The Next Generation of Comfort Panels

Ready to implement innovative operating concepts, both today and down the road? Siemens’ new generation of SIMATIC HMI Unified Comfort Panels are for you.

SIMATIC HMI Unified Comfort Panels come in sizes ranging from 7” to 21.5” and offer you all the freedom and possibilities you need to implement your innovative operating concepts thanks to their capacitive multitouch displays. The panels are particularly powerful, allow the installation of apps and simplify scaling thanks to vector-based visualization.

Learn more:

Questions? Contact our Engineering Team!

SE Automation, a Standard Electric Supply Co., in business since 2004, is committed to offering you, the customer, the quality services and products which you require to successfully run your business.

Ready to Get Started? We’ve Got the Key You Need…

The electronic SIRIUS ACT ID key-operated switches have proven their high flexibility compared to conventional solutions for years. The unique key IDs allow users to correctly assign authorizations, increasing security for your production facility. But the benefits don’t end there. The ID key-operated switches include:

  • Individual authorization management for groups or individuals
  • Unambiguous identification of users
  • Increased plant safety
  • Degree of protection IP65
  • Different colored RFID keys for each authorization level
  • Unrestricted selection and combination of authorization levels, freely programmable for individual special locks via IO-Link
  • Easy integration into plant via TIA Portal (Port Configuration Tool)
  • Highly flexible authorization assignment

Not sure where to start? Sounds like you need a Starter Kit!

There are two available starter kits that include:

  • SIRIUS ACT components, ID key operated switch including an ID key
  • Label holder with 4 labels
  • Partially insulated SIRIUS screwdriver
  • IO-Link electronic module (preprogrammed or freely programmable)

Starter Kit 1 includes an I/O link module with four preprogrammed authorization levels, while Starter Kit 2 can be customized to your specific application requirements.

Questions? Contact our Engineering Team!

SE Automation, a Standard Electric Supply Co., in business since 2004, is committed to offering you, the customer, the quality services and products which you require to successfully run your business.

SIRIUS 3RW50: Save Space Without Sacrificing Functionality

Do you need a safe-saving soft starter with a wealth of functionality? Look no further than the SIRIUS 3RW50 by Siemens.

The SIRIUS 3RW50 soft starter features a compact, space-saving design and minimal power loss. It uses a hybrid switching technology and two-phase motor control cover a range from 100 to 400 hp at 480V. The soft torque function prevents current peaks during startup and reduces the mechanical loading, especially when stopping pumps to prevent water hammer and other types of pressure peaks found in pipe systems.

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The SIMATIC ET 200AL – For Effortless Installation Anywhere

With its high degree of protection IP65/67, particularly compact design, low space requirements and weight, SIMATIC ET 200AL is specially designed for distributed control electronics in tight spaces and involving motion. The SIMATIC ET 200AL devices are quickly and conveniently configured and commissioned using the TIA Portal. The modules can be incorporated in the automation network via PROFINET, PROFIBUS or the integration of ET 200SP.

The integrated engineering in the TIA Portal enables consistent system diagnostics and efficient operation. With the help of the TIA Selection Tool you can conveniently configure a ET 200AL system and easily order its components. The SIMATIC Automation Tool offers easy support for commissioning, maintenance and service. The possibility of interfacing to SIMATIC ET 200SP and the CAx-compatible labeling of all interfaces also ensure efficiency during configuration and commissioning. The ET 200AL supports configuration management (option handling) for the realization of flexible machine concepts.

SIMATIC ET 200AL modules can be easily installed in any position directly in a machine or assembly line on location. With a width of only 30 or 45 mm, the SIMATIC ET 200AL modules enable the connection of sensors and actuators in extremely small spaces by means of reliable M8 and M12 connection technology. Color coding of the sockets and the corresponding connecting cables simplifies wiring. Also, socket arrangement has been optimized to facilitate cable laying and the cable ties can be secured directly on the module to support cables. The modules can be optionally connected to PROFINET or PROFIBUS or integrated in SIMATIC ET 200SP.

The modules comply with the IP65/67 protection class and operate reliably within a temperature range of -25 to +55 °C and with accelerations of up to 5 g. Plastic enclosures make the modules particularly lightweight. SIMATIC ET 200AL modules are thus the perfect choice for applications involving movement. ET 200AL standard modules and their digital outputs can be shut down in groups safety related. The Technical Report issued by the German Technical Inspectorate (TÜV) proves that the modules achieve safety class SIL CL2 and PL d. It also enables the PROFIenergy functionality to turn off coordinated individual users or complete production units of during non-production hours.

Whether in engineering, installation or operation: The SIMATIC ET 200AL IO system offers a wealth of benefits – making it the ideal system for a host of applications.

Click here to learn more.

Questions? Contact our Engineering Team!

SE Automation, a Standard Electric Supply Co., in business since 2004, is committed to offering you, the customer, the quality services and products which you require to successfully run your business.

Connect Directly to the Cloud with the Logo! Logic Module Series 8.3

Siemens is presenting the new version of the logic module series Logo! for the first time at Hannover Messe 2020. The latest Logo! Version 8.3 is now available and features a direct cloud connection.

With Version 8.3, it is possible to activate and configure the cloud connection and use the new free Logo!  web editor to create user-defined website and dashboards in the cloud. Users can also design their automation projects and operate them from the cloud via smartphone, tablet or PC. The webserver can be directly hosted in the cloud, enabling individual visualization and centralized control of switching and automation solutions in building management systems, and in the construction of control cabinets, machines and apparatus – comfortably, regardless of the location. Users now have even more options for simple networking.

What you should know about version 8.3:

  • The LOGO 8.3 is compatible with all LOGO 8 extension modules
  • Pricing will not change
  • There will be no possibility to upgrade the FW of older base modules
  • There will be a new order number (MLFB) for all LOGO! base modules
  • The order numbers for starter kits will not change
  • The order number for Logo! Soft Comfort will not change

For more information, click here.

Questions? Contact our Engineering Team!

SE Automation, a Standard Electric Supply Co., in business since 2004, is committed to offering you, the customer, the quality services and products which you require to successfully run your business.

SIPLUS HCS: Saving You Time, Money and Resources

Nearly all industrially manufactured products undergo heat treatment. Even small deviations in the heating process can result in enormous negative effects on product quality.

To increase the quality and quantity of a heat-treated product, it is important to be able to focus the energy required with the highest level of spatial and temporal precision. The SIPLUS HCS ensures utmost precision in the control of electric heating elements such as infrared heaters.

Three heating control systems are available:

  • With integrated power outputs – compact design
  • With integrated power outputs – modular design
  • Without integrated power outputs

The SIPLUS HCS family of heating control systems saves time, costs and resources when it comes to configuring, commissioning, operation and maintenance with:

  • Simple integration into existing automation systems such as SIMATIC and SIMOTION
  • Lower wiring costs and user-friendly engineering
  • Intelligent diagnostics options for swift fault detection
  • Service-friendly design thanks to ready-to-use function and data blocks
  • Reduced volume in the control cabinet with space savings of up to 50%

With the SIPLUS HCS family of heating control systems you can significantly increase plant availability, thanks to detailed, intelligent diagnostic functions and fast localization of faults in the heating process. Additional benefits include:

  • Simple integration into existing automation systems
  • Automation from a single source: simple data management with TIA
  • Easy commissioning with STEP 7 and TIA portal

Questions? Contact our Engineering Team!

SE Automation, a Standard Electric Supply Co., in business since 2004, is committed to offering you, the customer, the quality services and products which you require to successfully run your business.

Confidently Handle the Most Difficult Starting and Stopping Operations with the Siemens 3RW55

Equipped with the utmost functionality, SIRIUS 3RW55 Failsafe High Performance soft starters confidently handle even the most difficult starting and stopping operations. Thanks to innovative torque control, the device can be used for drives with an output of between 5.5 kW and 560 kW (at 400 V).

The innovative 3RW55 Failsafe soft starter features an integrated fail-safe digital input for directly connecting the EMERGENCY STOP, and thus covers SIL 1 STO applications. The HMI (with color display, local interface and a slot for micro SD memory card) and plug-in communication modules (PROFINET, PROFIBUS, EtherNet/IP and Modbus) ensure maximum flexibility. With their modern hybrid switching technology, the 3RW55 Failsafe soft starters offer efficient switching for long-term, energy-saving use.

The Siemens 3RW55 includes:

  • Automatic parameterization
  • Hybrid switching devices and three-phase motor control
  • Integration into the TIA portal – communication modules optional
  • Removable HMI with color display, local interface, and a slot for a micro SD memory card
  • Pump stop and torque control
  • Certified according to ATEX/IECEx directive
  • Fail-safe disconnection up to SIL 3 – PL e / STO

Benefits of the Siemens 3RW55 include:

  • Extremely easy commissioning and reliability even under changing load conditions
  • Minimum power loss and optimum/symmetrical motor control
  • Efficient configuration and maximum flexibility in automatic engineering
  • Maximum flexibility with regard to user interface and intuitive menu guidance
  • Reduced mechanical loading and optimum pump stop control
  • Suitable fort eh starting of explosion-proof motors
  • Reduced costs and space requirements thanks to direct wiring of the EMERGENCY STOP mushroom pushbutton to the soft starter for SIL 1

Questions? Contact our Engineering Team!

SE Automation, a Standard Electric Supply Co., in business since 2004, is committed to offering you, the customer, the quality services and products which you require to successfully run your business.

The Versatile, Seamless, and Safety Integrated SIMATIC MICRO-DRIVE

Siemens has expanded its converter family to include a new member in the safety extra-low voltage range – the SIMATIC MICO-DRIVE. Ideally suited for use in medical applications, the SIMATIC MICRO-DRIVE can also be used in automated guided vehicle systems and in shuttles for storage and retrieval systems and storage rack systems. The SIMATIC MICRO-DRIVE is extremely versatile, seamless, and safety integrated. The servo drive system delivers on high-precision positioning tasks in production and manufacturing as well as in innovative applications. It has a wide range of certificates and can be combined with numerous components to help create a customized solution.

Benefits and Features:

  • Works with motor power ratings ranging from 100 to 1000 Watts and can handle a motor supply voltage from 24 to 48 V DC.
  • Comes with a wide range of certificates (including UL and CE) and works with Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) for commission and service.


  • Moving
  • Processing
  • Positioning
Questions? Contact our Engineering Team!

SE Automation, a Standard Electric Supply Co., in business since 2004, is committed to offering you, the customer, the quality services and products which you require to successfully run your business.

The DP Contactor

Siemens Brings Back Definite Purpose Contactors

By: Griffin Buckley

After a brief discontinuation, Siemens brings back Class 42 and Class 45 Definite Purpose Contactors.  As of November 12, 2019, the Siemens-invented Definite Purpose Contactors is available to order using original part numbers and matching the exact fit, form, and function of the previously available contactors.

Due to the rise in material costs and a diseconomy of scale, Siemens temporarily discontinued the Definite Purpose Contactors despite their increased demand and Class 45popularity back in 2011. Today, the DP Contactors return without the Class 34 2-Speed DP, Class 44 Reversing DP, or Class 16 DP Starter, which can now be filled with NEMA or IEC products.

DP Contactor features:

  • Compact size
  • Quiet operation
  • Completely enclosed body and coil
  • Visual contact position indication
  • Power terminations
    • Quick connects
    • 30A: screws
    • 40A and above: box lugs
  • Durable metal back plate
  • Weld-resistant silver cadmium oxide contacts
  • Class F coil insulationClass 42

Class 45:

  • 1-pole with shunt bar in 30 and 40 amps
  • 2-pole in 30 and 40 amps

Class 42:

  • 2-pole in 30 and 40 amps
  • 3-pole in 30 to 90 amps
  • Snap-on auxiliary contacts
  • Replacement coils available

Siemens’ Definite Purpose Contactors have been developed for HVAC, refrigeration, fans, blowers, and welders for OEMs and manufacturers of machinery. Give us a call at 1-888-776-8222 for more on information on ordering and replacements of Siemens products.

SIMATIC S7-1200 LUNCH AND LEARN – October 23, 25, and 29


Join us and we’ll show you a feature-packed SIMATIC S7-1200 PLC system and how to save time and money on your next project! Attend the S7-1200 Lunch and Learn for a hands-on trial!

• S7-1200 PLC feature overview
• Expansion options
• Communication capabilities
• Programming
• Visualization

To register visit our events page; CLICK HERE

INDUSTRY ONLINE SUPPORT APP – Optimal Support Anywhere!

Get the information and solutions that you’d normally search for on the Siemens Service and Support web page on your tablet or mobile device with Siemens Industry Online Support App.

App Functions:
•  Scan product and EAN codes for technical and graphic information.
•  Send requests to Tech Support
•  Troubleshoot failures
•  Scan and Photo function
•  Transfer PDFs to external library


Download the Siemens Industry Online Support App today!

SITOP PSU6200 – All Around Power Supply for a Wide Range of Applications

Experience the start of a new chapter in the world of standard power supplies with the SITOP PSU6200 all-around power supply. Whether you’re a builder or operator of control panels, machines, or plants, all users benefit from the ingenious functions and features of the new SITOP PSU6200 product line – throughout the entire lifecycle, from planning and engineering to installation and operation.

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SIMATIC Notifier – Intelligent apps for operator control, monitoring, & maintenance

Response time is essential to maintaining production, but maintenance and operations can’t always be at their desks or next to the HMI. Now, Siemens’ SIMATIC Notifier app sends automation system alerts direct to your smartwatch or other mobile devices. Never miss a fault notification again! Continue reading

Match Your Application Perfectly with Siemens Modular System

Processing, fitting, transporting. These and similar functions run on many automated production lines. With the extensive range of the SIRIUS modular system, you will find everything you need for switching, protecting, starting, and monitoring motors.

The components of the SIRIUS modular system offer maximum wiring flexibility. They can be connected easily via the corresponding SIRIUS 3RV29 infeed system or the 3RA68 infeed system in conjunction with the compact starter. Both systems are respectively available for other devices with screw-type and spring-loaded connection system.

For connection, individual circuit breakers, complete load feeders, or compact starters are simply clicked into the respective infeed system. Doing away with laborious wiring and fault risks, a complete feeder group is thus supplied with power.

Design highlights include:

  • Outstanding flexibility for assembly and expansions
  • Reduced space requirements in the control cabinet thanks to compact design
  • Infeed optionally from the left or right with conductor cross-sections of up to 70 mm2
  • Optional wiring duct between the feeders
  • Additional integration of further 1-, 2-, or 3-pole components via terminal block
  • Maximum current carrying capacity of 100 A
  • Integration of load feeders with screw-type and spring-loaded connection system
  • High vibration resistance, particularly with switching devices featuring the spring-loaded connection system
  • Time savings in terms of mounting thanks to easy plug-in connection system

To learn more, download the full brochure HERE,

SIRIUS 3RW5 Soft Starter – The Next Generation

Contributing author: Jason Miller, Business Developer, Siemens Industry, Inc.

Electric motors are significant in most industries; without them, your applications wouldn’t work. Motor pump liquids, transport heavy materials, move air masses, and support the processing of raw materials. Since motors are the leading unit in your facility, they should be durable and reliable with no chances of failure. SIRIUS soft starters do just this. They limit the starting current and torque to best fit your application.

The 3RW5 family of soft starters extends Siemens product range with market leading technology features for practically every user application. The 3RW5 family is a game changer allowing Siemens to broaden their market leadership in motor control applications.

Top benefits of the 3RW52 soft starter include:

  • Compact size (less than 8” deep up to 400HP)
  • Flexible HMI choices (install the high feature, standard, or omit the display)
  • Five available communication protocols (PB, PN, MB-TCP, EIP, MB-RTU)
  • Three phases controlled for application flexibility
  • Wide range of control voltages (24V AC/DC and 110-250V AC)
  • Selectable analog or thermistor input for optimal protection of motor and load

Multiple applications of the SIRIUS 3RW5 soft starter:

  • Pump cleaning and pump stopping mode
  • Electrical ruggedness
  • Condition monitoring
  • Automatic parameterization
  • Integrated braking functions

The digital transformation of industry is in full swing and Siemens’ latest generation of soft starters supports companies in fully embracing the potential of digitization. This is particularly beneficial when it comes to economic efficiency, making it faster and easier to achieve optimum results, with permanently high availability thanks to shorter downtimes.


Siemens Answers Material Handling Solutions for Every Industry and Application

Contributing author: Mike Cizmar, Channel Account Manager with Siemens

Material handling could be considered a simple term for a sophisticated set of applications. Regardless of the level of intricacy, the ultimate goal is to move a physical object from point A to point B. All material handling systems require a few simple things: reliability, predictability, compactness, and flexibility.

Here is how Siemens answers those challenges:

The interoperation of machine and material handling units is becoming more and more important. Handling modules are being increasingly implemented in the form of industrial robots or as integral handling solutions.

The advantage is clear: The machine and material handling functions can be controlled with a single system. Siemens provides innovative answers to new hardware and software requirements with control and drive systems, assuring highest product quality and maximum productivity, even with short product changeover cycles. The results are more efficient and more versatile production processes.

The requirements for handling tasks are numerous – from the basic functional scope, such as the simple positioners integrated into the drive through general motion control functions, to interpolating path axes for pick and place. Based on an extensive control and drive portfolio, Siemens can offer the most custom solution for your handling task.

  • Simple positioning and basic functions
  • Reliable monitoring of protection zones
  • Easy planning of the motion control

Whether it involves simple feed axes, complex mechanical systems with SIMOTION and the SINAMICS drive family you have the optimum platform for first-class handling solutions.

To learn more about Material Handling with Siemens, download the brochure HERE.

Simplify Drive Installation with SINAMIC Wall Mount Kits from Siemens

Contributing author: Rudy Hauser of Siemens Industry, Inc.

The new SINAMIC wall mount kits from Siemens allow simple, direct mounting of G120C compact and G120 PM240-2 modular drives. Designed for use with the latest SINAMICS drives, these low-cost kits are easy to install and conform to NEMA 1 and UL Type 1 standards.

Available in power ranges from ½ to 200 hp, and for voltages from 230V to 690V, the streamlined, compact design is consistent for all frame sizes and provides for simple interior mounting.


Some highlights of the SINAMICS wall mount kits include:

  • Conforms to NEMA 1/UL Type 1 standards for interior installations
  • Accommodates all G120C/PM240-2/PM240P-2 power modules, control units and operator panels
  • Standardized design for optimum space utilization and for efficient side-by-side mounting with minimal clearances
  • Multiple conduit knockout holes provided for separate power, motor, and network cabling
  • Designed in accordance with the latest applicable UL 61800-5-1 standards for AC drives

Each wall mount kit provides best-in-class space savings and direct access to drive-mounted operator panels for simple commissioning, monitoring, and troubleshooting.

Click HERE to visit Siemens’ website for specific product information or download the brochure below.

Industrie 4.0 – What is it anyways?

Industrie 4.0 is Siemens moniker for the fourth industrial revolution, where the real world and the digital (or virtual) worlds collide. Linking people, things, and machines together and forming completely new manufacturing environments is the future of manufacturing.

A Simatic S7-1500 controller controls
the Kuka robot using the TIA Portal library.

Chocolat Frey, a chocolate factory in Switzerland is a prime example of what Industrie 4.0 can look like. Orders placed on Twitter, then fulfilled, personalized and shipped without human intervention. To learn more about what Industrie 4.0 can look like and how it can be applied, click the article link below.

CLICK HERE to read the article.




The SIMATIC Field PG M5 is now available with Siemens TIA Portal V15 engineering framework pre-installed. It is ideal for mobile operations in industrial facilities.


Features Include:

  • Easy to configure, install and service
  • Rugged and lightweight design for mobility
  • Variety of interfaces available
  • Ready to go for immediate use

To learn more about the SIMATIC Field PG M5 CLICK HERE.

SIMOCODE pro: Multifunctional, Safe, and Reliable

IMOCODE pro from Siemens is a flexible, modular motor management system for low-voltage motors with constant speeds. Its preferred use is for the protection and control of pumps, gate valves, or valves.

Two series of devices allow flexible use depending on plant requirements: SIMOCODE pro S is the smart, compact entry-level solution for motor management in standard applications. It meets the most important requirements, e.g. for overload and thermistor motor protection, as well as ground-fault monitoring. SIMOCODE pro V, on the other hand, offers additional variable and intelligent functions such as voltage and frequency measurement or even fail-safe shutdown.


Highlights of the SIMOCODE pro include:

  • Multifunctional, electronic full motor protection, independent of the automation system
  • Communication via PROFIBUS, PROFINET, PC, UA, Modbus, and EtherNet/IP
  • Detailed operational, service, and diagnostics data for flexible use
  • Versatile integration of process sensors such as temperature of fill level measurement
  • Easy installation and maintenance
  • Easy integration and diagnosis in the SIMATIC process control system by means of function blocks
  • Efficient, intuitive engineering thanks to integration of SIMOCODE ES into the TIA portal

The range of functions extends from simple current, voltage, and power measurement to the detection of rotational direction, or drive belt slippage or breakage, to the monitoring of pumps for dry running, filter clogging, and flow or fill levels – all in one system. With SIMOCODE pro, you benefit from extremely easy user guidance and high-level process quality, while keeping costs for planning, installation, operation, and maintenance to a minimum.

Click HERE for more information on SIMOCODE pro by Siemens.

SIRIUS ACT – Push Buttons and Signaling Devices

Contributing author: Rick Drake, Channel Account Manager, Siemens

Powerful machines need powerful controls. Siemens SIRIUS ACT offers a unique portfolio of elegantly designed push buttons, indicator lights, and switches that provide all the performance you are looking for.

Constructed with genuine metal and high-grade plastics, engineered with smart functions and communication capabilities, these new push buttons, indicator lights, and switches have been extreme element tested to ensure reliability for your most mission critical operations.


SIRIUS ACT is highlighted by its:

  • Modern Design (elegant product design and high-quality material)
  • Ease of use (takes the concept of sophistication in simplicity to the next level)
  • Extreme robust frame (reliable for when things get rough)
  • Flexible communication (flexibility via AS-I, IO-Link, and Profinet)

In the food and beverage industry, the sensor switch is utilized. The most important concept for this specific industry is to ensure the highest hygienic conditions. With the SIRIUS ACT sensor switch, companies can integrate a durable, clean alternative to the standard pushbutton in their workplace.

Additionally, the SIRIUS ACT sensor switch operates successfully when the user is wearing gloves. Due to the capacitive proximity switch, the human body is used as a dielectric. As the user contacts the sensor switch, the gain in capacitance along the surface of the switch produces a signal. This signal can be used to control machinery or other operations.

Learn more about the SIRIUS ACT and features HERE or visit SIRIUS ACT on Siemens website HERE.

SE Automation Wins Third Bronze Eagle in a Row

SE Automation is pleased to announce that our organization has won its third Bronze Eagle Award in a row for Siemens’ 2014 fiscal year. This is also the fourth Bronze Eagle for SE Automation overall and the fifth for the Standard Electric Family of Companies. The award is bestowed upon the top tier distributors in each region based upon sales growth and market participation with Siemens personnel. This is a very prestigious award that is awarded to the top two distributors in a region, with only ten being awarded across the entire country.

We would like to extend a thank you to all of our customers who allowed us to take part in their success throughout last year. We’d also like to congratulate our team of dedicated engineers and associates who have helped SE Automation remain a premier distributor for Siemens once again in 2014.


Precision Crane Control Material Handling

Eliminating the sway of huge payloads through state-of-the-art controls technology is one outcome of a research lab driven by a unique industry/university partnership.

Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Georgia, on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), is one of the foremost multidisciplinary research centers focusing on next generation manufacturing technologies: the Manufacturing Research Center (MARC).

For nearly a decade, Siemens, through the Siemens Cooperates with Education (SCE) program, has worked with the university in supporting MARC with a substantial financial commitment, as well as donations of  equipment, software, and sometimes guidance. Each year it also funds two students from Europe to come to MARC and participate in its work.

The MARC team, typically consisting of graduate students and PhDs doing research, have turned the Siemens’ commitment into a series of challenging projects. The first one was an innovative realization of a full-sized gantry crane. Cranes are often considered rather simple devices, but the MARC team infused the tool with intelligence. It provides advanced zone control, whereby the operator, without touching a part, can direct the crane to any location using an advanced optics system. During this project, the MARC team also developed a new type of sway control. In a normal crane, the payload being positioned sways back and forth when the crane starts or stops moving. The MARC system incorporates sway dampening features that largely eliminate sway from motion along gantry cranes—a notable advance and one of the first highlights to emerge from the MARC projects affiliated with Siemens.

Ideas Taking Flight

MARC’s current project results from The Boeing Company’s recognition of Georgia Tech as a strategic university partner to investigate and develop innovative manufacturing technologies for potential application in the aerospace industry. To support this effort, an Aerospace Manufacturing Laboratory was established within MARC: 2,000 square feet configured to advance manufacturing techniques for aerospace structures, consistent with the technical and research talent available at Georgia Tech.

The lab is equipped so that large structures can be transported by mobile platform, lifted and located via an overhead crane system, and positioned within certain tolerances for further machining, fastening, or inspection via wireless communication.

To date, emphasis has been placed on incorporating technologies that would facilitate material handling with precision, including tight tolerance control and reduced performance variation.  One research project associated with overhead crane use focuses on input shaping, which has been shown to significantly reduce the residual swing that accompanies the hoisting and movement of payload.  Even when hoist distances are large, the shaping process reduces residual oscillation amplitude well below the level obtained with time-optimal, rigid-body commands.  An integrated control system within the laboratory— Siemens’ contribution to the project—is critical for this and other projects to succeed.

A control room is under development to house an electrical cabinet that supplies power to the crane and control cabinet. A Siemens S7-Embedded Controller, incorporating a touch screen, will be used to operate the motion system with an emergency stop. The crane bridge and each trolley will be equipped with aSiemens Motion Controller (i.e., Simotion) for precise movement. To locate position, several sensors—laser and vision systems—will be used. Communication with the control cabinet will be wireless (IWLAN).  A user will be able to control the crane via various input devices (e.g., laptop, mobile touch panel, or pendant). These devices will be connected to the embedded controller (EC31) over Wi-Fi (W788) with digital input (32 DI), Ethernet (Scalance X208), and/or Profibus (CP5603) capability.

The embedded controller will perform calculations based on signals from the input devices with the desired velocity command, including command shaping. These calculations can be done via WinAC (Soft PLC) or Windows XP, which communicates with the soft PLC over shared memory extension (SMX), custom code extension (CCX), or a controller management interface (CMI). It will also be possible to bypass the command shaping in the PLC and send the raw position or velocity commands to the bridge and trolleys so that they will calculate the command shaping.

The velocity commands are then sent via Wi-Fi to a Simotion controller.  Four Simotion controllers will be available, one for the bridge and one for each trolley.  With trolleys moving in the x-y plane, the bridge has two friction drives. The y-positions are measured via SICK laser sensors. The error between desired position and current position will be evaluated in the Simotion controller or in the PLC, whichever way the operator or crane maintainer wants it to be done. Each trolley will also incorporate a laser to measure the x-position with a camera to monitor sway and z-position locations.  All collected data measurements are sent to the embedded controller for processing.

“The innovative concept here is the redefining of the manufacturing process through dynamic tools deployed on mobile platforms and the automation technologies driving them,” says Robert Carper, training business developer and “Siemens Cooperates with Education” promoter at Siemens Industry.

In traditional manufacturing, particularly in the manufacturing of large items, a massive conveyor belt or a crane moves a part along a fixed trail or assembly line. People or robots then interject their value-add. “This system is unique in that other elements may come to the mobile platform or the platform can move to another piece of tooling,” explains Carper. “This allows dynamic scheduling of interactions between manufacturing elements, which maximizes manufacturing throughput.”

Have an Inquiry for Siemens about this article? Click Here >> 

Preventing Arc Flash Accidents

According to Fire Engineering Magazine, there are around ten arc flash incidences per day in the United States. These incidents occur when workers:

  • rack circuit breakers from an unsafe distance
  • come in contact with a high-amp source with a conductive object
  • unintentionally create a spark near a high-amp source with a conductive object
  • use equipment with insufficient parts, improper installation or excessive wear and tear
  • work near gaps or breaks in insulation
  • work in an environment where there is dust, corrosion or impurities on a conductors surface

Check out Siemens’ new technology aimed to prevent arc flash accidents…


New Robotic Technology Aims to Prevent Dangerous Arc Flash Incidents

July 27, 2011 by Siemens

Many arc flash incidents are related to racking circuit breakers, chiefly in the power industry. A new robotic device allows a worker to rack circuit breakers from a safe distance of over 75 feet away.

An arc flash is an electrical explosion that results from a low impedance connection to ground or another voltage phase in an electrical system. In other words, an arc flash is an electrical breakdown of the resistance of air resulting in an electric arc. This can occur when there is sufficient voltage in an electrical system and a path to ground or lower voltage.

“An arc flash is a potential disaster,” says Tim Rowland, automation specialist at Industrial Electronic Supply. “A high energy arc flash can cause substantial damage, fire, injury, and/or death.”

The energy released in an arc flash rapidly vaporizes the metal conductors involved, blasting molten metal and expanding plasma outward with incredible force. The result can cause destruction of equipment, fire, and injury—not only to workers working on the equipment, but also to others nearby.

According to CapSchell, Inc., a Chicago-based research firm focused on workplace safety issues, between five and ten arc flash incidents occur on a daily basis in the United States. A good percentage of these are related to racking circuit breakers. Despite provisions in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations requiring the dissemination and use of proper personal protective equipment, arc flash accidents result in injuries ranging from minor burns to loss of hearing to death.
Move Back!

“Move back” are two words every child hears from a parent when moving towards some danger. inoLECT, a Baton Rouge, La.-based provider of integrated electrical system solutions for the power generation, utility, industrial and electrical engineering fields, has created a remote racking device, the inoRAC™, which greatly reduces the risk of arc flash injuries by allowing operators to remotely rack breakers at distances of over 75 feet from the equipment. A simple idea—move the person away from the potential danger—has been effectively realized in the inoRAC robotic device.

“Standard practice has been for a technician to first don an arc flash suit, essentially a fire suit,” says Rowland. “Then he gets the toolset, goes to the unit, and hand cranks the breaker until it engages. Hopefully, nothing adverse happens, however, statistics show that things do.”

Enter the InoRAC. A small, motorized robotic device, the inoRAC uses Siemens technology and a long communications cable to enable the operator to be out of the area of potential arc flash while doing the breaker service.
Safety for Operators and Equipment

While workplace safety was the driving factor behind the development of the inoRAC, protecting equipment assets is an associated benefit. “In many competitive racking systems, torque wrenches are used,” says Josh Norton, business development manager at inoLECT. “Torque values must be set manually.”

On these units a dial is set to determine the amount of torque put onto each breaker. If a breaker is over-torqued, it can be damaged, making the plant less reliable. “With our unit, the operator never has to do that, because the proper values are already programmed into the PLC and touchscreen,” Norton continues. “When the end user details what breakers they have on their site, we program all the information into the inoRAC. It’s never a question. It’s already set.”

Further, the unit can be programmed to match established racking procedures, important because each customer has specific procedures to rack their breakers. The inoRAC can incorporate these specifics, a huge benefit to customers by ensuring compliance with standard operating procedures, even by inexperienced personnel.

“The new guy is always the one who gets nominated to rack breakers,” says Norton. So even from day one, he can follow the steps. As long as he uses the unit, he will always be doing the correct procedure, which increases his safety.

Norton points to the use of a Siemens variable frequency drive as an important part of ensuring equipment integrity. “We use a variable frequency drive that allows us to speed up and slow down the racking process,” he says. The device slows down the racking process just prior to insertion to protect the equipment.

“We sell remote racking devices to protect the operator, which is priority number one,” says Norton. “But we also want to protect the customer’s equipment, because if we tear up their breakers, our device is not going to be used. We go one step further than everyone else by truly protecting equipment by doing torque monitoring, position monitoring, and revolution profiling.”

By monitoring torque, the linear position of the breaker as it goes on the stabs and the number of revolutions the breaker has turned, the inoRAC provides triple redundancy to protect the equipment.

“We want to see all three in operation at the right level and time,” he says. “If I know a breaker takes 20 revolutions to rack it in, at around 18 revolutions I want to slow it down, to ensure that I’m not tearing anything or hitting it at full speed. I want to slow it down and ease it up to the stop.”
Universal Application, Continuing Development

Norton says that one of the advantages of the Siemens components in inoRAC is the flexibility they provide. “They help this product achieve its goal of being a universal product,” he says.  The inoRAC can work across the electrical spectrum from 480 volts to 38 kV and with a wide range of make and model of breakers.

According to Norton, inoLECT’s next generation of remote racking devices will incorporate Siemens’ next generation micro PLC, the Simatic S7-1200. “This PLC will allow us to do wireless operation,” concludes Norton. “That is definitely something customers will want. We see the market wanting remote operation for anything electrical, and we want to be a part of doing remote operation across the entire electrical spectrum within a facility, not just racking breakers. That’s where we are headed.”
To see the inoRAC in action, click here to view a short YouTube video.