It takes 40,000 muscles to move an elephant’s trunk. This powerful multi-functional organ was the inspiration behind the name given by Zink KÖRNER to its automatic centrifugal galvanising system. The “Zinc Elephant³” coats small parts and bulk goods such as screws in large volumes. With its powerful furnace and quick auto-mated handling of the baskets and frames, the system can achieve a throughput rate of up to five tonnes per hour.
“At the heart of this circular piece galvanisation system is a handling system with three arms, which carries out all of the processes between the filling and emptying of the baskets without the need for any manual interventions,” explains Manuel Pierug, Service/Commissioning Manager at Zink KÖRNER. “The gripper arms pick up the baskets and frames, submerge them in the zinc bath, centrifuge them and then transport them to the water bath for rinsing. In order for the high cycle rate to be maintained, it is essential that all process steps work in perfect harmony. To prevent our ’elephant’ standing idle in the event of a fault or during maintenance work, the multiple safety circuits ensure that even sub-sections can be brought to a safe condition as required.”
The safe 4DI-4DO modules are fitted in locations such as the central control consoles, from where they communicate with the safety control system in the main panel
The configured safety functions include the emergency off function, the door locking mechanisms and the option of controlling the furnace in the event of a gas or burner failure, for example. The digital u-remote I/O modules for PROFI-safe made it possible to link the locally distributed safety devices in a flexible manner using state-of-the-art fieldbus technology.
In addition to the u-remote modules, further Weidmüller components such as the economical PROeco switching power supplies or the PPV potential distributor terminal blocks also help to space within the panels
The safe 4DI-4DO modules combine various safety functions over a width of just 11.5 mm, meaning that they can be incorporated into the standard u-remote station while taking up mini mal space. With the “Zinc Elephant³”, this allows the stations in the local panels on the gripper arms and those in the central control consoles to communicate with the safety control system in the main panel.
“The high packing density of the u-remote system has made the planning and installation of the safety solution significantly easier for us, as space is always scarce when it comes to extensive systems with a large number of signals,” says Pierug. “We are now saving 6 mm per module compared to previous solutions. With 25 modules in the main panel and over 50 modules in total, these space savings are really significant.”
The u-remote web server was able to really shine during the commissioning of the “Zinc Elephant³”. The option to force inputs and outputs meant that processes and procedures could be simulated before system delivery, even without a connected PLC. As a result, sub-panels could be commissioned at this early stage, thereby significantly reducing the time required to get to the commissioning stage.
“Using the web server, we were able to gain remote access to the system when it was already installed at the customer’s premises and carry out remote I/O checks and diagnostics,” Pierug continues. “This was a major benefit for us as our customer was based 400 km away from us, and would be even more significant with our global customers based even further afield, such as in Russia.”
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Published in December 2016
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