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Automation Technologies 2/2015

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Automation Technologies 2/2015


CONTROL AND DRIVE TECHNOLOGY Retrofit optimizes performance in automotive supplier’s production facility Andreas Thanassakis System availability, throughput and efficiency are crucial in production. An extensive retrofit of electronic control / regulation, sensors/actuators and hydraulics of an existing press line for Magna subsidiary Drive Automotive Industries of America Inc. significantly increased all these factors. About Company name: TR-Electronic Established: 1983 Headquarters: Trossingen, Germany Turnover: € 33 m (2010) Employees: 350 Products: development and modernization of automation systems, sensors and actuators for industrial applications Magna is a leading global automotive supplier with more than 130,000 employees and 312 manufacturing operations, 83 product development as well as engineering and sales centers in 29 countries. Drive Automotive Industries of America Inc. in Piedmont/South Carolina is a subsidiary and production facility for COSMA International of the Magna Group, one of the largest automotive suppliers in the world. Car body panels, components and assemblies are manufactured here, among other things. Optimization through modernization The control system of the existing press line was to be brought into line with current technology using state-of-the-art solutions, within the scope of an extensive retrofit project. The improvement of the plant control system was aimed at further increasing the availability of the press line as well as throughput and efficiency in production, simplifying operation and reducing costs. The press line consisted of the following components: Blank loader with destacker feeder, blank cart, expanding station, conveyor and intermediate belt, double blank detection/ejection, spraying unit and centering station. In addition, a total of five presses, one turnover device, three orientation stations as well as five loading and removal feeders were included. After the inspection and replacement of defective and discontinued hydraulic components, the complete electronic control and regulation, the sensors/actuators and the existing plant operating system were replaced with modern technologies and components. In order to facilitate operation for the users and to minimize training costs, the existing operating concept was used as the template for the new solution. Author: Andreas Thanassakis, General Management at TR-Electronic

CONTROL AND DRIVE TECHNOLOGY Software improvements The operating system TRproVi from TRsystems is composed of a panel computer set up with visualization software and a networked IPC with control/rule-based software. Visualization is used to display data and processes and to aid in entering data and making corrections. TRproVi is based on the Microsoft.Net framework and is integrated into a client/server architecture. The visualization software features a clear structure and simple, intuitive operation. The operating interface can be variably adapted to the respective operating mode and the necessary functions through plant-specific input masks. In addition to an appealing depiction of the system, a wide range of diagnosis functions are available for example for reports, SPS processes as well as static and dynamic process signals. TRproVi also offers integrated language changeover and user administration. Windows-based programs such as Media Player or Adobe Reader can be integrated without any problem. Intelligent, fast, safe The downstream TwinCAT control module undertakes the plant control and coordinates the data transfer via Realtime Ethernet (communication between the individual stations). Operator safety is guaranteed with a Pilz Safety PLC. Communication between the control panels (clients) and the control system (server) occurs by means of Ethernet (DataNet/RemoteNet). The existing control and regulating algorithms of the press line were also modernized on the basis of these technology platforms. Pressure regulation of the drawing cushion of the lead press (BZE) is equipped (based on curve-family characteristics) with an intelligent pre-control. The automation devices were equipped with an intelligent path control, path profiles can now be easily created on this 01 Screen view from TRproVi visualization: “Blank loader” basic configuration basis. In order to reduce plant downtime, the operating personnel were trained at the system during the commissioning. Customer-specific documentation for the entire system provides an overview of all functions as well as the properties of the system whenever required. Increased performance and availability With the TR-Retrofit the availability and the throughput of the entire press line have been significantly increased by the retrofit. This is primarily due to the fact that the movement sequences of the individual automation devices now function very smoothly. The interaction between automation devices and presses is now very harmonious. In addition, the electrical and hydraulic efficiency of the presses has been considerably improved. All in all, the retrofit ensures greater efficiency, so that the investments made will pay for themselves very quickly. Photographs: teaser fotolia FF RF BL P T OS Front Feeder Rear Feeder Blank Loader Press Turner Orientation Station FF1 RF1 FF2 RF2 FF3 RF3 FF4 RF4 FF5 RF5 BL P1 T P2 OS2 P3 OS3 P4 OS4 P5 02 Overview of the completed plant AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 2/2015


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