How to increases process speed
Press specialist increases process speed with motion control and automation technology
Helmerding hiw Maschinen GmbH is a specialist in the field of forming technology. A company with a long tradition, Helmerding manufactures presses, focusing on highspeed plants with integrated automation. Using Siemens technology, Helmerding has implemented a pilot project which uses a new real-time motion control system instead of conventional Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). The company has also built a complete C-frame press fully equipped with controllers and drives from Siemens. The modern automation solutions help compensate for vibrations, significantly reduce cycle times and at the same time boost part production and availability. The use of certified safety function blocks makes for additional time and cost savings.
Efficiency and rationalization
Companies in the metal forming industry are not immune from the challenge of having to produce at ever higher speeds and at ever lower cost. Automation solutions and the integration of processes upstream, downstream and between presses offer widespread scope for adding value. This potential prompted the development team at Helmerding to implement a transfer system as part of a pilot project which used a Simotion D controller to significantly increase process speeds. Instead of the previous 60 to 70 cycles per minute, Helmerding is now able to run with up to 100.
Also new is the Simatic S7-1512F controller, which alongside automation also takes care of safety functions. The system is programmed in the TIA (Totally Integrated Automation) Portal engineering framework, making use of function blocks stored in the Simatic press safety library.
Efficient and highly available
“Our customers are very happy with the outcome, particularly with special applications such as the VIBration eXtinction (VIBX) package. Considering the weights that are moved around at high speed in our processes, this method of vibration compensation is significant for part production and availability,” says Jörg Stateczny, Head of E-Manufacturing at Helmerding.
Groundbreaking due to modern automation
Another project involved a 250-ton KDH 200C-frame press. Here, as well as motion control from Siemens Helmerding also relies on a complete Siemens solution. Simatic S7-1517F is used as the main controller which enables ultra-precise control of the slide adjustment to within hundredths of a millimeter using a Sinamics G120 converter. Automation of the integrated uncoiler (for unwinding coiled sheet and strip) and conveyor is the job of a Simatic S7-1512F. Here too, the development team used the TIA Portal for engineering, in this instance with particular focus on the Simatic SimaPress application functions which needed only minimal adjustment to the customer’s specific requirements. As a result, the new press can be used interoperably and, with a cycle time of one millisecond, sets the trend for the entire industry.