Panel Builder System Integrator

February 20, 2020

Emil Schmid Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG was founded in 1960 and is a family-run and family-owned company based in Sonnenbühl on the Swabian Alps. Company founder Emil Schmid initially started with manufacturing lathed parts. This developed into a successful medium-sized company with 400 employees, specialising in mechanical engineering. Most of the customers come from the automotive industry. They focus on assembly systems for transmission manufacturing (powertrain). In addition, the trend towards electromobility has led to projects in the assembly of electric motors and batteries.

Managing Director Wolfgang Schmid emphasizes that his company maintains a high proportion of in-house production saying, "we handle all tasks with our own personnel." This ensures flexibility and rapid adaptation to customer requirements.

He also added, that when capacity peaks, a strong network of regional engineering offices can be called upon. Local partners with whom Schmid Maschinenbau has been working with for a long time.

The special challenge for the company is "that the customers have very high demands and there are many sector specific standards and guidelines as well as precise approval guidelines," says Wolfgang Schmid. Schmid Maschinenbau systems meet these highest quality requirements without exception. Using virtual commissioning the company can use 3D model simulations and software generated models to create a digital twin - smoothing out software issues without having to risk physical equipment.

 Murrelektronik works closely with Schmid Maschinenbau. Markus Möck from the purchasing department states that Murrelektronik provides exceptional support but also fast order processing and very high delivery reliability. The fundamental prerequisite for successful cooperation is that the Murrelektronik components are included in the vehicle manufacturers' approval lists. Here we illustrate how Murrelektronik's products fit into Schmid Maschinenbau's systems and contribute to successful installation concepts.

Flexibility with multifunctional ports using MVK Metal

Many sensors and actuators are installed in the machines and plants of Schmid Maschinenbau. In order to connect them to the controller in an economical way, powerful and efficient installation concepts are required. The company therefore frequently uses the compact fieldbus module MVK Metal from Murrelektronik. Due to its external properties, this module is ideally suited to the special requirements of the harsh industrial environment of the automotive industry. The zinc die-cast housing consists of a single piece and is surface-finished to withstand welding sparks. Due to the full potting of MVK Metal, the devices are resistant to shock and vibration. The electrical designers at Schmid Maschinenbau position the module on the arms of robots without having to worry about problems or even failures.

Steffen Herrmann from the electrical engineering department also recognises the advantages of the different versions of MVK Metal. Together with his colleagues, he is faced with the challenge "that in special machine construction, no two systems are the same." Depending on the application, input modules, output modules, or mixed modules from MVK Metall can therefore be integrated into the installation. Maximum flexibility is achieved when a module with freely configurable slots is used. Depending on requirements, these are then set either as input and output. "We use this option, for example, when we have to control a single valve on a robot arm in addition to a large number of sensors," explains Steffen Herrmann. Configuration via the TIA portal is simple, and it is not necessary to install a separate module for just one actuator. A further advantage over classic single-core wiring is that fewer cables have to be run. This results, for example, in a considerable time advantage and thus shorter commissioning times for complicated cable routing using drag chains. Because the installation concept is very clear, sources of error are also reduced.

The fact that every machine and system from Schmid Maschinenbau is unique also has an effect on the cables. "The exact cable lengths are often difficult to predict," explains Steffen Herrmann. This is why the company uses MOSA connectors (M12) from Murrelektronik. For this purpose, cables are cut to the exact length and the connectors are attached using insulation displacement technology. "This is quick, and color coding virtually eliminates wiring errors," says Steffen Herrmann. Installation in the machine is also very simple using a hex nut "and the Murrelektronik torque wrench is a great help. This ensures that the cables are properly tightened with exactly the right torque. A clearly audible click helps the engineers tighten the connection perfectly.”

On site with the Solution Van

A visit from the Murrelektronik Solutions Van to Emil Schmid's headquarters led to the close partnership between the two companies. Denis Aupperle, a Murrelektronik sales representative and the automotive team, talked with the company's employees about current trends in automation technology – all aboard the green Murrelektronik van.

Markus Möck from the purchasing department of Schmid Maschinenbau coordinated the visit and confirmed that such an event is more time-efficient and productive than a classic trade show visit. "The employees can get hands on with new products and have discussions directly with Murrelektronik's automation experts," says Markus Möck. This is exciting because they have excellent industry sector knowledge and understand current developments and trends in the automotive industry. A company-wide mix of employees from Schmid Maschinenbau spent time on the Solutions Van, including employees from logistics, the electrical workshop and the design team. The trainees were also involved. Another positive outcome: "This enabled us to bring our colleagues together to talk to each other." Denis Aupperle concluded that: "The result was a first-class mutual exchange of information, which was profitable for all participants!"

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