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How can machine performance be ensured even with unreliable grids?

With the increasing focus on environmental impact and CO2 reduction, the electrical power supply is changing, a situation that also affects machine operation and performance.

I am Christian Schiller, and in the interdisciplinary team Energy & Performance Management at Siemens Digital Industries. I am glad to let you participate in this blog in the conversation with Andreas Hartinger, Business Developer #SPM for #ProductionMachines.

Power grid + performance

Christian Schiller: Andreas, the fact that machines have to deal with unreliable grids is not really new, so what is the new challenge?

Andreas Hartinger: A new challenge is caused by two completely different trends: Electrical power supply is changing – worldwide. Rising energy costs are one effect, but we also experience decreasing grid quality and reliability:
• In industrialized countries, for example, this may be due to outdated infrastructures, increasingly decentralized and renewable energy production and international energy trading.
• And in so-called emerging markets, the infrastructure cannot keep pace with economic growth. At the same time, machine performance and product quality are constantly increasing: higher dynamics means higher peak power demand, also in case of a grid fault, the resulting costs are much higher: damage to the product, the machine and/or high costs caused by long downtimes.

Christian Schiller: I guess, with these opposite trends in grid quality and machine performance, more and more machine users face an increasing risk for machine availability, performance and product quality, isn’t it?

Andreas Hartinger: Yes, of course. This is exactly the new challenge, but also an opportunity for machine builders to offer adequate solutions.

Christian Schiller: How does your team support these Machine builders?

Andreas Hartinger: To address this increasing demand, we developed a new offering, #SmartPowerManagement, or #SPM for short. It includes different energy storage devices, such as capacitors, batteries or flywheels, and the power control functionality to ensure the machine gets the power it needs.

SIMATIC HMI

Christian Schiller: But how can you assure this in case of a grid fault?

Andreas Hartinger: The energy storage is being added directly to the drive system, e. g. SINAMICS, and therefore completely independent from grid malfunctions. The power management guarantees power availability and optimized energy, i. e. it also helps to increase energy efficiency and reduce #CarbonFootprint.

Christian Schiller: What are the typical applications and machines for #SmartPowerManagement?

Andreas Hartinger: One application is uninterrupted power supply to avoid significant damage in case of grid faults. Typical machines are:
• Converting lines, where the loss power would lead to a material jam in the machine, requiring a lot of time to fix it.
• Handling systems, with the risk of a collision of axes.
• Machine Tools, where a workpiece could be damaged, resulting in loss of both costly material and machine time.
Another focus application is Peak Power Reduction: Machines with high dynamics cause high power peaks that might exceed the installed grid power capacity. For example, an injection molding machine that has to apply a high peak load during the injection process for a few seconds. These peaks will be covered by the #SPM system, thus ensuring the promised machine performance.

Converting machine textile industry

Christian Schiller: What are the benefits of this solution?

Andreas Hartinger: The machine-internal solution. #SPM is much more cost-efficient and means lower energy consumption and fewer #CO2 emissions than alternative measures on the grid side, such as the installation of an #uninterruptible power supply or significant investment in the electrical infrastructure. For machines featuring Siemens drive and automation technology, this also means simple integration, and not just less engineering effort but also optimal operation.

Christian Schiller: Sounds like good news for end users of a Machine and a great business opportunity for the machine builders.

Andreas Hartinger: In the next time our offer will expand. You are welcome to send us an e-mail for more information and we will keep you up-to-date: spm_team.industry@siemens.com

Andreas Hartinger, Business Development #SmartPowerManagement

Christian Schiller: Thank you, Andreas!

Andreas Hartinger: It Was a pleasure to me. 🙂