AP2 - The reasons of a choise

With the globalization of the industry that we are seeing, after a period characterized by the expansion of the industrialized countries to emerging countries, now we are observing a contrast that sees some companies more structured from these countries start to create industrial sites in Europe.

To deal as protagonists the European market, notoriously the most demanding, and to overcome the obvious distrust of the Asian products, the final customer has choosen to rely on experienced partners able to provide the latest technology with an undisputable quality and reliability.

In this context comes the project of the first factory built ex-novo in Europe by an Indian producer of tires, in which the quality of the facilities and their related automation had to be first class in order to give guarantees both on productivity than on the reliability, all with a propensity to new market needs that require complete traceability of the entire industrial cycle.

Here's how it fits in this new plant AP2 Srl partners chosen as a representative of Italian excellence in the field of the industrial automation related to the machines for the production of tires. To complete the picture there was entrusted to the platform of Siemens Automation branded including the state of the art technologies specifically designed to manage continuous plants. In this context AP2 S.r.l. was awarded the contract for one of the first semifinished lines, essential for the new eurepean plant. The scope of supply will be the complete hardware and software jobs of this new calendering and also the supply of all the electrical cabinet with particular attention to some main objectives:

- Sate-of-the-art of the automation components used
- Hardware and software design dedicated to supply the maximum reliability of the line with the maximum production capability
- Maximum interoperability with MES system of management of the productive site with the scope to obtain from the process all the significant data of the semifinished product
- Simplicity of start-up and maintenance procedures




Coordination between the strong sensitivity of system integrator that has always characterized the spirit of AP2 Srl, an Italian company with nearly 20 years of history behind it, and the proposed solutions from Siemens have identified an automation platform with the following characteristics:

- Power supply of the drives through Smart Line module of 630KW with 100% of continuous power recovery
- Inverter Siemens Sinamics S120 series with power supply from the DC bus
- Using the new system PLC Siemens S7-1500. In particular, it has opted for the new CPU 1516-3PN / DP offers the built-in management of the safety devices installed along the line. To do this, the various safety devices are acquired via remote cards I / O safety forming part of the new series ET200SP in line with the adoption of the new CPU
- Connecting via Profinet network between CPU modules, remote I / O and drives to simplify commissioning and troubleshooting
- The programming of ALL the automation software is done through the use of new application tool of Siemens TIA PORTAL V13 which binds the realization of the automation code in a single environment. This solution facilitates, besides the realization of the application also troubleshoot the system that can take place through a single interface
-HMI system based on consolidated WinCC V7.2 RT with its application for the advanced management of the recipes. Using WinCC also allows easy management of the interface with the MES through the database support MS SQL native of SCADA
- Interface with customer MES made by AP2 Srl in order to make the immediate and transparent to the final users the jobs related to the receptions of production orders and to allow synchronization of the local recipes with those present in the central system


Energy Saving

The adoption of a management system of the motors via power supply DC Bus regenerative type will allow to combine the attention to the environmental impact with energy efficiency that such kind of solution allows to obtain. Indeed, in industrial applications the energy efficiency is particularly important in electric drive systems because here is concentrated more than 70% of the industrial energy consumption.
Through the drive system SINAMICS S120 together with Siemens motors SIMOTICS is provided an energy efficient solution with high efficiency which helps to significantly reduce costs.
The power supply Smart Line from 630kW used allows the recovery energy in the network with the 100% of continuous power recovery.


Safety First

Security is not an option. In this spirit we have been addressed the design of security systems of the line which by its nature has sections of easy access by operators who can present critical situations from the point of view of safety itself.
It is for this reason that the approach to safety could not be carried out with "spot" solutions but was necessary an integrated management within the same PLC. It was then used the CPU 1516-3PN/DP, one of the last born at Siemens. The CPU provides precisely the integrated programming of the various safety devices that can be connected directly to the modules remoted via Profinet.


Tracking & Trace

In the automotive world the tracking and the historicizing of production is crucial. In addition to the tools that has become common, such as recipe management and integrated management of the tracking data, the team of Software developers of AP2 Srl has developed a data exchange system with the factory MES capable to receive the orders productions and synchronize the database of recipes in a way simple and transparent.
The system also operates a control of materials and tools used through the use of barcode readers and RFID receivers whose data are crossed with those provided on production orders in way to give the OK to start the line..


Scheduled maintenance

For a line that feeds the entire production chain of the plant, it is necessary that the maintenance, mechanical and electrical, is planned to the last detail in order to avoid down-time and unexpected stop. In aid to this problem is the package for WinCC specially developed by AP2 offering to the maintenance department of the end user the ability to set convenient reminders for planning scheduled maintenance, of course in cooperation with the mechanical manufacturer and AP2 as regards the electrical maintenance.
In addition to these tools, while also installing a teleservice system which allows a simple yet comprehensive service remote automation of the plant via VPN line thus ensuring fast and safe operations, drastically reducing downtime.


AP2 - A 360° quality service

All of these solutions, through coordination with the Siemens products that a System Integrator of experience as AP2 is able to provide, allow the realization of a production line that represents a good compromise between quality, reliability, flexibility, ease of use and technological innovation.

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