Astec, widely recognized as the largest U.S. producer of asphalt manufacturing plants, is increasingly turning to automation technologies to optimize plant energy use, reduce waste, and speed its assembly process. “Our control systems use Profibus or Profinet for networking because of its ease of troubleshooting and fast connections,” said Mark Chambers, who added that Astec is increasingly moving toward standard use of Profinet because of its greater bandwidth capabilities and speed.
Remanufacturing and updating a three-stage lathe was more beneficial than purchasing a new modern machine. Everything was already in place; it just needed updated drives and hydraulic systems.
The world’s first electrical car and passenger ferry powered by batteries has entered service in Norway. The ferry only uses 150 kWh per route, which corresponds to three days use of electricity in a standard Norwegian household. Built in conjunction with shipbuilder Fjellstrand, Siemens installed the complete electric propulsion system and put up charging stations with lithium-ion batteries which are charged from hydro power. With the change to battery, ship owner Norled is reducing the cost of fuel by up to 60 percent. The Norled ferry represents a milestone on the road to operating completely emission-free ferries along Norway’s long coastline, with at least 50 other routes currently able to sustain battery-operated vessels. The integrated automation systems control and monitor the machineries and auxiliaries on the ferry and are connected via Profibus to all other subsystems.
When you think about how to keep grain operations running smoothly with zero downtime and no undetected safety hazards or unnecessary operating costs, the Internet of Things is probably not the first answer that comes to mind. But that’s the approach TempuTech used in developing a cloud-based system for Riceland Foods’ grain facility in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The system is designed to provide continuous monitoring and actionable information to help operators proactively prevent problems by managing both grain and equipment conditions. Read this Application Story to find out what they achieved.
"The advantages begin in the shipyard and extend throughout the vessel's lifetime," says Mr. Wong. "This is because the distributed control and Profibus system are quick and easy to install, while maintenance costs are low. MacGregor's global service network ensures excellent customer support wherever these new vessels are deployed."
The primary purpose of this project is to extend the life of mines and to ramp up the rate of mining. The project includes 10 motor control centers with over 200 starters. Variable speed drives and soft starters were also installed. PROFINET is the communication protocol.
Fieldbus installation concepts using MVK Metal are well-established solutions for highly automated production lines. Sometimes, Murrelektronik's rugged fieldbus module is used in applications where you wouldn't quite expect it. A prime example is the Halder GmbH mobile debarking system. The machine builder, located in southern Germany, retrofitted their systems with MVK Metal, a modern Profibus fieldbus solution.
Canyon Rock turned to Siemens Totally Integrated Automation, TIA Portal engineering software and Profinet communications for rapid expansion and increased profitability. Faced with completing one of the largest projects in its history, Canyon Rock, a Northern California quarry, knew success depended on making major changes to its operations—and making them quickly. It needed to double production to meet the specifications of the bid it had just won, a sizable effort that required outside help. Recognizing that increasing capacity so significantly meant a major modernization, the company turned to its long-time business associate, automation specialist EandM, along with the known quality and reliability of the Siemens automation products and systems EandM distributes, to make it happen.
Leveraging powerful network technologies such as Profinet with existing infrastructure eliminates complexity, enhances decision making and speeds response to plant events. In today’s increasingly competitive global manufacturing marketplace, manufacturers need to modernize or risk falling hopelessly behind their competitors. The question: how do they do this within their existing infrastructure? The answer is not a tangible product that can be purchased off-the-shelf, nor is it a guide with secret steps to solving problems. The answer is Connected Manufacturing, an approach to infrastructure modernization based on standard engineering principles. Using Connected Manufacturing principles, manufacturers are able to upgrade their plant networks easily, cost effectively, and at their own pace without interruptions. With this approach—using technologies that connect to a manufacturers existing equipment—manufacturers can reduce operating costs, improve operations, ensure data security, and help maintain an aggressively competitive stance in the global market.
A new laser-based research and development cell has been installed at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Ansty, West Midlands, to help keep British manufacturing at the forefront of assembly, fabrication, and joining technologies. A Mitsubishi iQ-controller controls the laser, a six-axis test piece handling robot and multiple points of distributed I/O over Profibus connections.