Electronic Drives and Controls Named First U.S. Siemens Solution Partner Certified for Drives & Motion

Parsippany, NJ – February 28, 2018 – Electronic Drives and Controls, Inc. (EDC), a leading control system integrator and field service company for industrial automation and drive technology, today announced it is the first U.S. Siemens Solution Partner to be certified for Drives & Motion. A Siemens Solution Partner since 2014, the company is also certified in Advanced Factory Automation.

With this new certification, EDC has established itself as a strategic solution partner and leading system integrator focused on helping manufacturers with obsolete drive and control technology to automate manual processes and upgrade aging equipment.

“Our congratulations go to Electronic Drives and Controls. This certification means their clients can always trust that EDC will professionally deliver the most advanced solutions based on the powerful combination of SINAMICS integrated drives and SIMATIC totally integrated automation,” said Peter Treible, National Industrial Partner Manager, Siemens.

“We are proud to have Electronic Drives and Controls as a Siemens Solution Partner! EDC has consistently proven that we can always count on them to deliver quality engineering and implementation services, the first time, every time, for our clients. This investment in certification is one of many reasons Siemens views EDC as a leader in their market.”

EDC has 50 years of experience integrating new control systems and repairing or retrofitting older equipment for a variety of manufacturing industries local to New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. With exceptional domain expertise, the company has also established itself nationwide as the go-to resource for manufacturers in the wire and cable, coating, laminating, and converting industries.

Electronic Drives and Controls Siemens
EDC Case Study - Siemens

“For the typical manufacturers we work with, older drives such as Siemens MasterDrives 6SE70 series have been great workhorses for years. We know because we have installed hundreds of them over the years,” said Chuck Dillard, vice president of EDC. “The problem is, as these older industrial drives and controls reach obsolescence, downtime for manufacturers becomes a costly problem with no OEM support and difficulty sourcing replacement parts. We help manufacturers retrofit existing equipment gaining the advantages of new automation technology at a fraction of the cost of purchasing new equipment.”

When upgrading older equipment, automating manual processes allows manufacturers to gain a competitive edge with greater throughput and efficiency. It also sets the stage for leveraging the industrial internet of things (IIoT) and digitalization of the shop floor.

In addition to EDC’s work with the manufacturing sector, the company has a field service business unit. Highly trained technicians perform repairs, large-scale retrofits, and preventative maintenance for customers in the pharmaceuticals, real estate management and HVAC industries.

About Electronic Drives and Controls, Inc.
Founded in 1968, Electronic Drives and Controls, Inc. (EDC) is a CSIA Certified control system integrator with a large field service team specializing in AC and DC drives, PLCs and factory automation. Family owned and operated for 50 years, EDC’s team of engineers and technicians has great depth of experience integrating new control systems and breathing life into older equipment. EDC has the engineering capability to design, build, start-up and service projects from the sophisticated to the simple and the service support team on call 24/7/365 to keep it all running at peak efficiency from day 1 and for years to come. In addition to the company’s certification as a Siemens Solution Partner and a Rockwell Automation Recognized System Integrator, EDC is a factory authorized/factory trained service center for over 40 drive brands.

Electronic Drives and Controls Host Successful ABB Drive Expo

EDC hosted the ABB Drive Expo in late August 2022, which featured VFD technology, industry experts, local food and drink vendors, and a free CEU/PDH class highlighting the advanced ACQ pump drive.

As a system integrator and field service team specializing in over 40 drive brands, Electronic Drives & Controls (EDC) is always excited to have the opportunity to introduce our customers to the latest in drive technology to help their facilities achieve new levels of optimization. This exciting event took place August 24-25, 2022 and was a tremendous success. The ACQ580 pump drive class at the event was an extensive learning opportunity, eligible for continuing education units (CEU) / professional development hour (PDH) credits.

This expo featured the latest VFD technology in an air-conditioned mobile demo space while providing networking opportunities with industrial, pumping, and harmonic mitigation applications experts. The all-compatible ACQ580 drives for water and wastewater increase energy efficiency by simplifying your pumping processes and motor control with built-in pumping functionalities, including multi pump and level control, an energy saving calculator, soft pipe fill, dry run protection, quick ramps and pump cleaning. These drives are compact and wall-mounted to complement usability with a Hand Off Auto control panel and PC tool Drive composer.  

As a system integrator and field service team specializing in over 40 drive brands, Electronic Drives and Controls has alliances with world class hardware and software providers. 

Want to learn more about the event? Contact EDC and ask about the ABB Drive Expo for a conversation that could lead to the advancement of your water and wastewater technology and effectiveness. 

 

Case Study – From Old to New: Modifying a Legacy Dual Textile Spray Line into an Efficient Machine with Doubled Throughput

Heytex, a brand of the German-based Heytex Bramsche GmbH, is a global developer and manufacturer of high-quality technical textiles. Their portfolio includes sophisticated and unique products fabricated and engineered using complex textile technology, such as signage, banners, boats, sales, barriers, and other technical textile products for a variety of customers. Electronic Drives and Controls (EDC), a recognized leader in the design, upgrade, and service support of drive and PLC Systems, recently helped Heytex significantly improve industrial textile coatings equipment for a military customer and double their overall production capabilities. 

Problem

Heytex had previously purchased a used paint line machine at auction that consists of two parallel production lines sharing the same painting booth and oven sections which could run concurrently or separately. However, one of the lines (Line 2) sat idle for approximately three years before Heytex sought help improving its operability to produce spray-painted industrial camouflage textiles for a military customer. Parts from Line 2 were scavenged to keep Line 1 running.

Originally, Heytex would receive an AutoCAD file from their military customer that specified the geometry of the desired pattern to be painted by the machine. Each line has six drives: 3 VFDs for web handling and 3 servo drives to traverse the paint heads. The process begins by feeding industrial fabric through a conveyor from an unpainted fabric roll. Next, three spray heads move across the fabric in a coordinated fashion applying green, brown and black paint resulting in a specified camouflage pattern. The machine then dries the fabric in a tunnel oven and rolls it into a finished painted textile roll.  

As purchased, each section of the machine used a personal computer with an obsolete Windows XP operating system and a soft Allen Bradley Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) for the unwinding and painting of the fabric. Two physical Omron PLCs handled downstream control, one for the oven and conveying systems and another on the rewind section. A proprietary software run on the XP operating system utilized algorithms to control the paint from the spray heads and help to convert the customer’s CAD files into control commands, a very cumbersome process requiring much manual intervention.

Another problem impeding the retrofit plan was a tremendous lack of documentation and labeling. This coupled with obsolete controls, proprietary software and a burdensome workflow with no known support prompted Heytex to task EDC with improving the machine with an integrated hardware and software design.  

Solution

EDC’s approach was to streamline the control architecture ensuring that the PLC, drives and HMI were from the same manufacturer and would all be on the same communications network. Three disparate control programs were consolidated into one PLC, eliminating the need for a machine-based computer, soft PLC and monitor. The Siemens S7-1500 PLC and S120 drive platforms coupled with a 12-inch Comfort Panel were an excellent fit for this application. 

Siemens’ S120 Sinamics Smart line module and common DC-bussed drives provide energy saving load sharing across the six drives and is able to regen excess AC voltage back to the incoming power line. Line drives were previously controlled in a start/stop mode and could only run at other speeds by manually changing the internal drive parameters. The S120 system provided full speed control capabilities as commanded by the PLC over a ProfiNet network.

The S7-1500F failsafe PLC simplified safety component wiring, especially given that three new cable-operated switches (safety rope pulls) were installed at the Unwind Exit, Paint Booth Entry and Rewind, improving the overall safe operation of the line. All main control components communicated with the PLC over a single ProfiNet control network including six VFD and servo drives, two remote I/O hubs and a new 7” HMI located at the Rewind section.

In addition to the cable-operated switches, other mechanical upgrades included a specially designed tension control system for the Unwind, adapters to couple new servo motors to existing spray head linear actuators, a line speed encoder at the oven exit and a linear position transducer for accumulator feedback. The EDC Field Installation Team installed and wired the new elements on Line 2 and ensured their proper functionality.

As previously mentioned, EDC consolidated all PLC logic into one CPU that closely communicates with the new HMI and S120 drive system. A user-friendly HMI screen and a recipe system were incorporated to improve the operator’s experience running the line. An offline program to convert the customer’s CAD files to data the PLC could use for proper control of the spray heads was a crucial part of the upgrade. EDC’s Project Engineer wrote an open-source Java script/HTML interface that could be modified by anyone with those computer language skills, eliminating the proprietary nature of the previous software incarnation.

Another key element of EDC’s retrofit is their documentation. A full set of wiring schematics was created that included reference for all components, wire numbers and a terminal plan. The customer was given a physical binder with hard copies of the drawings and digital copies of the control programs, the CAD conversion program and component manuals. A Tosibox remote access module was installed and connected to the machine’s control network. When connected to the internet, this device provides an ultra-secure VPN tunnel for remote monitoring and troubleshooting.

Impact

The improvements EDC made on Line 2 were substantial. Heytex went from a non-operational line whose parts were being cannibalized to keep an adjacent line running to a fully functional, efficient line with a state-of-the-art control system. Improvements included:

  • Streamlined workflow making it easier to go from the customer’s drawing to product runs, eliminating a full set-up step
  • Open source programs that can be modified and improved by any qualified service provider, eliminating proprietary software
  • An energy-efficient control architecture that is rugged, orderly and fully documented without reliance on ever-changing personal computer hardware
  • Improved control of the Oven conveyor, Tensioner and Rewind motors including better accuracy and synchronization through all speed ranges 
  • Improved Accumulator control that prevents finished product from touching the floor as was the case during Rewind roll changeover
  • User-friendly operator interface screens with more relevant operational feedback, alarms, messages and maintenance screens 
  • New capability to switch between patterns in the middle of a single roll and stop and resume a pattern if there is an Estop or alarm, potentially saving hundreds of yards of material per year
  • Remote monitoring and troubleshooting capability which was utilized to its full potential one month after start-up when Heytex needed to recalibrate Line 2 for new material. EDC was able to support them remotely and avoid a costly service trip from New Jersey to Virginia.
  • A retrofit platform with documentation, programs and drawings that can be utilized to upgrade Line 1, ensuring production viability for years to come

To sum up the benefits of the project, EDC’s VP of Engineering Chuck Dillard said, “If you look back, only Line 1 was operable. Now both lines are running, and Line 2 runs more efficiently with higher throughput than the machine’s original design.”

Coating and Laminating Website Page Delivers Educational Content for Manufacturers Across the Country

Electronic Drives and Controls recently published a new website page on everything you need to know on coating and laminating as a manufacturer. 

Whether your machine is facing an issue (or multiple), not running at full speed, producing lower quality work than expected, or maybe just needs an upgrade and you’re not sure where to start, this page was created with you in mind. This educational article is supported by multiple case studies featuring relevant EDC projects that have brought success to manufacturers across the country.

 

To view the full website page visit below:

 

 

If your coating and laminating line’s throughput is rapidly decreasing or the machine is experiencing more downtime, there are a few relatively small strategies you can employ to take a bite out of the larger issues. Or if need be, it might be time to consider a retrofit for a fraction of the cost and in less time than it would take to install a more expensive, completely new line. How can you know for sure?

It’s time for you to master unwinds, rewinds, flying splices, printing heads, laminators, accumulators, and more. Navigate to the page today to learn more about coating and laminating and advance your manufacturing process with EDC’s guidance. Additional topics covered are common pain points, resolutions, upgrades, and best practices for coating and laminating machines, including how to know when it’s time for a full retrofit. 

If you need further help with your coating and laminating line, reach out to EDC today.