vor 5 Monaten


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Automating the wafer

Automating the wafer production process with control system CONTROL AND DRIVE TECHNOLOGY To meet growing demand and ensure a consistent standard of quality, a manufacturer of wafer products has introduced a highly automated production process, and uses Siemens technology for control and visualization. The company has been able to optimize its production processes, prevent dosing errors and ensure production sequences that are traceable and fully documented. Around three billion wafer products – from ice cream cones to flat wafers – are baked, packaged and shipped every year by Waffelfabrik Meyer zu Venne GmbH & Co. KG based in Venne near Osnabruck. The production halls at Waffel-Meyer are equipped with 40 ovens. 33 of them are used to bake ice cream cones, the other seven for flat wafers. The batter for the flat wafer ovens is fed by mixers which are automatically filled with the ingredients. In contrast to the former method involving a manual weighing process, dosing of the main ingredients is now performed automatically, ensuring more precise dosing and reducing raw material waste. The automation technology has been provided by Hellebusch Elektrotechnik GmbH, a system integrator based in Steinfeld, which uses the extensive Siemens portfolio for its process automation. The Siemens products used here include a programmable logic controller (PLC) Simatic S7-300 CPU 315-2PN/DP, for each mixer, and the Siwarex weighing module, which is connected to the PLC. The mixers are monitored within the factory by a redundant pair of servers in a server room, which can be accessed directly from the factory floor using Simatic Panel PCs. About Siemens Siemens is a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resourcesaving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of systems for power generation and transmission as well as medical diagnosis. The company has around 348,000 employees in more than 200 countries. In fiscal 2015, they generated revenues of € 75.6 billion. Future-proof and compatible To make optimum use of the benefits of automated batter production, in parallel to the Simatic controller the company also decided to introduce Simatic WinCC V7 Scada software. This manages the recipes, collects production data for analysis and so enables seamlessly traceable plant operation. With the Open Platform Communications (OPC) standard, WinCC supports not only an array of automation products from the Siemens Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) spectrum, but also a good number of third-party products. Even in its basic version, WinCC offers extensive options for visualization of the production process. These are supplemented by industry-specific add-ons such as PM-Control for controlling wafer production and PM-Quality, which analyzes and stores the logged data. “Detailed 02 The storage container of the flat wafer production lines serves as a short-term buffer for the oven; the filling level is monitored by sensors and automatically regulated WORLD OF INDUSTRIES – INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION 1/2017

01 The consistently high quality standard of flat wafers can be verified thanks to detailed product data acquisition in the control system 03 Production can be started and monitored using the control system from the operator station at the mixer data analysis allow us to log and verify the input of raw materials and the production process for each individual wafer – not using calculated values or specifications but based on real production data,” explains the wafer factory’s CEO, Christian Meyer zu Venne. This enables the documentation and verification of product quality. Simple upgrading and scalability Another reason the company opted for WinCC as a control system is its scope for simple upgrading and scalability. The system can be quickly adapted in line with a production environment which is continuously changing as a result of line upgrades and modernization processes, and also permits quantity structures of up to 256,000 variables. Additional operating stations can also be connected at any time with a total of 32 clients per WinCC server. There are two possibilities for integrating existing and new plants. They are either integrated as an industrial PC into the already existing system, meaning that the Scada project runs locally and its data is synchronized with the server. Alternatively, the complete project can be filed on the WinCC server using Thin Clients to access it. Ideally equipped for the future By automating the production process, and saving and analyzing the production data, Waffel-Meyer has succeeded in further increasing its product quality and at the same time preventing dosing errors by optimizing the input of raw materials. Because WinCC is also a “Detailed data analysis allow us to log and verify the production process for each individual wafer“ future-proof solution offering easy adaptability and an open architecture for changes, the system will allow rapid, trouble-free modernization and adjustment in line with future needs. Photographs: Siemens WORLD OF INDUSTRIES – INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION 1/2017