With the demand for dwindling
facemasks during the coronavirus outbreak running at an all time high, it was
the thanks to the non-stop work by the Siemens team that we were able to
provide much needed help to medical supplies producer Wenjianlikang.
Here is the full nail-biting
account of how we helped breathe life back into their production line and hope
to those who need it.
4:00 p.m., February 6, 2020
Li Zeyu, technical sales support
engineer from Region West of Siemens Digital Industries, received a call from their
general manager from Region West of Digital Industries Sales. Li was informed
that the medical supplies producer Wenjianlikang in Chengdu were seeking urgent
help. To meet the soaring demand of masks for front-line healthcare workers and
people who will return to work in Chengdu, the production plant needed to
replace control system of their mask production line to expand production
Li understood the importance
of an automated mask production line to the city, and he accepted the mission
After finding out
Wenjianlikang’s specific needs, he called up his team members Chen Gang, Sun Xi
and Yan Jian and asked them to join him on his mission, and together head for
the factory 30km away.
6:00 p.m., February 6, 2020
Upon their arrival at the factory, Li and his colleagues found that the mask production line had been operational for 7 years and the control system was not working properly. It had to be supported by workers’ manually and even then it’s daily production of masks was less than 10,000 pieces.
With no existing electrical
drawings to refer to, the team had to figure out PLC’s input signals and output
devices by examining every physical connection to PLC terminals. With their
expertise and experiences over the years, the team redrew the wiring diagram
They stayed focused and
determined. It only took them 2 hours to finish equipment evaluation and
selection. How did they achieve such efficiency? Li gave credit to their
“think-tank” behind the scene.
“18 engineers from our team
had been contributing their ideas in our WeChat working group throughout the
night. We were not alone in this battle!” Li said with pride.
8:00 p.m., February 6, 2020
Thanks to this team effort
they were able to figure out that made a with a Siemens SMART PLC and HMI they
would be able to revitalize the production line. But where could they get these
products at this hour? Li sought help from the distributor sales team that
managed 15 local distributors in Chengdu.
Not long after all distributor sales team sent out the inquiries for the products, Team leader Yang Ju was the first to receive the reply “We could deliver the products to the factory!” It was from Sichuan Provincial Machinery Research and Design Institute (SMI). Thanks to help from SMI management and related departments, Li got the products ready for delivery to the factory in only 1 hour.
10:30 p.m., February 6,
Li didn’t rush to leave after
delivery of the products. As a technical expert, he chose to stay with Siemens
team for PLC’s wiring and commissioning work overnight – wearing the protective
glasses and suits, of course. Brought to the production line in the dead of
night but the Siemens sales team from Region West to help protect the brave
8:00 a.m., February 7, 2020
Finally after all their hard
work, in the early hours of the morning all single motion tests passed.
9:00 a.m., February 7, 2020
PLC programming started.
8:00 p.m., February 7, 2020
8:00 a.m., February 8, 2020
By the next day the newly restarted production line, installed with the Siemens products, was able to run at full speed. Wenjianlikang’s daily production of masks increased to 50,000 pieces!
Seeing boxes of masks ready
for distribution, Li and his colleagues felt nothing but joy and pride.
The Siemens team’s technical strength and fast response received high recognition from Sichuan provincial anti-virus devices R&D project team. Li and his colleagues were invited to join the mask machine R&D project and they devoted themselves to a new battle against virus again…