Vald. Birn & SCADA

SIMATIC SCADA solution in paint shop

Performance to the last detail: When BIRN chose a SCADA system for its new paint shop, the focus was on data consistency and low total cost of ownership.
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A made-to-measure SCADA solution

For BIRN, maintaining systems has been a daily business for more than 100 years – but when the company developed its concept for an ideal SCADA solution for the new paint shop in Holstebro, Denmark, the team wanted to make a significant leap forward. The main objectives were the provision of optimum support to the operation and maintenance teams, an efficient engineering framework, and low total cost of ownership.

Create a consistent SCADA solution for the standardized supervision and handling of paint-shop orders

The new paint shop complements the company’s existing surface-treatment capabilities at its headquarters in Holstebro. BIRN took the opportunity to equip the new plant, a greenfield project, with the latest production and automation technology to enable high-quality and flexible operations. To achieve this, the company did not opt for a turnkey solution from an OEM but specified the requirements and details of the new plant itself. The solution included a SCADA system for the comprehensive monitoring and controlling of operation and maintenance tasks. In evaluating potential suppliers, the BIRN team wanted to be able to provide optimum support and information to the company’s staff on all levels, from production to supervision to management. Moreover, they wanted to have a single system for batch reporting and maintenance to streamline operations – not least because BIRN had previously been working with different systems for the individual tasks, and this had resulted in high service expenses. “This was a greenfield project, so we wanted to do it in the best possible way, with great technology that will help us improve our operations by using all the data we can get out of the new SCADA system,” explains Jens Vallentin Hansen, project manager for Vald. Birn A/S. “But how do you achieve that? And then I knew: one solution, with one supplier.”

Vald Birn A/S, Denmark

Casting development partner

BIRN is part of the Vald. Birn A/S Group, a Danish group of companies all specialized in casting and machining. The Birn Group dates back to 1896 and today employs some 500 experienced employees and experts at its foundry in Holstebro.

From casting to surface treatment and high-tech machining

BIRN was founded by Heinrich Peter Christian Birn in 1896. Today, the Vald. Birn A/S Group is now one of northern Europe’s largest foundries. BIRN produces cast iron products for many applications, such as automotive, pumps, and hydraulic systems as well as various molds for components. The annual production capacity is 45,000 tons at up to five Disamatic plants. BIRN also has its own processing factory, at the same location as the foundry, to process, paint, and surface-treat the castings. This factory has robust and high-tech production equipment in flexible, high-volume production cells that are under constant development. The latest addition to the treatment facilities in Holstebro is the new greenfield paint shop that was built to accommodate advanced surface-treatment processes.

At BIRN we believe in investing in the future. This is why we have built this paint shop, to make sure that we can meet our customers’ demands.
Jens Vallentin Hansen, Project Manager – CED Specialist, Vald. Birn A/S
Solution details

An integrated system from a single supplier

With its state-of-the-art SIMATIC WinCC SCADA system, the new paint shop not only benefits from an integrated architecture for all batch and automation data. The system also fits perfectly into the general automation environment at BIRN, where many plants are equipped with SIMATIC systems and products. This helps reduce expenses for training and spare parts – while the versatile SIMATIC WinCC system with efficient engineering in TIA Portal and the added functionality provided by WinCC Premium Add-ons for Process Management ensure future-proof and flexible plant monitoring and control.

System redundancy and targeted add-ons help BIRN design a comprehensive system.

The SCADA system is based on the latest SIMATIC WinCC Professional V15.1 with the WinCC Redundancy option to operate the two interconnected WinCC servers in parallel to monitor one another. The functionality of the system is expanded through several add-ons for specific tasks: PM-MAINTENANCE for creating and tracking regular and on-demand maintenance jobs, PM-QUALITY for batch documentation, PM-ANALYZE for reporting across different databases and sources, and PM-LOGON and SIMATIC Logon for user and rights management. At the shopfloor level, SIMATIC controllers collect the production data and control the machines and equipment. The servers run on a virtual machine, which helps reduce system hardware. All automation components can be engineered in the TIA Portal engineering framework, which not only helped BIRN set up a tailor-made solution efficiently but will simplify the system maintenance as well as expansions and modifications. Additionally, a software update and support contract with Siemens for the SCADA system and add-ons will ensure that the system is always up to date throughout its lifecycle and safeguard BIRN against unexpected system-maintenance cost.

Implementing the add-ons to the SIMATIC WinCC system was relatively easy. We use PM-MAINTENANCE, PM-ANALYZE, PM-QUALITY, and SIMATIC Logon
Pooja Rawat, SCADA Engineer, Vald. Birn A/S

All information in a single system

For SCADA engineer Pooja Rawat, the SCADA system from Siemens was a logical choice: “It gives us the option to integrate everything in one system.” As a result, BIRN will benefit from a reduced total cost of ownership, efficient engineering and maintenance, and excellent visibility of information.

Instant notifications reduce reaction times.

For Jens Vallentin Hansen, one of the highlights of the system is definitely the integration of SIMATIC WinCC with SIMATIC Notifier. This app can forward alerts from various systems to smart devices – for example, a smart watch. 

“That is fantastic,” he says. “I get the information right away, right on my wrist. You can find out what the problem is and you know when to react – you don’t have to sit and wait for it.” 

Now we have a single solution that covers automation and data analysis, batch reporting, maintenance, and visualization. And it’s easy to work with.
Pooja Rawat, SCADA Engineer, Vald. Birn A/S

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