Optimized results thanks to well-proven processes
Customized frequency converters and servo amplifiers are a specialty of Sieb&Meyer. The offer ranges from simple hardware adaptations to completely new devices and functions. The individual solutions often have great advantages for the customers and can solve constructional problems. Sieb&Meyer has implemented an elaborated process chain for a successful realization. An important factor is, however, that customers involve the Lueneburg based drive specialists at an early project stage.
"When the customers approach us early in the development phase, they profit all the more", said Torsten Blankenburg, CTO at SIEB & MEYER AG. "This way the designers know what we can do and where we can support them, which saves time and money. Since we have the opportunity to draw on plentiful resources during consulting, we can guide the customers to a technically optimized solution ‒ without making major compromises that might be necessary at a later stage."
The company based in Lueneburg offers full service to its customers – from the first consultation through development to series production. As soon as the first step is made, the internal SIEB & MEYER process chain is triggered. This process chain is well-proven through numerous projects. All departments work in close coordination to realize the project – from the first functional test to series production. Each process step is carried out in the company. This ensures the development of a product that is not only technically mature but can also be produced at good conditions. The customized solutions are designed on the basis of standard components that are successfully established in the market. In addition, SIEB & MEYER looks back on nearly 60 years of experience from many customized drive systems, produced in quantities between 50 and 10,000 pieces.
Individually refined: a drive system for tightening controls
"With the customized projects we achieve more than 50 % of the turnover in our drive technology section," said Torsten Blankenburg. "Many customers keep approaching us time and again, which is a nice acknowledgement of our convincing processes and makes clear that our individual frequency converters and servo amplifiers are well received." EST GmbH is a perfect example for this: a few years ago, Sieb&Meyer developed a highly dynamic two-channel servo amplifier for EST GmbH. The device is used for servo motor driven tightening in the automotive industry and is based on the SD2 drive system. The interesting thing about this project is that the customer himself has developed the control board or rather the processor card of SD2. Sieb&Meyer has designed the circuit for the device control of SD2, while EST has integrated this circuit in its own layout. The drive system with an individual front end is well established in controls for tightening and press applications.
Currently, however, EST uses a new generation of handheld tightening tools, which required the implementation of an Ethernet interface. In addition to the other advantages of this interface, the customer requires only a very thin cable for the signal transmission between the tool and the control. By close cooperation the two companies achieved an optimal integration of the new interface as further development of the existing product.
Frequency converters for high-speed spindles tailored to the needs of the customer
The long-term and trusting cooperation with EST is only one example of many for the successful development and implementation of customized drive projects. Schmoll Maschinen GmbH is another company using a customized solution successfully in the field. In this case, Sieb&Meyer has provided the frequency converter FC2 with a special housing design, which is exactly adapted to the mounting conditions and processes of the particular PCB drilling machine.
The compact and low-cost frequency converter allows sensorless operation of up to eight high-speed spindles. This feature as well as the individual evaluation of the temperature sensors are already included in the standard device. Sieb&Meyer adapted the electronics of the power supply unit and the device construction to the machine conditions. During this process, the engineers were able to reduce not only the installation space but also the wiring work. Unlike the standard version, the customized frequency converter is not equipped with an integrated power supply. This makes the housing more compact and allows mounting the frequency converter directly into the drive package – in this case adjacent to the servo amplifiers. As a result, the central supply voltage of up to 350 VDC available in the machine can be used to supply the frequency converter. The basic software of the serial products is upgraded and modified in close cooperation with Schmoll. An important feature for Schmoll is the easy parameterization of the frequency converters via software, which makes reconfiguring the machines for other spindle types unproblematic.
Schmoll is perfectly satisfied with the individual solution: The customized FC2 can easily be mounted into the machine without any additional components. The compact system adapts itself to the available space and is produced in series by Sieb&Meyer, which leads to stable costs as well as a high availability of the components and allows flexible response, if requirements at Schmoll should change.
These examples show the variety of customization options Sieb&Meyer offers for individual solutions. A successful implementation, however, depends not only on the early involvement but also on another 'special ingredient': “Customized development projects always require trust in both directions," Torsten Blankenburg stressed. "If a customer orders a tailor-made device at Sieb&Meyer, he must be sure of the long-year availability of the device on the one hand. On the other hand, we have to trust our customers that they follow the described path with us to the end, regardless of possible obstacles that might occur." The conclusion is: strong partners can depend on one another and together they achieve success.
Images: SIEB & MEYER AG
Author: Rolf Gerhardt, Manager Sales Department Drive Technology