Sanding machine manufacturer selects Siemens control technology as the standard
Maschinenfabrik Hans Weber, which is based in the Franconian town of Kronach, Germany, is a leading manufacturer of wood and lacquer sanding machines. Weber has selected the Siemens Simatic portfolio as its source of automation systems. Building on a uniform, recognized standard which is used on a widespread basis around the world, Weber is able to offer high-quality machines at competitive terms. The machines are also able to exploit the optimization potential created by
digitalization and Industrie 4.0.
Wood surfaces are found in nearly every home and work environment. During the production of flooring, doors, furniture or any other wood product, the surfaces are all sanded, sometimes more than once. The Hans Weber company (Weber), based in Kronach, is a leading supplier of standard and customer-specific sanding machines. The customer base includes companies which produce furniture for the mass market as well as small carpentry businesses. The requirements when working with simple mass-produced items are no less demanding than in the premium segment. With premium-grade products, precision is essential to create exactly the right look and feel. The objective with mass-produced items is to reduce lacquer consumption and maintain the necessary production speed. Weber selects components from the Siemens Simatic portfolio as a uniform standard for machine automation.
Durable and efficient
“To get precision results, you need sophisticated control systems and high rigidity to avoid quality degradation caused by mechanical vibration,” explained Stefan Müller, Sales Manager at Weber. Not only that, the machines must continue to operate efficiently with high availability even after 20 years of service life. To supply future-proof machines at competitive terms, all of Weber’s standard machines are supplied with Simatic S7-1500 controllers. Both the controllers and the software are scalable so that, working on the basis of a standard program, individual functions can be enabled or disabled.
Simple engineering and handling
Weber machines have up to eight sanding units. The workpiece is scanned at 120 points across the work surface. The 1517 high-performance motion control CPU (Central Processing Unit) tracks the workpieces through the machine in a 4 mm grid. Feed rates are as high as 70 m/min. The 1513 CPU is used on machines with up to two sanding units. Engineering and visualization take place on the TIA (Totally Integrated Automation) Portal. The machines can be operated by the Simatic Comfort panels’ touch or key press. The panels are available in different sizes, and the display is automatically resized to
match the screen dimensions. “As the adaptation effort is reduced, these devices are still cost-effective even if they are actually overdimensioned for some applications,” explains Stefan Müller.
Future-proof and leading-edge
Exact tracking of the workpiece through the machine ensures high production quality and cost-effective operation. The compressed air propellers which blow the dust off the workpieces are only activated when the workpiece passes directly
in front of them to minimize compressed air consumption. The sensors and actuators used to do this are connected over the ET 200SP I/O system. Seamless Profinet communications support extensive diagnostics and maintenance functionality, even from a remote location. Müller’s verdict: “Besides stability and reliability, the diagnostic functionality of the Simatic gives us the tools we need to meet our customers’ availability requirements, even if they operate their production lines at
extremely high cycle rates. In international business, customers particularly specify this controller, because it is used worldwide.” Line automation is becoming increasingly important in the context of Industrie 4.0.
The Weber portfolio of sanding machines for the panel industry includes dual-head versions. Siemens servo motors deliver the drive power for maximum feed rates on these dual-head machines. Simatic S7-1500 controllers in combination with ET 200SP I/O system give Weber broad flexibility. Profinet communications enable efficient remote diagnosis. Simatic Comfort panels are fitted on the Weber sanding machines. The i-Touch control provides access to key functions, even if the operator is wearing gloves.