An integral part of efficient newspaper processing is the temporary winding of print products on space-saving intermediate storage elements called MultiDiscs. This system offers a solution for all formats, without the need to make adjustments in the event of changing product lengths. As soon as the empty disc carrier enters the winding station, the winding process starts without any manual intervention. Full carriers are automatically disconnected and can be removed with a shuttle. With these properties, the mobile carrier ensures seamless product transport between various production centres, for instance.
“Since we are active in the series machinery segment, the solutions we use don't have to prove themselves in isolated cases, but continuously – both in our own processes and during operation at our customers' premises. Accordingly, we have doubly high standards when choosing every component,” explains Stefan Sutter, Head of MC Software Development, in discussing Ferag's requirements.
“When we were redesigning our MTD-10 winding machine, our goal was to create a highly-productive, fail-safe system. After checking different
When redesigning its winding machines, Ferag had been searching for a high-performance remote I/O system – and found it at Weidmüller
remote I/O variants in detail, we opted for the new system from Weidmüller, the properties of which optimally answer our call for powerful high-performance automation.”
The winding machines are used as modular components in various sub-sections of a Ferag system – as a dynamic buffer between printing presses and the mailroom or as intermediate storage for printed forms and inserts that will be processed later on, for instance. For the purpose of decentralised control, every MTD-10 machine is equipped with a u-remote station, which is connected to the higherlevel control system via EtherCAT. When designing the system, Ferag was especially won over by the compactness of the practical remote I/O concepts.
“Thanks to the high channel density and its slim design with a module of just 11.5 mm wide, u-remote saves space and offers flexible design options,” explains Cédric Hengartner from Weidmüller, who assisted Ferag during the winding machine redesign process as a Project Manager for Industrial Automation.
“To be specific, Ferag is benefiting from the fact that u-remote supplies up to 64 I/O modules with just one feed-in on the coupler. Moreover, two highly durable 10 A current paths are intelligently separated, such that the inputs and outputs are supplied separately. With these options, our u-remote stations can be designed to be slimmer than the other solutions that Ferag considered. This is especially beneficial for decentralised control boxes, such as those on the winding machines, as they can be kept very compact.”
By automatically winding and unwinding of print products, the Ferag MTD-10 stations increase the efficiency of newspaper production and distribution
connection level, Ferag's installers benefit from the fact that they can connect the 48 sensors and 32 actuators per station using pre-assembled cables. In addition, there is the PUSH IN direct connection technology, which delivers a considerable time saving without impairing security.
As well as a stable system, Ferag's main requirements centred around practical diagnostic options. “Security issues are a huge topic for us when it comes to handing over our system software. Against this backdrop, we have long since wanted an alternative solution that would allow us to perform diagnostics during operation,” explains Project Manager Norbert Bürge, who was responsible for developing the software for the MTD-10 winding machines. “The u-remote system with its integrated web server came just at the right time in this respect.”
There is no need for any software installation as the web server enables diagnostics via remote access using a standard browser. Inputs and force outputs can also be simulated locally and with ease. With these properties, the web server is not only making section-based commissioning easier for Ferag; it is also speeding up maintenance work during subsequent operation.
The benefits of the unique status and diagnosis assignment become important during system test runs and ongoing operation. This is an especially easy process with u-remote, as an LED is located on the channel and status indicators on every module. Technicians can see errors instantly and rectify them directly.
Built into the decentralized control cabinets in the application, u-remote ensures smooth operation on the entire line