Machine development with digital twin

manroland Goss shortens development and commissioning time using a digital twin.


Efficiency, quality and costs

The printing industry is experiencing intensified consolidation and competitive pressure, which is placing higher demands than ever on printing machine manufacturers. It is not only in packaging printing that increasingly small batch sizes and correspondingly frequent production changes require the shortest possible setup times. At the same time, operators demand consistently high print quality and maximum system availability at optimized costs. The highly complex systems must be ready for production in the shortest possible time, then run quickly and reliably over the long term. If you want to remain competitive, you have to make development and commissioning more efficient and shorten the time-to-production.

Consistent automation standard for new and old

In addition to the actual printing machine, complex printing solutions include various trades for pre- and post-processing. These sometimes come from different manufacturers and must be integrated into a perfectly functioning whole. This requires a consistent, unified automation standard for new systems as well as numerous retrofit systems.

Achieve maximum productivity fast

Extensive printing systems can only be set up and commissioned at the user's site. The aim is to ensure a reliable production startup and quickly achieve the promised productivity and availability.

Reduce workload through standards

More interfaces, more work. Anyone who has ever had to integrate many different trades appreciates coordinated automation components from a single source. Efficiency from purchasing to replacement parts management must be the goal here.

About manroland Goss

Web offset printing technology for the world market

manroland Goss is the leading supplier of web offset printing technology for all applications, from newspaper to commercial and packaging printing. The Augsburg-based company keeps an eye on the big picture and the entire life cycle of the systems: from materials management to the ready-to-ship product, from development to service.


The printing machine manufacturer has relied on automation hardware and software solutions from Siemens for more than 20 years - and will continue to rely almost exclusively on Siemens for these solutions in the future. At the same time, the manufacturer benefits from its equipment supplier's extensive industry expertise and the global availability of replacement parts and support.


The latest milestone on the joint path to the future is the entry into the digitalization of development processes, the virtual design, simulation and optimization of units and processes, all the way to virtual commissioning in-house.

For us, the cooperation with Siemens has always been a guarantee for high-performance automation solutions. Successful entry into digitalization is the key to success in the future.
Franz Kriechbaum, Managing Director of manroland Goss

Into the future with digitalization

manroland Goss has recognized the signs of the times and is currently developing peripheral system components in an exclusively digital workflow. The first actual application is a roller transport system with several trolleys, conveyor sections and turntables to supply one or more printing units.

From 3D model to digital twin

The first step towards the digital twin is the import of the 3D model of the plant into the NX Mechatronics Concept Designer from Siemens and the "kinematization" of relevant elements. Among other things, this is used to dimension drives, determine kinematic and dynamic properties, define collision areas and simulate motion sequences.


Using PLCSIM Advanced, virtual controllers can be generated, PLC programs can be conveniently tested and optimized, and the automation solution can be virtually commissioned in advance. The SIMIT simulation platform also enables the integration of real SIMATIC controllers or HMI devices into the simulation.

Working in parallel

The digitalized approach changes the conventional, sequential development process and enables parallel work on a project by all participants: Designers, mechanical and electrical engineers, and also programmers.


The task now is to internalize the digital workflow, perfect it and use it profitably in the development of future trades.

Web offset printing at top speed

The Varioman press series is designed as a platform, with offset-based, variable-format, cost-effective printing units at its core. For this purpose, gravure, flexographic and other units can be integrated as required, making the series highly flexible. The operator of a new factory for frozen food packaging has also recognized this and placed a "Varioman c:line" for carton printing at the heart of its production. At a production speed of 400 m/min and a web width of up to 1,300 mm, the line will print over 2,500 pizza boxes per minute. Motif changes in under four minutes make even the production of smaller batches economical.

Automation technology from a single source

The 2020 automation concept, which is based on integrated control and drive technology from Siemens, also plays a major role in this. Core components are fail-safe SIMATIC S7-1500F controllers as sequence and printing unit control, a lower-level motion controller for highly precise and dynamic motion control, and proven SINAMICS S120 and SINAMICS S210 converters. The latter are designed for operation with particularly compact SIMOTICS S-1FK2 servomotors which, thanks to One Cable Connection, could be mounted quickly even in confined spaces in the printing units. SIMATIC HMI devices for local visualization round out the future-proof approach. The integrated engineering of all components in TIA Portal connects all these features.

Lower workload thanks to Safety Integrated

The SIMATIC F-CPU and the fail-safe modules of the SIMATIC ET 200SP distributed I/O system integrate standard and safety functions in a single device or configuration. This saves the previously separate safety control system and a lot of wiring effort, which means costs. In addition, software-based safety solutions are much more flexible and faster to implement.

Customer benefits

On-site commissioning time is almost halved

Faster and safer with the digital twin

The agile digital workflow brings considerable time and thus cost benefits.


In an early development stage, the iterative process already eliminates errors with little effort, so that programs with a significantly higher degree of maturity than before shorten the actual commissioning. Even in the first digitalization project, "Roller transport", the developers expect to reduce the commissioning time of 20 to 25 man-weeks by at least 10 man-weeks. This means the time needed is almost halved as compared to the conventional procedure, and the production startup is significantly safer.


This reduces risks and leads more quickly to reliable print production. The simulation also allows simplified comparisons of different solution approaches. In this case, it was thus possible to prove that the preferred solution could reliably ensure roller replenishment.


In general, training is also possible on the digital twin, so that maintenance staff and operators can be trained at any time away from ongoing production. This also opens up entirely new opportunities in sales.

In concrete terms, we expect to reduce the commissioning time of 20 to 25 man-weeks by at least 10 man-weeks, even on the first digitalization project.
Roland Schmidberger, Head of Software Development at manroland Goss

Technology from a single source

With its new 2020 automation concept, manroland Goss will be relying almost completely on hardware and software from Siemens in the future. This reduces outlay over the entire life cycle of the plants. Starting with single-source procurement, through the integrated engineering of all components in TIA Portal and diagnostics during operation, all the way to the ensured supply of replacement parts around the globe.

With a major partner such as Siemens, topics such as the standardization of new technologies are also on the agenda at least a year earlier, so we can implement the corresponding products earlier and profit from them.
Thomas Stoll, Vice President Procurement, manlorand Goss