Austrian automotive parts supplier Modine makes radiators for car air-con units. The company’s third generation of production plants recently started operations, and in-house development faced significant cost pressure. Engineering partner Lenze came up with a solution that was as creative as it was practical, enabling machine data to be collected and analysed cost-effectively to provide continuous optimisation for the complex process flows. Instead of an industrial PC, a Raspberry Pi – a simple, single-board consumer PC – now reads out machine data at blazing fast speeds. Deployment of an extra system with its own sensor array was also skipped: instead, the data is simply utilised that the machine supplies anyway from its controller. The approach taken by the inventive engineers has truly paid off: thanks to the engineering shortcuts taken and in-house development, the new systems cost only half as much as their predecessors. And a significant factor here has been the low-cost data collection solution developed with Lenze Engineering.
Citus Kalix, France
Anyone packaging product jars and bottles for healthcare and cosmetics has very specific requirements. As does Citus Kalix, for example, one of France’s leading makers of machinery for this particular segment. Lenze has worked closely with the company for over a decade now. Thanks to this partnership, an automation solution for the new KV800 was developed in record time, ready for presentation at Interpack 2017, the industry’s premier trade fair. The packaging machine offers superior flexibility for custom bottle designs, and its precise and carefully controlled operation means it can even be used for very delicate products. The automation solution packages movement control and the sequential controller into separate modules. This lets Citus Kalix protect its IP while achieving independence from robot makers. Lenze’s C3200 controller was deployed as the ‘brain’ for movement control, alongside the i700 series multi-axis servo inverter and MCS synchronous servo motors. Machine setup is significantly shorter, thanks to the FAST application software toolbox, which offers a set of standard software components.
“We value our partnership with Lenze: for the KV800, we were working closely together at all stages of the engineering process.” Anthony Defois, Head of Automation Development at Citus Kalix.
Maan Engineering, The Netherlands
Dutch company Maan Engineering designs and builds high-quality release and adhesive coating equipment for the worldwide label printing industry. In 2017, Maan presented its new HYBRID laminating and coating line for hybrid label production at the Labelexpo Europe fair in Brussels. In just 15 minutes, the machine can be retooled from the production of self-adhesive labels to linerless – or vice versa. During machine development, Maan made good use of Lenze’s automation and industry expertise. The result was a drive solution package consisting of mechatronic elements and software. Development time was also significantly accelerated, thanks to the use of modular FAST technology from Lenze. The preconfigured, standardised software modules enables the machine control system to be set up and configured flexibly with just a few clicks.
“Software development was much faster than usual because it was essentially a turnkey solution for our application. All we had to do was assemble the modules and connect them to the machine. That was all there was to it – it was very straightforward.” Arjan Bovenmars, Industrial Automation Engineer at Maas.
Lödige Finnair, Germany / Finland
Building an airport cargo terminal with a construction time of less than a year is a project which cannot be carried out without a team of experienced partners. A team like Lenze and Lödige – the Finnish specialists for air freight facilities – for example. All of the material flows used for carrier Finnair’s freight business in the cargo terminal at Helsinki Airport run on equipment from Lödige, while the drive technology for the air cargo container and pallet transfer/warehousing systems is from Lenze. With an eye on the increasingly tight scheduling of such projects, Lödige has now moved to buying turnkey drive solutions rather than purchasing individual motors or variable frequency drives. Lödige and Lenze also clearly defined the interfaces – from mechanical systems to electronics to software – well in advance. Lenze not only provided on-site support for commissioning in Helsinki in early 2018 but also fields a rapid-response service team in nearby Espoo who can handle any problems encountered with the system.
“Elevating transfer vehicles – ETVs – and stacker cranes are specialised pieces of machinery. With Lenze, we’ve found a partner that not only supplies the technology but can also offer us a wealth of drive system expertise.” Frank Hoffmann, Head of Controls / Electrical Engineering at Lödige Systems.
With smartphones and tablets, touchscreen-based interaction is a user-friendly technology that is now a natural part of our daily lives. Yet it is still something of a rarity in machinery manufacturing. Monforts, a textile machinery specialist based in Mönchengladbach, worked closely with Lenze on a conceptual rethink of the user interface design for Montex, its latest generation of stenters. Lenze assisted Monforts at all stages of the engineering process, and especially during the conceptual phase, sketching out initial implementation scenarios that were turned into models and then ultimately an innovative visualisation solution. Machinery engineering projects such as Monforts’ next generation of stenters showcase Lenze’s solution expertise – from actuators to automation software and on to the human-machine interface.
This represents a quantum leap for users of the machine: features such as swiping, zooming and scrolling on the multi-sensor display are now also possible on the machine. The screen layout can be configured and saved as a profile as shift supervisors and shop floor operators will of course need to access different kinds of information. The new system also provides access to Monforts’ fast, internet-based service portal. Alongside much improved usability, setup, process monitoring and data administration all require less time and effort. Lenze is convinced that this intuitive visualisation incorporating smartphone gestures will become the standard in manufacturing.
“If our stenters are easier to operate – especially with frequent machine operator shift changes – textile firms can save time when setting-up and running in new products. Fast plant setup gives me maximum productivity from the outset. And this pays off for our customers." Klaus A. Heinrichs, Vice President Marketing, Monforts.