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Electric Drives & Controls

Construction of a complete plant with CE certification

At the new ClayTec site in Bächingen an der Brenz, a process plant was built consisting of a combination of used and new sub-machines. Under the project management of Andreas Schmidt, HELDELE Automation GmbH received the order to set up and commission the entire plant in accordance with various control engineering guidelines.

Clay as an ecological building material

ClayTec is an owner-managed, medium-sized family business that produces and sells building materials made of clay via the building materials trade. ClayTec originated from a handicraft business, core competence, basic products and application techniques result from own practice and experience. The company's goal was and is to make clay, a building material with outstanding environmental properties, available for today's construction and to integrate it into its structures. The energy input for the production of ClayTec clay building materials is either already very low or it is continuously minimized. The basic principle is to maintain the recyclability of the material given by its natural properties at all product levels.

Performer 260 3D printing system

Claytec's building materials production plant in Bächingen an der Brenz. (Image source: HELDELE GmbH)

New production site in southern Germany

Until now, ClayTec's earth-moist clay plasters have been produced exclusively at the main production site in Viersen in North Rhine-Westphalia and shipped from there to trading companies throughout Germany and Europe. Now, however, the company has opened a new production site in Bächingen in the Swabian district of Dillingen an der Donau. The new ClayTec site will be used in the future for the production of earth-moist clay plasters, as well as for logistical tasks.

Short implementation period despite difficult procurement situation

For the construction of the plant, various machines were combined into a complete plant for the new location. After the mechanical preparation of the purchased production machines, the HELDELE Automation team was awarded the contract for the construction of the control technology periphery of the plant. The activities included the electrical design, the control cabinet construction as well as the installation, programming and commissioning of the control technology. Despite the current difficult procurement situation, the project was implemented in the shortest possible time.

The required target dates for the erection and commissioning of the plant, the short project duration of only five months from the date of order, and the currently difficult procurement situation were met in full by flexible and innovative solutions. The very good and open communication with ClayTec supported us along the way and was always pleasant and goal-oriented during the entire project period.

Andreas Schmidt, Deputy Department Manager Projects/ Project Manager, HELDELE Automation GmbH

Division into three areas

The overall plant consists of three areas, the straw area, the sand area and the clay area. In the straw area, a feeding unit and the straw preparation system are controlled. In order to avoid production interruptions, for example due to blockages, two rotary valves were integrated. In addition, a current sensor was installed at the run control on one of the rotary valves. This sensor detects the current supply to the hopper element and ensures that the hoppers are stopped and restarted accordingly. In the sand area, a row silo controls a sensor. This provides a signal on the fill level of the sand silo, which is switched off when a certain level is reached. A supplementary sand screen was equipped with a maintenance switch and a signal contact. In the third area, the clay area, a sensor controls the weighing belt of the conveyor line. According to the level of the clay, part of the conveyor line is switched off when the signal is detected.

Control elements through CE partnership with Bosch Rexroth.

Plant control is handled by Bosch Rexroth's latest automation platform, ctrlX. As a Certified Excellence Partner of Bosch Rexroth, HELDELE Automation has access to innovative and intelligent solutions and products from Rexroth. At ClayTec, the control system was implemented using the high-performance and communication-capable ctrlX CORE control platform. The system's multi-core technology is based on Linux and thus offers the possibility of programming in all common programming languages. Due to the open and flexible architecture, the control system meets ClayTec's requirements.

Example workpieces from the performer 260

The existing system is equipped with state-of-the-art control technology (Image source:HELDELE GmbH)

HMI in the web interface

In this project, the Human Machine Interface (HMI) was implemented as a WebIQ interface. In plant engineering, HMI is usually implemented in displays directly on the plant. The control as a web interface enables ClayTec to access the control of the plant from all persons who are in the corresponding network. This has the advantage that several people at different locations on the company premises can view and control the plant. By integrating the company's internal WLAN, control via tablet or smartphone would also be possible.

The cooperation with HELDELE Automation GmbH was characterized throughout by goal-oriented action, adapted to the existing challenges and consistently good communication as the basis for the successful implementation of the project.

Jonas Makowsi, Operating Technology at ClayTec

CE certification from a single source

A particular challenge with this order was the implementation of machine safety in compliance with the regulations. When the so-called incomplete machines were purchased, the technical documentation documents were very incomplete. Another challenge: the oldest machine from 1965 also had to be included. The HELDELE Automation team around Peter Stecker had to start an extensive research work in order to be able to coordinate the machines. In the end, the CE mark was successfully awarded for the entire production plant. Thus, ClayTec was able to keep the ecological footprint as low as possible during the construction of the new site by reusing proven production machines, some of which were built in older years.

Author: Dennis Burk

Referent der Geschäftsleitung
Vertrieb Heldele Automation GmbH
Uferstraße 48, D-73084 Salach

Tel +49 7162 7079-567
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