Zeppelin Systems of Friedrichshafen builds complex systems for bulk materials of all kinds. The controls for the individual components are supplied by futronic in its role as development partner. The modernisation of existing mixer lines and the construction of new ones on behalf of the world’s leading tyre manufacturers is another example of successful cooperative ventures.
The project basically revolves around Zeppelin’s new, innovative Liquid Dosing System (LDS). It comprises several IBC container stations with a capacity of 3000 litres which hold the different oils used in the manufacture of tyres. Heat exchangers in the station housings initially heat only part of these liquids, in other words they adjust the viscosity ready for further processing.
Parts of the technology the LDS replaces are several decades old
The stations on the various lines feed the dosing cylinders, which you could say are the heart of the LDS. Each of the dosing cylinders has a volume of between 30 and 90 litres and can be supplied by valves with up to four different liquids. The oils are injected into the mixers, and eventually into the production process, with the aid of hydraulic systems.
Parts of the technology our Liquid Dosing System replaces are several decades old. In the past, the amounts needed for the production process were weighed gravimetrically, which was done using open oil scales. The LDS, by contrast, is a completely closed system which meters the liquids into the dosing cylinders volumetrically. The result: easy handling with no contamination, vapours or impurities. Above all, however, the liquids are metered more precisely than with the traditional method. It is now also possible to handle liquids with higher viscosities. What’s more, a recycling station can be integrated into every line.
System has to be perfectly coordinated
The system has to be perfectly coordinated, of course, and all components must communicate with one another. There is one main control cabinet per line, which futronic’s specialists have filled exclusively
with Siemens components. The software for the LDS was developed by Zeppelin. The control system is the nerve centre, where all information from the sensors converges, the recipe parameters from the subsystems are processed and the actuators are controlled.
Customers benefit from experience of various tyre production projects
Each container station also has its own control cabinet and panel, likewise built by futronic, as a standalone solution. The software for these is Tettnang-designed; it allows the various liquids and control parameters – for instance, for the heating, pumps and valves – to be individually configured at each of the container stations. The installation of the wiring for all mechanical and hydraulic components will take place at futronic in Tettnang, as will the final acceptance of the standalone units with the control cabinet and the electrics – a strategy that has proven itself on several prior occasions.
Both Zeppelin and futronic have some previous experience of tyre production projects. This is clearly noticeable in the cooperation and the end customers also reap the benefits. Together we’re helping them stay at the forefront in the future.