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MediaService Digital Industries Newsroom

Future-proof welding –  Specialist plant builder relies on Siemens solution for safe welding process

Dalex Schweißmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG specializes in resistance welding and is one of the leading manufacturers in the world in this field.

Safety when working with machines is always an extremely high priority for Dalex. However, until now, the so-called F-functions (fail-safe functions) have been controlled by safety relays. This solution has very expensive wiring. “If a situation arose, we would need a new safety relay and would have to rewire which is fraught with problems. We therefore looked for a more flexible solution,” remembers Dirk Schneider, Deputy Chief of Electrical Design at Dalex. The fail-safe variant of a Siemens Simatic S7-1200 controller provided the solution for Dalex.

Dalex uses Siemens control technology to ensure that its plants meet the high safety requirements specified by the Machinery Directive.

Clear visualization

“This PLC (programmable logic controller) is exactly what we were looking for,” explains Schneider. “By using this solution, we no longer need the safety relay and can effectively leave the rewiring to the software – and this also saves our designers precious design time. If we need an additional safety function, all they have to do now is generate new control inputs. The rest is programming.” The CPU1214 FC central processing unit can be extended by up to eight standard or fail-safe modules which means it is also suitable for larger machines. Communication via Profinet significantly reduces the wiring cost. This new solution has allowed electrical engineers to standardize the design of the control cabinet for PMS series machines for point, projection, and seam welding. A Simatic KTP 400 Basic Panel is used for visualization as well as for parameterization and commissioning. The customer can also preselect welding programs from the panel or specify the number of welding processes to be completed before the electrodes have to be changed.

The Siemens solutions simplify the design of the control cabinet, are easy to parameterize, and thus reduce commissioning times.

Standards and consistency simplify handling

The engineering takes place in the TIA (Totally Integrated Automation) Portal engineering framework which includes a library of special modules even for demanding special machines. “The welding processes are largely identical and we are currently using the Simatic S7-1500F in machines for particularly complex tasks. Thanks to the TIA Portal and Step7, we can simply copy the programming modules from the Simatic S7-1500,” acknowledges Schneider. The high degree of standardization and consistency within the solution also simplifies service work. Existing modules make it easier to locate errors and the customer receives information in plain text via the panel instead of having to rely on visual cues from lamps as previously. Remote maintenance is also possible if required by the customer.

Fail-safe variants of the Simatic S7-1200 and the TIA Portal engineering framework are used.

Designed for digitalization

The comprehensive communications options offered by Simatic automation allow Dalex machines to be easily connected to larger lines and thus provide an excellent platform for users to exploit the benefits of Industrie 4.0, digitalization, and the cloud.
MediaService application reports may be based on previously published Siemens technical articles.

Contact

Ursula Lang

Siemens AG

Gleiwitzer Str. 555
90475 Nuremberg
Germany

+49 (911) 895-7947