The world’s first built-in cooker was developed and produced here: For more than 70 years, the Traunreut plant, which initially belonged to Siemens AG and was incorporated into BSH Hausgeräte GmbH in 1967, has been supplying the international market with cookers, ovens and hobs. For this purpose, the household appliance manufacturer produces almost all the necessary sheet metal itself. Because the previous coil slitting line was getting on in years, BSH invested in a new slitting line for carbon steels.
“Our previous coil slitting line, which supplies the entire plant with sheet metal blanks, was already 30 years old and also no longer met our high safety standards,” reports Sascha Radloff, Head of Technical Plant Engineering in the Prefabrication Division at BSH Hausgeräte GmbH’s Traunreut site. “For this reason, we decided to order a new slitting line from B+S Group at the beginning of 2019.” The B+S Group – that is Burghardt + Schmidt – has also included Schnutz and Delta Technik for a number of years.
In the context of increasing efficiency and improving work safety in sheet metal production, BSH set itself the goal of optimizing set-up times and reducing production costs with the new, highly automated system. Since the purchase of special sheet widths in special dimensions is very cost-intensive, the slitting shear also had to be able to cut any coil widths required for stove and hob production. After Burghardt + Schmidt delivered the system in the summer of 2020 and made a few specific adjustments on site, it was finally successfully integrated into the ongoing Traunreut production in the second quarter of this year, where it has been proving its worth ever since.
Fully automated plant processes increase production
One of the key aspects that were particularly important to BSH in the new coil slitting line is the fully automatic slitting shear that was developed in-house. “Thanks to the automatic system, the knives can firstly be adjusted to new coil widths between 400 and 1,620 mm in a completely uncomplicated manner,” explains Radloff. “Second, the shear cuts up to seven slit strips – the industry average is only two to three coil strips.” With this technological innovation, the two companies set new industry standards.
In order to ensure excellent performance of the plant, Burghardt + Schmidt made improvements to the automated knife adjustment system on site. “The adjustments were successful, so that the slitting line now meets our high demands on the quality of the cut to our complete satisfaction,” confirms Radloff.
In addition, the new machine can process material thicknesses between 0.3 and 1.5 mm. In particular, the low minimum thickness is essential as these coils are very sensitive and require great care within the plant processes. BSH already requires a large number of 0.4 mm sheets, for which the old coil slitting line in Traunreut was already nominally no longer designed. It can be assumed that future market trends will require the processing of even thinner sheets – for which the plant is now prepared thanks to the new plant.
As BSH attaches great importance to high efficiency, the set-up times were to be drastically reduced with the new coil slitting line. In addition to the fully automatic adjustment of the slitting shear, it is therefore designed for larger carbon steel coils of up to 18 t compared to the old system. The mobile coil storage system has two coil positions, so that changing the coils takes less downtime.
Even the loading of the line with a new coil is highly automated: “Until now, several manual steps were still necessary for this,” explains Achim Kunz, Managing Director of B+S. “Thanks to our in-house developed plant processes, we now achieve a higher level of automation – and the new coil is ready for series production at the touch of a button.”
The fact that the system, with a speed of up to 200 m/min, also runs significantly faster than its predecessor is positively reflected in the production figures in addition to the high level of automation. Due to the increase in throughput achieved as a result, the Traunreut plant can now not only supply its own production of cookers and hobs with suitable sheet metal parts, but also supply other BSH production sites.
Individual adaptations guarantee the highest safety standards
Another requirement that BSH placed on the new slitting line concerned safety technology. This was not only to bring the outdated standards of the predecessor machine up to date: “After setting up the system here at the plant, we found that our safety philosophy exceeded the level generally used in the industry,” explains Radloff. “In order to meet the high demands of BSH and specifically the internal processes here in Traunreut, Burghardt + Schmidt then specially adapted the plant control system.”
It was originally assumed that the slitting line would only be operated by one person. Therefore, it was possible to move individual machine parts even when the safety gate was open. At the Traunreut plant, however, it is common for two employees to be working on the system at the same time, which is why the standard specification would have had safety-related weaknesses in the day-to-day production there.
“Each production facility has its own operating procedures and, accordingly, different needs in terms of its machinery, which sometimes only emerge during implementation,” adds Kunz.
Burghardt + Schmidt
Burghardt + Schmidt GmbH (b+s) was founded in 1945 and manufactures technologically innovative machines and systems for cutting and straightening metal strips. The products are specially tailored to the needs of the customers. The company benefits from its many years of experience in the thin strip sector and specializes above all in slitting lines, stretch-bend-straightening lines, packaging lines, traverse winders, straightening machines, cut-to-length lines and strip processing lines. At the German location in Remchingen, the systems are developed and manufactured with the quality feature “Made in Germany”.
The roots of Schnutz GmbH go back to a blacksmith’s shop founded in 1846 by Martin Schnutz, whose focus shifted increasingly to the design and construction of sheet metal working machines as the sheet metal industry in the Siegerland region grew at the turn of the 20th century. In 1882 Schnutz already manufactured the world’s first straightening machine, which was technically improved and extended further and further. The latest innovations include the Schnutz-Multidrive multi-motor drive and a further development of the electric motor support systems. The company has been part of the B+S Group since 2014.
B+S Automation GmbH is a medium-sized automation specialist and was founded in 1995 as DTA Delta Technik Automatisierungs GmbH. It offers sophisticated automation solutions based on the latest technology internationally – both for the initial equipment of new plants and for the modernization of existing plants. Expertise in the areas of drive technology, safety technology and precision control systems is what sets the company apart. It has been a member of the b+s group since 2018 and, with the change of name in 2021 from Delta Technik to b+s Automation, underpins its claim to supply cutting-edge technology for conveyor systems.