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assembly


Correspondingly, John Baines, president of Hahn Automation, said, “We also work under the philosophy that we should build it where it gets used, so we needed a partner for the controls and application engineering assistance who could work seamlessly with both our German and US operations. We found that supplier in Siemens and their local solution partner, C&E Sales.” For the project, the control supplier furnished all drives, PLCs, master HMI and remote control pendants to give freedom of movement to the operators, as they work around the cell stations. Siemens and C&E Sales also provided Hahn their application engineering assistance and the TIA Portal, an engineering network from Siemens which allows all programming of motion controllers, distributed I/O, HMI and other devices through a single point of command. In addition, TIA Portal maintains a library with the operating protocols, hardware designations and performance characteristics of task-specifi c projects, enabling subsequent recall, system reconfi guration on-the-fl y and substantial engineering time savings for the integrator and end user alike. Hahn was able to utilize the TIA Portal at every step in the confi guration and commissioning of the work cells devised for ThyssenKrupp on this project. As Baines noted, “The diversity of products being produced were all nonetheless similar in nature and mechanical composition, so many of the motion control commands and assembly sequencings could be done using the library of programmed information in the TIA Portal. Siemens provided us considerable assistance on this project, though we had previous experience with this engineering network.” Baines further said the TIA Portal resulted in signifi cant cost and time savings for Hahn and ultimately the end user. On this project, Hahn provided ThyssenKrupp the fi rst of several cells, comprising six “valve stacker” modules for the pre-assembly, kitting and riveting of the shock absorber washers and piston rod assemblies,


Each module in the cell is run by a slave PLC, monitored and controlled by the master HMI.


plus the gas and oil fi ll, welding and functional testing proce- dures. For each model produced, an assortment of washers with various profi les and dimensions is stacked on the piston, assembled and then the shock absorber body is fi lled with gas and oil, all to pre-programmed levels. The “recipe” for each model made is stored in the HMI onboard, which drives the individual module PLCs. At each station in the cell, an operator can instantly visualize the recipe in progress and enjoys the free movement around the cell, using the remote control pen- dant. As the model changeover is required, the master recipe exports the particular data requirements to each module, and then the ramp-up of the overall cell begins anew. Washers of various sizes and profi le confi gurations are used for the buildup of each model produced, so the required components are brought to the assembly stations by a series of four-axis ABB iRB 360 FlexPickers and ceiling mounted Epson G10’s, using Selective Compliance Articulated (Assembly) Robot Arm (SCARA) technology. Functionally, the various commands are executed via the PLC, an S7-1500 from Siemens, which features seamless integration with the TIA Portal, as well as fully integrated onboard safety and security modules. As Baines explained, “The setting adjustments are quite substantial for each damper product produced, so the load on the control system required strict monitoring and valida- tion. There’s the master cell with six modules, including four valve stackers and two fi nal assembly stations. Inter- estingly, half our design and assembly work was done in Germany and half was done here in Hebron, KY, where we also did the fi nal confi guration of the control platform, runout and per- formance evaluations prior to delivery to ThyssenKrupp.” He noted the support is provided by Siemens, both in Germany and in the US. Baines also cited the upgrade to the higher level Simatic S7-1500 PLC as a signifi cant advantage for Hahn in the overall achievement of this project’s suc- cess. He particularly noted the safety


74 — Motorized Vehicle Manufacturing 2016


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