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RTA keeps rolling: managing reel handling consoles



ABB in business since more than 100 years has more than 160,000 employees collaborating with customers in some 100 countries today. ABB is a business-to-business supplier - from process, manufacturing and consumer industries to utilities, the oil, gas and petrochemical industry, as well as automation and power products, and into financial services, where ABB Printing is a part of the automation division.


Presse Druck - Augsburg (pd - Augsburg) Is a well-known publishing company with several publishing units in Augsburg / Germany. The press printing area is equipped with two printing newspaper presses from the manufacturers MAN / Germany and WIFAG / Switzerland - together more than 16 printing units. And ABB is the general electric supplier for pd-Augsburg.

But what has this to do with RTA ?



The challenge for pd-Augsburg was the order mix for the printing presses. And to handle these problems a logistic system for the roll handling was installed in 1995. The logistic system is a supplement to the mechanical equipment and transportation devices as cart on tracks. The scope of supply consists of:

  • The computer-assisted logistic system for the planning and control of the transport of the rolls from the delivery transition point via the preparation stations to the reelstands and for the removal of waste.
  • The tracking of each roll from its identification at the stripping station until it is completely used or rejected
  • The real-time integration with the control system of the roller conveyor, preparation station and the reelstands to monitor the process
  • The integration with the ABB press production management system MPS to determine the required paper types and quantities directly online from the product planning.
  • And all these integrations and all necessary process visualizations for controlling the process should be done on one computer station, real-time interfaces necessary to different parts of the whole control system - of different suppliers, with different interface capacities
  • But on a standard database like Oracle, easy to access by several Microsoft tools to get personalized reports for the management.



The configuration - the RTA as open architecture

And ABB chose RTA to develop this control console. Once again ABB needed something like RTA - a flexible tool, based on well-know industrial standards, which allows doing projects like this in a fast and flexible way.

The whole logistic system can be controlled and managed by the RD-Station. Using screens like this on the left you can check the status of every axe of the reel star in the autopaster, see the paper type and how much paper is left for the running printing order and how much rolls are planned for a certain / next order.

You are also able to send manual requests for additional rolls, manage the remaining web-paper on the rolls back to the stock or declare it as waste.

The base system RTA combines real-time aspects with the usage of a relational database system like Oracle. The real-time communication needs with three other system units (the control system of the roller conveyor, the control system of the reel star and the production planning system - three different suppliers) and on the other hand the need for an open architecture were the main reasons why RTA was chosen.

Another major reason was the fact that RTA supports different programming languages, allowing the programmers to decide which language they prefer for implementing a project. But RTA also provides its own programming language, especially designed for rapid implementation of distributed, redundant, real-time applications. This language takes into consideration that the real-time database (RtDB), a major component of RTA, is an active database system and hence this language supports ECA rules (Event Condition Action rules). And last but not least the fact that RTA has an open architecture and allows for easy integration of third party products played an important role in the decision for RTA.



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