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Applications for sturdy Grisuten brand polyester fibers include the manufacture of automobile trim panels

Integrated drive systems

Flexible fibre production

Responding to special market requirements, Märkische Faser GmbH has modernized the drive technology on two of its fiber lines with an advanced integrated solution.

Polyester fibers are among the most widely used synthetic fibers. They are very resistant to abrasion, absorb very little moisture, dry quickly, and exhibit virtually the same strength properties when both wet and dry.

Märkische Faser GmbH in Premnitz, near Berlin, has been manufacturing polyester fibers on an industrial scale under the brand name Grisuten since 1961. Today the company is a top chemical fiber manufacturer in Germany and Europe-wide. It produces roughly 55,000 metric tons of fiber per year on a total of seven lines. Polyester fibers from Premnitz are used in a wide variety of applications, including automobile trim panels, hygiene products, functional ­clothing, and industrial filters.

Modernization for flexible production

In order to enhance its position on the competitive textiles market, the company is investing heavily in the skills of its workforce and in state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies.

The drive technology on two of its seven fiber lines was recently completely modernized. “Our intention with the new drive solution was to improve on-line flexibility,” explains Mathias Pietsch, the modernization project manager at Märkische Faser GmbH. “Our existing drive systems were also quite old, which meant we were struggling to get spare parts. To stay competitive, our lines have to be highly productive, so we couldn’t afford the risk of a breakdown.”

So the company set about finding a drive technology partner that could supply the entire moderni­zation package, including drives, gears, clutches, and switches, as well as provide the necessary support in configuring and commissioning the drive application.

The contract was ultimately awarded to Siemens. Key factor for this decision was the Siemens expertise Märkische Faser GmbH had already experienced during a long-standing and successful previous collaboration in the field of energy and drive technology. In other words, the Siemens project team was already quite familiar with the processes and requirements at the customer’s location. Systems integrator IAT was on hand as an experienced partner to assist in integrating the new drive technology in the existing automation system.

Positive side effect: The new IDS drive solution has also generally simplified and refined the factory layout

Integrated solution

Working with the project team at Märkische Faser GmbH, Siemens devised a complete solution based on Integrated Drive Systems (IDS) that improves the performance of the fiber lines and at the same time enhances plant availability and machine speed. The system’s long-term reparability and servicing has also been ensured. In order to implement the new solution with the shortest possible downtime, fiber line 7 was first configured with a new drive package comprising five Simotics M servomotors, each featuring a Sinamics S120 converter, a SmartLine energy recovery module, three heat exchangers with recirculating ­coolers, and coordinated Flender gears and couplings.

Following the successful implementation of this initial project, work then began to convert the vertical shaft to single drives on fiber line 1. This solution, too, is based on IDS, and comprises nine 1PH8 Simotics M motors with Sinamics S120  frequency converters and Flender gears and couplings. All components were expertly configured at the Siemens Application Center in Chemnitz to withstand harsh production conditions and provide adequate reserves for future upgrades.

The new solutions for both fiber lines integrate seamlessly into our production plant network.
Mathias Pietsch, Modernization Project Manager at Märkische Faser GmbH

Added benefits in operation

“The Siemens team really provided us with excellent support. Based on information available on the drawing lines, they devised a concept that enabled us to implement the changeover very efficiently,” Pietsch reports. In addition to the hardware engineering, Siemens also provided the applications engineering services and supplied the turnkey switchboard. The mechanical and electrical modifications were executed independently by the staff at Märkische Faser GmbH. “The new solutions for both fiber lines integrate seamlessly into our production plant network,” Pietsch concludes.

The fiber lines were running much more flexibly just a short time after commissioning, because key parameters like the drawing ratio can now be modified without stopping line operation. Plant availability has improved significantly, and thanks to the harmonized system landscape, the plant is easier to service and maintain. And last but not least, the drives are integrated into the energy data collection system, providing Märkische Faser GmbH with more optimization potential in the future.

Picture credits: Gudella (1) / Märkische Faser GmbH (2)