Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

August 2014    |    Volume: 46    |    Number: 8

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial Engineers

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Emerging Technologies

Innovative tools of the trade

Perfecting get-set-go

The market demands waste reductions, better performance and shorter lead-times. Sustainable operations are proven time and again to be the ones that use processes that conserve energy and natural resources. Both industry leaders and novices are looking for ways to comply with the market and deliver functionality while reducing setup and overhead.

Siemens charges ahead with its re-engineered Tiastar Motor Control Center products, which are designed to provide vital operating information, automation control and fast communication to any industry. They offer quick startups and reduce commissioning time by using preprogrammed and preconfigured data. This fast response feature helps with staff utilization and energy consumption optimization, perfect for healthcare and service industries.

In addition, Siemens offers a quick turnaround for servicing its products. This is of critical importance for operations that rely on motor control centers. Size reductions have decreased the units’ weight by 10 percent, and they have a 25 percent smaller footprint. This high-density design frees valuable real estate in crowded environments. Despite this, the motor control centers adhere to NEMA 1 electrical standards.

The Siemens’ family of new motor control systems also includes the Tiastar H2O, designed specifically for the water and wastewater industries. This mode offers integrated drives and protects assets by tracking deterioration in pumps and motors. Such predictive diagnostics make for quick resolutions of process issues. Tiastar Smart is designed for high-end process industries. This version features easier troubleshooting and startup, along with an autonomous backup function to ensure continued operation in case of a general network failure.

The TR400 Tachometer from Electro-Sensors is another overhead reduction application. The TR400, which displays an automated system’s production rate or time in process with high accuracy, features a system slowdown test to verify relay set points and operation. This lets users periodically test set points while the system functions normally, and no system recalibration is required after testing is complete. With the system slowdown test, there is no risk of losing set point values, saving significant costs and time.

Once the test is activated, the TR400 gradually scales down the actual input frequency, simulating a slowdown while the system maintains its normal running speed. This function reduces the TR400’s display speed and triggers the set point relays, verifying the system’s response to alarm status and system shutdown conditions.

The test is performed in seconds, and afterward the user immediately can return to viewing current system data on the TR400’s display. No system modifications are needed to resume normal operating conditions.

The TR400 tachometer provides a particularly ideal solution for monitoring speed and direction in equipment used in operations that involve synchronized conveyor, generator or rotary systems.

Dana Wexler has a bachelor of science in industrial and systems engineering from the Rutgers School of Engineering. She is an operations improvement supervisor for UPS and the Northeast Region representative for IIE’s Young Professionals Division.