Technical Papers

Ready for Industry 4.0

Servo amplifier SD3 by SIEB & MEYER supports interconnected tightening systems

Alfing Montagetechnik GmbH (AMT) based in Aalen (Germany) has been cooperating with SIEB & MEYER for more than 30 years. Again, the leading specialist for tightening technology, assembly systems and automation puts its trust in the expertise of the Lueneburg based engineers and equips its new control generation with the servo amplifier SD3. The network capability of SD3 played a crucial role here, another decisive factor was the opportunity to run self-programmed applications for control-specific functions of the tightening system.


For the new nutrunner generation of series SX, AMT has developed controls that can be operated anytime from anywhere. The access to the control system is established via a network connection and a mobile terminal such as a tablet or a smartphone. Programming, troubleshooting and maintenance - all this is performed independent of time and place. The servo amplifier SD3 is responsible for the cyclic, serial communication with the nutrunners' integrated tool electronics and performs all drive and control functions. Moreover, the SIEB & MEYER software includes monitoring and diagnosis functions for the drive components and operating parameters. SD3 enables access to hardware components such as I/O and other interfaces. The customized software accesses the interfaces via the intrasystem interface. Furthermore, the device provides safety functions.

Flexibility to fulfill individual requirements

SIEB & MEYER made that possible by customizing the hardware of SD3 in terms of interfaces and construction. The operating system of the device was enhanced by a real-time area amongst other things. Thus, time-critical control functions such as the control of the tightening process can be integrated as a plug-in into the SIEB & MEYER software. Access to drive-specific functions is granted by an intrasystem interface. However, less time-critical functions can be implemented by means of additional applications run in the non-real-time area of the operating system. "The efficiency of the hardware and software enables us to meet a large number of customer requirements with AMT's standard device," says Thomas Zeller, R & D Manager for tightening technology at AMT, in respect to the adaptation possibilities of SD3. "Hardware enhancements or an additional control computer are only required in special cases. The standard range of interfaces was adapted for us so that a large number of peripherals can be connected."

One basic device for various requirements

The AMT variant of the servo amplifier SD3 is used as secondary device for multi-purpose tightening systems and as primary device or single-channel control. Therefore, the Ethernet interface was implemented as a 2-port switch. AMT planned the majority of the nutrunners to be operated with the same control type. Hence, a single-phase power supply was required. Only very powerful nutrunners capable of high torques require a three-phase power supply. The device had to be available as a space-saving switch cabinet module and as a built-in device for single-channel controls. "In order to meet these requirements SIEB & MEYER created a basic device available in two different variants", Zeller explains. "SIEB & MEYER installs the switch cabinet module in a metal housing and the single-channel variant comes as a built-in device without a housing." Additionally, SIEB & MEYER obtained the NRTL certification for the US market.

Servo amplifier SD3 – a true network specialist

The Industry 4.0 capability of AMT's tightening systems is in large part due to the hardware concept of the servo amplifier SD3 with its standard Ethernet interface and its operating system. Combined with AMT's integrated web server, remote access to the control is available via any browser-enabled terminal such as tablets, smartphones or PCs. Thanks to the Ethernet interface the tightening controls can be directly integrated into the customers' production networks. Nowadays customer concepts often include a direct connection between the tightening control and the assembly master control. The target data are transferred vehicle-related.

If the control system is additionally connected to the customer's fault monitoring system, the warning and fault messages can be directly transmitted to the control. By means of an integrated maintenance counter, the system is able to report for example when the tightening system needs maintenance. If a warning or a fault message occurs, the maintenance staff can access the system via any browser-enabled device and does not need special visualization software. Hence, the staff can carry out a first fault diagnosis without being on site or at a PC workstation.

SIEB & MEYER's servo amplifier SD3 and its benefits such as network capability, flexibility, customized interfaces and functions provide a powerful and individual solution for Industry 4.0 applications. Thomas Zeller is satisfied with both the SD3 performance and the customer-oriented working method of SIEB & MEYER, "The cooperation was great. This applies to the sales as well as to the development department. We were involved very early in the conceptual design phase and could term our individual requirements."


Info box: Servo amplifier SD3 by SIEB & MEYER

SIEB & MEYER has developed SD3 especially for complex drive tasks such as high-dynamic positioning applications or tightening and press applications by servo motors. Beside an open system architecture that can accomplish almost all control, drive and visualizing tasks, SD3 users benefit from a wide range of additional services with high value added. The customer can use the open software architecture and the extensive function libraries to program application solutions for his core area by himself, e.g. in C/C+++ and thus protect his know-how. The support of an OPC UA-based communication provides the basis for Industry 4.0. In addition, various software functions for user interfaces, statistics, camera integration, communication, data storage and an integrated web server are available. Hardware solutions with power output stages up to 55 kVA are available. Option modules allow flexible integration of different fieldbus interfaces as well as additional digital and analog interfaces

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