The Automation and Drives sector of Siemens AG employs more than 51,000 staff members worldwide. In 2004, they made a total turnover of about 8.8 billion EUR. Large Drives is one of the now eleven lines of business at Siemens Automation and Drives. The Large Drives line of business offers optimal solutions wherever large drives are sought after in industry and infrastructure. This may include huge ship propulsion units or drives for dredges and stone grinders used in mining as well as motors and converters for all kinds of rail vehicles (locomotives, high-speed trains, urban railways, subways worldwide) or in water management for pumps that must move huge amounts of water. For example for watering vast expanses of agrarian land or to transport thousands of cubic meters of water overlarge distances or great height differences.
Efficiency is the drive
Wherever solid, liquid or gaseous matter must be moved, mined, compressed or pumped, it is advantageous to use variable-speed drives. For this purpose Siemens Large Drives has developed intermediate voltage converters that allow one to adapt the motor speed to the current needs. The use of frequency converters considerably increases the efficiency and may save as much as 50% energy e.g.in water management. Moreover the facilities are conserved due to smoother starting and stopping or the avoidance of damaging vibrations. Last but not least, compared to mechanical control concepts the variable-speed drive technology enables a considerably more precise flow control, and that with shorter reaction times. For rail vehicle drives, regenerative braking by means of the voltage converters provides maximum energy exploitation. To achieve and extend this efficiency and thus to increase customer benefits is the Siemens engineers‘ incentive to continue their work on drive technology optimization in an innovative and creative manner.
ELCAD creates efficiency
One tool crucial for the realization of this efficiency goal is provided by the software developer AUCOTEC in Hannover. The same naturally also holds for Large Drive drives of medium-size, which are taken care of in the SINAMICS family. „In daily operation, modifications and extensions may become necessary, which have to be documented“, explains the IT specialist Sponsel. This means that the tool must be usable even with basic ELCAD skills.
The up-to-date Windows user interface, the intuitive concept of operation and the Office-compliant ELCAD editing dialogs are therefore very convenient for the Siemens employees“. These features have also been among the decisive factors for the decision in favor of ELCAD compared to the other CAE systems in the benchmark test, says Mr. Sponsel. Routine operations such as the generation of lists, derived documents and the like have due to ELCAD been automated to the point that the user can concentrate on the essentials. So that the effort used moves as much as possible. Be it water, pieces of rock, container vessels or locomotives, the main thing being: in the right direction – and that efficiently.