With a modern control system, a 20-year-old production line can run and have the same availability as if it were new. Shiloh in Olofström, Sweden is well aware of this – they commissioned AP&T to replace the control system on one of their existing press lines in 2019.
Operating on the global stage, Shiloh Industries, headquartered in the United States, focuses on the development and production of lightweight solutions for the automotive industry. In Olofström, in southwestern Sweden, they manufacture various types of steel parts and components for passenger cars and trucks, ranging from small consoles to heavy-duty bumpers. To form their larger parts, they partly use a transfer line installed by AP&T in the late 1990s. It includes an extremely powerful hydraulic press with 1000 tons of press force and two SpeedFeeders for feeding and unloading the blanks.
Two years ago, after 20 years of operation, it was time to secure the line for the future by adding a new control system.
“To ensure continued high availability, operator safety and performance, we decided to disable the control system and send out a tender,” says Joakim Lennartsson, Plant Manager Shiloh at Olofström.
A complete solution from AP&T
In fierce competition with several other vendors, AP&T ultimately won the project.
“AP&T presented the best solution. Having the security of trusting the same vendor that designed, manufactured and integrated the equipment to perform the update was another reason we chose AP&T,” says Lennartsson.
The new control system is the same as that installed on machines newly manufactured by AP&T. It was introduced in 2019 when AP&T started using Siemens’ new software platform (TIA Portal). All operator functions are controlled from a single control panel and user-friendly LOGOS interface.
The plan was to complete the entire installation during a very short manufacturing shutdown window between Christmas 2019 and New Years.
“We maximize the use of our machines and to minimize downtime it was important that we stick to the schedule,” says Lennartsson.
This required careful planning and effective on-site efforts.
“Rebuilding and modernizing an existing line in a short time is always a challenge. But we kept to the schedule. When we started manufacturing again after the new year, we had already replaced all electrical and electronic components and installed the new control system with new light curtains, new control panel and other auxiliary equipment. It was just a matter of flipping the switch to restart production,” says Anders Rundén, project manager responsible for the project at AP&T.
The agreement included service and maintenance for 24 months and after two years of flawless operation, Shiloh is very satisfied.
“Everything met our exact expectations, so we couldn’t be happier,” says Lennartsson.