- Leading tyre manufacturer looks to modernise production solutions to address performance needs and industry demands
- Allen-Bradley ControlLogix PAC
- Allen-Bradley PanelView Plus 1000 HMI
- Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 70 variable-speed drives
- Allen-Bradley Kinetix 6000 servo drives
- EtherNet/IP, DeviceNet and SERCOS network adaptors
- Faster production cycle
- Reduced down time
- Increased flexibility
- Easier operator interactions
- Enhanced ability to easily and quickly develop, programme and initiate new tyre architectures
Indas TECH oversees and deploys new mechanical and automation solution to bring manufacturing systems up to modern standards
Modernisation presents companies with multiple benefits, in terms of performance, agility, flexibility, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), total cost of ownership (TCO) and – of particular importance in this modern data-rich era – connectivity. Contemporary solutions also help to address major concerns, including legislation, safety, obsolescence and compatibility.
For these reasons many companies embark on programmes, replacing aging, legacy, black-box solutions with modern, data capable, fully integrated automation and information systems, with rapid payback across all operational parameters very quickly justifying the investment.
The tyre industry is one realm that is seeing rapid adoption of new connected technology and new techniques, as it seeks to both streamline and speed up manufacturing operations. Indeed, many of the major players are undertaking huge investment campaigns to modernise and expand existing capabilities, with global demand for passenger car and light commercial vehicles tyres in 2018 estimated to be some 1.63 billion units. According to the TechSci Research report, “Global Tyre Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2022”, the global tyre market is forecast to surpass $ 319 billion by 2022 on account of anticipated rise in vehicle sales and expanding vehicle fleet.
It was the desire to leverage the capabilities of modern control solutions – while also addressing product variety, market expansion and compliance challenges – that prompted one of the world’s largest tyre producers to approach INDAS Tech, a Romanian Rockwell Automation Recognised Systems Integrator, to modernise its stage one and stage 2 tyre building machines at its plant in Romania. The company was also looking to incorporate new features in its productions systems that would deliver much more flexibility in terms of tyre-size changes and product handling.
INDAS Tech faced many demands that are inherent with fast-moving production environments in conjunction with a limited time window in which to deploy the new solution. As well as the mechanical redesign and automation migration, it also had to cater for deployment of the new capabilities and tie all of this in with compliance requests from the end user’s many customers.
The project would eventually see INDAS Tech designing the electrical equipment, delivering technical assistance for the installation and cabling of electrical components and developing the application software for the programmable automation controllers (PAC) and HMIs. Following this, it had to undertake production testing, with and without the products, before performing full factory-acceptance testing and the delivery of operator manuals.
According to Adrian Busurca, Operations Manager at INDAS Tech: “Our customer set us a number of challenges.” These included:
- An operator interface that would permit easy recipe changes coupled to simpler parameterisation and calibration
- Increased working speeds in order to increase productivity
- Modular software for the easy implementation of solutions for future technological demands, and
- New security solutions with optical barriers, proximity radars, bi-manual commands and safety strips.
The existing automation and control solution comprised AC motors and drives used for drum positioning controlled via I/O modules by legacy Allen-Bradley® SLC™ 500 PLCs, with operator interactions delivered by an older Allen-Bradley PanelView™ HMI. Compared to modern solutions, this older architecture did not offer easy programming, meaning recipe changeovers and parameter changes took too long. The production cycle was also overly long compared to market standards, which, in today’s fast-moving, dynamic markets is simply unacceptable.
The new solution saw multiple new developments by INDAS tech. The new control solution comprises an Allen-Bradley ControlLogix® PAC, a new PanelView Plus 1000 HMI, Allen-Bradley PowerFlex® 70 variable-speed drives and servo solutions on a SERCOS network driven by Allen-Bradley Kinetix® 6000 servo drives. New programmes were developed for the PAC and HMI and the ability to communicate with level 2 systems and servers was made possible by an EtherNet/IP™ communication infrastructure. Third party solutions include pneumatic valves and servo position control and the laser marking system, which was controlled over DeviceNet.
The deployment of these smart control devices creates a smart manufacturing environment, which forms a gateway to digital transformation. Connected smart devices open new windows of visibility into processes, while data and analytics help enable better and faster decision making. This seamless connectivity spurs new collaboration. The Connected Enterprise from Rockwell Automation makes all this possible by converging plant-level and enterprise networks, and securely connecting people, processes and technologies.
Busurca explains the results: “Our customer now has a set of machines that deliver all the capabilities requested. It is now seeing greater productivity, reduced down time, increased flexibility in machine operation and, importantly, it has the option to much more easily and quickly develop, programme and initiate new tyre architectures.
“We have been working with Rockwell Automation for more than 24 years,” he concludes, “and have met many people from the company over the years, covering multiple projects. This complements our 15 years’ experience in the tyre industry, where we have developed projects for many important lines and machines, including mixers, extruder lines, calendar lines, tyre-building machines, curry presses and tyre testing machines. Our mix of capabilities across all elements of projects like these is mirrored by Rockwell Automation’s product and technology offering.”
As a Rockwell Automation Recognised System Integrator, INDAS Tech makes the commitment to deliver the highest technical solutions and customer service, leading with Rockwell Automation technologies. These integrators have a mutually supportive relationship with the Rockwell Automation sales and/or distributors they work with.
Allen-Bradley, ControlLogix, CompactLogix, GuardLogix, Guardmaster, Kinetix, PowerFlex, PanelView Plus, POINT I/O, Rockwell Automation and SLC are trademarks of Rockwell Automation, Inc.
EtherNet/IP and DeviceNet are trademarks of ODVA, Inc.
Trademarks not belonging to Rockwell Automation are property of their respective companies.