of

the control cabinet. They are also able to feed back

electricity into the direct current bus or even into the

mains supply. According to Levert, “This leads to a

reduction in power consumption in the order of 10

to 20 percent.” Brake resistors become superfl uous

due to the feedback of the current. Last but not

least, Simotion D guarantees smooth start-up of the

machine during pilot control of the motion. Levert

sums up: “The result is signifi cantly less wastage

during commissioning.” p

info

contact

Top: The machines of the Bodypack series produce cans or

drums with a capacity ranging from 1 to 200 liters

Bottom: One of the servomotor axes that is supplied directly

via Sinamics S120

www.siemens.com/metalforming

david.baillet@siemens.com

spectrum METAL FORMING 2012 23


Strip leveling

p Kohler Maschinenbau GmbH, Germany

Gentle, Fast,

and Safe

Modular Sinamics converters with

integrated safety functions form the

centerpiece of a new cut-to-length line

for surface-sensitive thin sheet metals

produced p by y Kohler.

24 spectrum METAL FORMING 2012

Thin metal sheets with

highly sensitive surfaces

must be handled gently

Thin sheet metals with coated and sensitive

surfaces are considered to be particularly

demanding during the coil-to-plate process,

as they are very susceptible to damage and therefore

must be handled gently. Kohler Maschinenbau

GmbH in Friesenheim, Germany, specializes in the

production of machines that can guarantee this protection.

The company, which is based in the Black

Forest, recently completed a custom-designed cutto-length

line for a leading German manufacturer of

surface-treated aluminum and copper strip metals.

Keeping the line structure

Using this line, it is possible to process sheet metals

at throughput speeds of up to 80 m/min. The existing

intermediate layer is initially leveled and coiled

in the process, so that a fi lm with good adhesion can

be reapplied as required to protect the sensitive surfaces.

This can either be left on the sheet metal or

removed again prior to the cutting process. Tobias

Frank, project manager at Kohler, explains, “The new

machine also offers a highly dynamic stacking station.

Palleted stacks of plates come out ready for

transport at the end of the process – virtually at the


touch of a button.” The entire plant is controlled

using a fail-safe Simatic S7-CPU 416F. The modular

drive assemblies of the various plant sections and

the other units are linked to the controller via

Profinet. For this Kohler relies throughout on the

Sinamics S120 drive system, thus following the line

structure. As a result, the plant sections can be constructed

independently of each other, commissioned,

and then quickly linked together. The Simatic S7

F-CPU also coordinates the combination of 46 frequency-controlled

axes and more than 40 auxiliary

axes. In addition, it reliably monitors the whole

plant’s functional safety.

Safety functions ease pressure on

the controller

Safety functions within the drive itself ease pressure

on the controller. Frank explains, “At Kohler we use

the Safe Torque Off, Safely Limited Speed, and Safe

Operating Stop safety functions. With this project,

however, we also used the Safe Direction safety function

for the fi rst time.” It is hereby possible to safely

monitor the direction of motion in combination with

Safely Limited Speed. According to Frank, “Using this

new function means that we can ensure that the

drive rolls inside the system always rotate toward the

operator.” This prevents accidents because no one

can be accidentally drawn in between the rolls.

“Reliable monitoring of the direction of rotation also

enables the drive rolls to be cleaned safely. And

thanks to these safety functions within the drive,

we eliminate not only the need for additional safety

hardware but also any wiring requirements,” says

Frank, summing up the advantages.

Precise and inexpensive processes

Those in charge also save themselves a great deal

of effort when assigning parameters by using the

Drive-Cliq digital system bus, which links a drive

assembly to the relevant control units. It also links

virtually all the motors of the Simotics models

M-1PH7 and S-1FK7/1FT7 used throughout. The

electronic nameplate is read out automatically,

rendering time-consuming and often error-prone

manual parameterization unnecessary. The highly

dynamic Simotics servomotors ensure high stacking

speeds in the stacking system at the end of the 45 m

long line. Frank says, “The lifting tables here, which

are often operated hydraulically in other companies,

are moved via servomotors and rigid chains.” He

adds, “This process is fast, precise, and leak-free, so

it meets our requirements perfectly. Overall, I have

to say that we are absolutely delighted with the col-

laboration with Siemens. Complex projects such as

this require perfect coordination between all those

involved. Everything has run perfectly smoothly in

our case – from advice in the run-up through to

commissioning and beyond.”

Energy effi ciency gaining importance

Last but not least, energy effi ciency in cut-to-length

lines is gaining increasing importance. Frank explains,

“So that we can work as energy effi ciently as possible,

we operate the frequency converters of our systems

via a common DC link and feed the energy generated

during deceleration back into the supply network

afterward.” This means that the energy can be

reused, whereas with units supplied individually the

energy would need to be reduced via braking resistors

and would inevitably be lost as a result. p

info

contact

» Complex projects such as this

require perfect coordination

between all those involved.

This collaboration has always

functioned perfectly with Siemens

– from advice in the run-up to

commissioning and beyond. «

Tobias Frank, Project Manager, Kohler Maschinenbau GmbH

www.siemens.com/metalforming

koenig.georg@siemens.com

spectrum METAL FORMING 2012 25

Photos: Wilhelm Media


Hydroforming machines

p Silfax, France

Precise Repeatability

The French company Silfax specializes in tubebending

machines. These machines are used

to produce bent metal tubes with thin walls.

Jean-Paul Bruyas, one of the founders and the company’s

CEO, stresses, “As a specialist company for

tube-bending machines, we always strive to fulfi ll

our customers’ wishes. To do this we have developed

machines that are specifi cally adapted to certain

markets.”

Manual intervention is unnecessary thanks

to new technology

The Silfax machines enable a wide variety of forming

and bending applications for metal tubes. According

to Bruyas, “The aerospace and automotive industries

are two segments where we are particularly well

26 spectrum METAL FORMING 2012

Thanks to its precision and repeat accuracy, the

Sinumerik 840D sl CNC has enabled tube-bending

machine manufacturer Silfax to hydroform tubes

for exhaust ggas

recirculation.

Inserting the tubes that are to undergo the hydroforming process

represented. And with our range, which consists of

bending and forming machines plus hydroforming

machines, we can satisfy the requirements of both

of these industries to a high level.” For the aerospace

industry, for example, the Silfax machines are used

to bend titanium tubes for the Airbus A380. Silfax’s

CEO explains, “When it comes to bending tubes for

the automotive industry, it is virtually impossible for

any of the relevant industry representatives to avoid

us.” The company’s success began in the automotive

industry in 1998. Back then, Silfax developed the

fi rst completely electric production machine for vehicle

exhaust pipes. In the case of tube-bending

machine SE 76, the hydraulics gave way to electrical

motorization of the power axes, which resulted in

better repeat accuracy of the procedures, substantial

All photos: Picasa


» In view of the large number of axes and

the complexity of our machines, the

Sinumerik 840D sl offers us the necessary

fl exibility and also the axis interpolation

function that is essential for saving time and

achieving precision during the various

movements. «

Jean-Paul Bruyas, Technical Director, Silfax

energy savings, and a 30 percent productivity

increase. Bruyas explains, “As a result, all the previous

problems that we were used to from using

hydraulic machines became a thing of the past.

There were no longer any heating times, and it was

not necessary to make adjustments between the

operating times. Instead, the settings were permanently

fi xed. This was a fantastic innovation for us

and made any manual intervention completely

unnecessary. It also brought noticeable advantages

for the user – from material savings to increased

eliability in production.”

Sinumerik enables hydroforming in the

automotive industry

This innovation enabled Silfax to conquer the crucial

automotive market completely. Bruyas says, “Silfax’s

technology is also suitable for what is known as

hydroforming, which is used to manufacture bellows.”

Bellows are stainless steel tubes with thin

walls that can withstand thermal expansions in hightemperature

ranges and are therefore used in the

exhaust gas recirculation systems of motor vehicles.

This is an environmental protection device with

which a proportion of the exhaust gases from internal

combustion engines can be recirculated to the

intake manifold. The “bellows” enable the tube to

expand in high-temperature environments without

fracturing at some point.

“Using the Sinumerik 840D sl guarantees the precision

and repeat accuracy of the hydroforming process.

Of course, choosing the right controller played

a very important role,” emphasizes Bruyas. The

Sinumerik 840D sl can manage up to 93 axes with its

Sinamics S120 converters. The open, distributed,

scalable, and network-capable system has its own

Simatic S7-300 PLC and a distributed Simatic ET 200S

peripheral system. Bruyas says, “The low-voltage

devices that are used in this case also come from

Siemens.” He lists the advantages of this solution:

“In view of the large number of axes and the complexity

of the axis system in Silfax machines, this

controller offers us the necessary fl exibility and also

the axis interpolation function that is essential for

saving time and achieving precision during the various

movements.” The folding process is carried out

on the Silfax SHD4 machine. The complete cycle

takes only 14 seconds. Bruyas says enthusiastically,

“The speed of the process is impressive. With our

machines it is possible to produce up to 40 successive

folds in one single process step, while with

other processes this fi gure is only around 10. This

means that not only is our process faster and more

reliable but at the same time it is also distinguished

by greater repeat accuracy. And all this is because

the movements conventionally carried out using

hydraulics have been replaced by NC axes, which are

operated in turn by a CNC controller.” p

info

contact

www.siemens.com/metalforming

louis.boyer@siemens.com

spectrum METAL FORMING 2012 27


» In view of the large number of axes and

the complexity of our machines, the

Sinumerik 840D sl offers us the necessary

fl exibility and also the axis interpolation

function that is essential for saving time and

achieving precision during the various

movements. «

Jean-Paul Bruyas, Technical Director, Silfax

energy savings, and a 30 percent productivity

increase. Bruyas explains, “As a result, all the previous

problems that we were used to from using

hydraulic machines became a thing of the past.

There were no longer any heating times, and it was

not necessary to make adjustments between the

operating times. Instead, the settings were permanently

fi xed. This was a fantastic innovation for us

and made any manual intervention completely

unnecessary. It also brought noticeable advantages

for the user – from material savings to increased

eliability in production.”

Sinumerik enables hydroforming in the

automotive industry

This innovation enabled Silfax to conquer the crucial

automotive market completely. Bruyas says, “Silfax’s

technology is also suitable for what is known as

hydroforming, which is used to manufacture bellows.”

Bellows are stainless steel tubes with thin

walls that can withstand thermal expansions in hightemperature

ranges and are therefore used in the

exhaust gas recirculation systems of motor vehicles.

This is an environmental protection device with

which a proportion of the exhaust gases from internal

combustion engines can be recirculated to the

intake manifold. The “bellows” enable the tube to

expand in high-temperature environments without

fracturing at some point.

“Using the Sinumerik 840D sl guarantees the precision

and repeat accuracy of the hydroforming process.

Of course, choosing the right controller played

a very important role,” emphasizes Bruyas. The

Sinumerik 840D sl can manage up to 93 axes with its

Sinamics S120 converters. The open, distributed,

scalable, and network-capable system has its own

Simatic S7-300 PLC and a distributed Simatic ET 200S

peripheral system. Bruyas says, “The low-voltage

devices that are used in this case also come from

Siemens.” He lists the advantages of this solution:

“In view of the large number of axes and the complexity

of the axis system in Silfax machines, this

controller offers us the necessary fl exibility and also

the axis interpolation function that is essential for

saving time and achieving precision during the various

movements.” The folding process is carried out

on the Silfax SHD4 machine. The complete cycle

takes only 14 seconds. Bruyas says enthusiastically,

“The speed of the process is impressive. With our

machines it is possible to produce up to 40 successive

folds in one single process step, while with

other processes this fi gure is only around 10. This

means that not only is our process faster and more

reliable but at the same time it is also distinguished

by greater repeat accuracy. And all this is because

the movements conventionally carried out using

hydraulics have been replaced by NC axes, which are

operated in turn by a CNC controller.” p

info

contact

www.siemens.com/metalforming

louis.boyer@siemens.com

spectrum METAL FORMING 2012 27

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