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New Drives and PLC to Suominen for a top-level energy diagnosis

Upgrades & Retrofits | Marco Nottoli, 23 June 2020

As you know, in a nonwovens facility the large majority of the machinery require the use of an electric motor. This, in turn, requires the use of drive converters to harness and control the electrical energy being delivered to it. In addition, the motor requires a link to a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) to obtain an energy diagnosis.

In the 1990s, Siemens released its SIMOVERT MASTERDRIVES converters, promptly adopted by A.Celli and which have been the industry standard ever since. However, Siemens has outdone themselves with the release of their new, more sophisticated SINAMICS generation of converters.

We at A.Celli have adopted the SINAMICS line, linked to top-of-the-line PLC technology, to help our customers take energy diagnosis to the next level. In this article we’ll take a look at one of our success stories, but first, let’s look closely at what SINAMICS offers.

Switching from SIMOVERT to SINAMICS

For any plants using SIMOVERT, it may seem unnecessary to make the switch to SINAMICS. However, this upgrade ultimately provides nonwovens plants with a number of advantages and it is highly recommended due to its superior performance, modular structure and easy maintenance

Aside from the advantages described above, there is another reason to make the shift to SINAMICS: with the introduction of this new drive converter, Siemens has been phasing out the SIMOVERT and, by the end of 2020, this technology will no longer be supported by the company. This ultimately means the availability of parts cannot be guaranteed.

With this in mind, when it is time for maintenance on your SIMOVERT system, it is highly recommended that you consider the replacement of any old or obsolete drive converter with either the SINAMICS G130/G150 or the S120CM/S150.

Read more: Drives upgrade: why you should replace your drive converters

How SINAMICS increases productivity and efficiency

Like we briefly said before, SINAMICS is superior to SIMOVERT in many ways. The new technology offers:

  • Increased power range up to 132 kW
  • User-friendly commissioning software
  • Improved control response
  • Improved fan, pump, and compressor functions
  • Integrated safety features that help plants comply with existing safety regulations
  • Integration with the TIA portal
  • Integrated PROFINET and IP communication between Profinet and Ethernet
  • Improved product quality with coated boards
  • Push-through cooling
  • Improved energy recovery

In addition, the SINAMICS product will still offer the choice of cabinet or built-in options, both boasting a modular structure and easy maintenance.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at how the SINAMICS upgrade helped our customer, Suominen.

The adoption of SINAMICS by Suominen for a better energy diagnosis

The challenge

Suominen is a manufacturer of nonwovens as roll goods for wipes as well as for medical and hygiene products. It is the global market leader in nonwovens for wipes, employing nearly 700 people in Europe and in the Americas. Among their products we can find wipes for personal hygiene and baby care, sanitary pads, diapers, adult incontinence products, surgical drapes and swabs.

Suominen reached out to A.Celli Nonwovens to upgrade their drives to SINAMICS for a number of reasons. First, they knew the availability of parts was becoming an issue. However, more important were the facts that they wanted to decrease their downtime for maintenance and parts replacements and improve their productivity by switching from manual to automatic operations.

The solution

A.Celli Nowovens, thanks to its team of senior engineers in the update and retrofit department, was able to make the upgrade from SIMOVERT to SINAMICS in a short amount of time. This saved Suominen from experiencing increased downtime they couldn’t afford.

In order to achieve this result, A.Celli Nonwovens, prior to the upgrade, conducted an onsite pre-engineering survey. The new drives were then preassembled and prewired in one of our workshops with full PLC functionality. Three A.Celli technicians performed electrical supervision during the installation, commissioning and start-up of the SINAMICS system. Once the start-up was achieved, the new system was monitored for the next seven days.

The results

Ultimately, A.Celli Nonwovens was able to install the new drives, along with PLC, that met Suominen’s needs and maintained the innovative spirit of their new production line.

Read our complete guide on Industrial plant retrofits and start increasing your machinery performance!

Suominen experienced better performance and control over motor speed and overall production. When it come to energy usage, the upgrade made available to them a complete energy recovery system and allowed them to:

  • Perform complete energy diagnostics
  • Define clear energy KPIs
  • Achieve energy balancing throughout their plant

Overall, the SINAMICS upgrade resulted in enhanced plant performance by allowing them to switch to automated operations. The enhanced energy diagnosis helped Suominen minimize energy usage while ensuring top production speed and product quality.

Contact us today to learn more about upgrading to SINAMICS and achieve the same results as Suominen!

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