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Steel Industry

Menk Gruppe

Control of a welding machine for wave walls

The company

The Menk Group is a steel processing company. It was founded in 1949 as Menk Apparatebau GmbH in Bad Marienberg, which is now the headquarters. The group now has five production facilities: one in Bad Marienberg, two in Prague and Pilsen (Czech Republic), one in Sterling, Illinois (USA) and one in Kunshan (China). Menk's portfolio includes the processing of steel into transformer housings, shaft oil boilers, cooling radiators, equipment for the mining industry, structures for truck-mounted cranes, engine housings and special structures. The company processes 4,500 tons of steel per month.

Task and solution

At the headquarters in Bad Marienberg, the control and drive technology for a welding system for the production of housing parts for transformers was to be modernized. The previous welding control system, in which only rigid welding specifications could be made, was to be replaced by a more flexible variant.

To implement the task, focus used modular servo drives of the SINAMICS S120 series for the four bearing-controlled axes of the welding system. These were designed and supplied by focus and replaced with the previous drives. With the help of the universal Siemens DRIVE ES concept and Drive-Click wiring, commissioning was easy. A control unit (CU) couples the control system with the drives, and the servo drives are also designed and configured centrally via this unit. This reduced the commissioning time for this many times over.

The existing Siemens S5 control system only allowed a rigid division of the spot welds. Now a Siemens S7-300 takes over the welding control. The PLC program has a modular structure, so that a very flexible design of spot welds is possible. This makes it possible to manufacture practically any component. The welding positions and programs for a component are defined in a specially created component management system and can be called up again at any time.

The welding specifications are made via a 10-inch touch panel from Siemens. Its programming was also part of the overall package for this order. In addition, the entire planning of the electrical engineering and the replacement of the existing control cabinet were carried out by focus. All in all, the conversion and commissioning of the plant was completed in a very short time. As a result, operation could be resumed after four working days.

The project in compact

Control of a welding machine for shaft walls

  •     four bearing-controlled servo axes
  •     two autarkic welding controls
  •     flexible adjustment of welding positions via processing recipes

Automation technology

  •     SIMATIC WinCC flexible for machine-oriented operation
  •     control of the SIMATIC S7-300 series
  •     connection via Ethernet
  •     four Siemens servo motors with Sinamics S120 servo controller and DriveCliq