Request of the customer
The customer wanted a fully integrated control system for the infeed and outfeed of a new back coating line, with connection to an existing conveyor system. This infeed and outfeed are together 100 metres long and consist of several linked machines that have to be synchronised with each other. Only the drying oven between the infeed and the outfeed has a separate control from the oven manufacturer.
The infeed consists mainly of a carpet reversing unit, a carpet buffer, different types of latex applicators and the feed of an extra light cloth. The outfeed consists of various buffers, a control zone and a fully automatic winding unit with tube supply and packaging.
Finally, there is a transport section that needs to be connected to an existing transport system. All these installations were mechanically designed and built by our sister company Matthys nv.
The customer asked us to be able to view the status and settings of all components across the entire line. This line has to process many different qualities of wall-to-wall carpet and artificial turf, with recipe parameters being loaded from an overhead MES system. There must also be feedback of data to the same MES system. Furthermore, this project paid particular attention to ergonomics and safety.
In short, the customer expected us to provide a total solution in the field of automation. We were more than happy to take on this great challenge!
We chose Siemens for the control and drives of this project. Infeed and outfeed each have their own S7-1500 PLC with integrated safety. This integrated safety has several advantages, such as decentralised configuration, flexibility, extensive diagnostics and more complex safety functions that combine safety with ergonomics.
For the drives, we used Siemens AC and servo motors, controlled by Siemens G120C, G120 and S110 drives. These communicate with the PLCs via Profinet and Profisafe. A total of 124 motors had to be controlled in all possible modes such as speed, torque and position. Technology objects were also used. In addition, we paid special attention to energy consumption, where motors can regeneratively feed their energy back into the grid. That's why PM250 motor modules were used for some drives.
The control by the operator is done via various HMI comfort and basic panels spread across the line. We also integrated various types of safety components, such as light curtains, safety scanners, bumpers, door access controls, with or without locks.
In collaboration with the customer's IT department, we chose to communicate with the MES system via the OPC UA server in the PLC. This way, recipes are automatically loaded, production data forwarded, machine and production data fed back and the finished carpet rolls are assigned a destination in the warehouse on the other side of the site. Everything had to be as automatic as possible, but we also provided the possibility for operators to do certain manual settings.
Finally, we also paid special attention to the cable work. During the design we had to take into account the long distances between control cabinets and components. After all, the customer wanted all control cabinets to be centralised in an air-conditioned room, which meant that certain cable lengths ran to over 200m.
Almost all electrical work on this major project, including the design of the electrical diagrams in Eplan, the panel construction, the development of the software and the commissioning, was carried out entirely by our own people. The cable work at the customer was done under our supervision in collaboration with an external party.
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