The right mixture: more flexibility through standardization

The highest possible degree of standardization and greater flexibility for developers and users – not a contradiction, quite the opposite. Thanks to integrated automation in its tobacco cutters, HAUNI Maschinenbau GmbH benefits from more transparency, more options, and more efficiency in engineering and service.

Torben Wüpper links the fact that HAUNI had backed the right horse with the new architecture to one point during the piloting: "With a fundamentally new architecture, there's always that one question: Will it work the way we imagined? So we just tried it out: We took the axis module from the standard Siemens application and linked it to the parameters of the machine. And more or less half an hour of programming later we had implemented an axis synchronization. From then on it was clear to me: Yes, that works."

HAUNI Maschinenbau GmbH

With around 4,500 employees at over 20 locations worldwide, the HAUNI Group is the world's leading provider of technologies and technical services for the international tobacco industry. Hauni Maschinenbau GmbH, with its headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, is the leading company of the Hauni Group. In addition to machines for cigarette production, HAUNI supports its customers with machines and systems for tobacco preparation and processing, such as the KT 2 and KT 4 tobacco cutters. Machine servicing is also part of the range of services: HAUNI overhauls and modernizes used HAUNI machines – from filter and cigarette production lines to logistics components and tobacco cutters.

The path to the new standard

Before Torben Wüpper, as project manager for the automation of the tobacco cutters at HAUNI, had this sense of achievement, however, he and the team around project manager Olaf Böse first examined numerous alternatives in order to find a future-proof solution for the machine series. "We have been very successful with our tobacco cutters for a great many years. As a result, we have many machines in the field that we service. At the same time, the technology of our solutions continues to develop – and automation must also be able to keep pace," says Olaf Böse. Ultimately, Siemens was able to offer a convincing coordinated solution consisting of controller, drives and software. Olaf Böse continues: "This enables us to standardize the entire automation and drive technology as far as possible."

Standardized, integrated, and efficient

The new automation and drive concept is based consistently on standardized components: A SIMATIC ET 200SP Open Controller with SIMATIC S7-1500 Technology CPU 1515 SP PC2 TF, SINAMICS S120 drives and Siemens motors, and a SIMATIC HMI IFP1900 Display  for operator control and monitoring. In this way, HAUNI was able to simplify the architecture significantly: The Open Controller controls not only normal and safety-oriented machine functions, but also the complete drive technology and visualization. As a result, only one controller is now installed in the control cabinet instead of the four different systems previously. This not only saves space, but the in-house application development also benefits from the uniform architecture: "Since we now configure all functions with one tool, the TIA Portal, engineering is now much easier, not least because of the standard blocks that Siemens makes available in the technology libraries," explains Wüpper. "This means we can focus completely on customer-specific functions during configuration. We are now also much more efficient at this, and depending on the project, up to 50% faster than before."

We can focus entirely on customer-specific functions during configuration. This now makes us significantly more efficient: up to 50% faster than before, depending on the project.
Torben Wüpper, Project Manager and Hardware/Software Developer for Automation Technology, HAUNI Primary GmbH

More options in the field

For Olaf Böse, the advantages of the new standard are also evident in the area of procurement and stockkeeping, starting with the standardized control cabinet and extending to the supply of spare parts. But he also sees numerous improvements from the technological viewpoint, as he explains with reference to drive technology: "With the same or even slightly higher power density, the Siemens systems require only air cooling, instead of water cooling. This means there are no leakages, significantly longer maintenance intervals, and a lower risk of failure – advantages that are very relevant for our users." Torben Wüpper adds: "Although we are still in the start-up phase, we are nevertheless already benefiting from the standardized architecture in terms of both commissioning and service. Our technical customer service can now support the entire automation system using a single tool and has an overview of the entire machine via the diagnostic options of SIMATIC and the TIA Portal. This enables us to offer our users prompt and targeted assistance in the event of problems."

Well positioned (not only) for new tasks

According to Wüpper, the feedback from the regions and the technical customer service is correspondingly positive – and there are no problems whatsoever during operation: "All the machines that we have shipped and commissioned using the new automation solution have been running flawlessly ever since, and the users are extremely satisfied with the quality and the technology. That is proof that we have done everything right." For him, the excellent cooperation with Siemens is also an important factor of success: "Particularly on a technical basis, we've always had very competent contacts at Siemens who supported us really well from concept through to piloting – and so we developed this good and viable solution together." In addition to the first new machines, the standardized automation solution has also proven its worth already in the existing machine pool, continues Olaf Böse: "That's important in a market where many areas are all about optimum protection of investment. That's why we offer special upgrade packages for older models of our tobacco cutter." Among other things, the existing control cabinet will be replaced with the new standard control cabinet. This enables HAUNI to reduce conversion times significantly in this area as well - "our goal is 5 days of conversion time for a complete machine, and I am confident that we will achieve this," says Wüpper.

This versatility combined with a standardized platform that is easy to maintain, durable and easy to integrate into the overall architecture – that's something really special.
Olaf Böse, Senior Manager R&D, HAUNI Primary GmbH

The right mixture for every application

Meanwhile, Olaf Böse directs his attention to current developments in the market: "In addition to classic leaf and stem tobacco, new fields of application are emerging where we need to cover a much wider range of cuts and facilitate faster product changeovers. For precisely this reason we have developed the KT 4: The user can easily set all parameters on the panel and store different mixtures as recipes – so the user can easily adapt the process without major changeovers. This versatility combined with a standardized platform that is easy to maintain, durable and easy to integrate into the overall architecture – that's something really special."

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