Siemens displayed digitalisation, automation and drive solutions for logistics processes from February 19-21, at Logimat, the international trade fair for intralogistics solutions. Under the banner ‘Digitalisation in Intralogistics – Implement now!’, Siemens demonstrated how its digital enterprise portfolio successfully facilitates digital transformation in intralogistics for both machine builders and operators. The focus is on automation and drive concepts for conveyor technology, storage and retrieval machines, and automatic guided vehicles (AGVs), as well as the offer for single-source, turn-key solutions and sorting solutions for post, parcel, luggage and cargo. Businesses are therefore able to extend the digitalisation process at any point along the value chain of an intralogistics system on a step-by-step basis and optimise the individual process steps, moving from the machine and system concept, through engineering and commissioning, to actual operation and service. This holistic approach from Siemens makes it the only company in the intralogistics sector which is capable of consistently mapping the actual machine builder’s and operator’s process chain in the virtual environment.
The Plant Simulation and Process Simulate software allow operators and machine builders to optimise individual machine components right through to complete lines. Various solution scenarios can be simulated, visualised, and analysed in advance, allowing the demands on new systems to be defined, and potential bottlenecks to be identified. Machine builders can produce entire digital mechatronic concepts using NX Mechatronic Concept Designer – from mechanics, via electrics, to automation.
Automation Designer is available to create an integrated engineering solution for the electrical and automation systems in digital plants. By automatically generating PLC code for the TIA portal and transferring this into PLCSim Advanced, the S7 controller can be put into virtual operation, which significantly reduces the cost of the subsequent physical commissioning. The use of MindSphere applications during operation allows cloud-based solutions such as the innovative service concepts to be implemented, increasing the productivity and availability of machines and systems. The performance of intralogistics systems and their automation and drive components can be analysed using the open, cloud-based IoT operating system, MindSphere. All the information gained can be fed back to the overarching value chain for continuous optimisation.
Siemens used an automatic guided vehicle (AGV), a storage and retrieval machine and a localisation system with Simatic RTLS to illustrate how the Digital Enterprise Suite can be used in intralogistics tasks. Using Simove, the AGV system platform, Siemens demonstrated AGV machine builders benefit from reduced planning and engineering effort as well as shorter commissioning times, and how users can design their logistics processes more flexibly and productively. The Simove offer includes maintenance applications as well as fleet management software which forms an integration platform for AGVs from different manufacturers. The Simove software library contains a range of pre-configured and tested functional modules for machine builders. The Simove software is also based on the Simatic TIA Portal which facilitates efficient engineering.
Siemens will also showed how the Simatic RTLS (Real Time Location System) can be used to optimise logistics processes, navigate material flows and control mobile robots. The localisation platform produces real-time data on the location and status, supplying intelligent data on location, movement and status. This supports holistic use of the logistics processes and resources in terms of quality, costs and flexibility. At Logimat, Siemens presented an integrated solutions portfolio for sorting solutions, comprising hardware and software. The focus is on processing particularly small packages in a range of sizes and weight groups. Siemens will be showing how VarioRoute quickly splits streams of packages and how the software-based address reader IDEW optimizes manual sorting.
In addition to this, Siemens demonstrated solution concepts for storage and retrieval machines at Logimat which can cope with the high demands on flexibility, speed and accuracy. Anti-sway solutions, energy-efficient drives with the Sinamics S120 frequency converter and features such as speed synchronisation and load distribution will also be on display. It also displayed the new version (3.0) of the TÜV-certified safety library which has been specially developed for storage and retrieval machines. Benefits to users from the safety library V3.0 include quicker commissioning which can include fail-safe Simatic controllers (from S7-1516F).