classic | mobile



Precious cases
4th Quarter 2017, This Week's Editor's Pick, Electrical switching & drive systems & components

Based in Rahden around 50 kilometres north of Bielefeld, Kolbus GmbH is the world market leader in the manufacture of bookbinding machines, and also produces complete in-line production systems for book manufacturing, commercial printing and luxury packing.

During the development process of its new automatic DA 290 casemaker for fully automatic production of book cases, files, display cards, calendar backs and game boards in extra large format, Kolbus relied on servo drives, motion control and a modular multi-touch operating concept from Siemens and ensure minimal resetting times, high quality and low piece costs. The overall package was designed to simplify engineering, improve efficiency and quality and also reduce machine resetting times.

Kolbus has been producing machines for packaging material production and print processing at its location in Rahden since 1775. Using the DA 290, Kolbus is able to cover large-format semi-finished components for high end slipcases and displays fully automatically at economical cost, enabling production without the need for additional product-specific forming tools.

Individual drives for simplified engineering

The DA 290 is designed for case sizes from around 300 x 200 millimetres up to 1050 x 735 millimetres, and delivers up to 40 covered cases a minute with turned-in edges on all four sides. When working with large format cases, rapid, quantity-optimised glue application is essential in order to guarantee good adhesion without material warpage (dishing). To ensure the required high gap size accuracy along the width of the covering, the gluing unit is fitted with two Simotics servo motors, a frequency controlled individual drive and additional adjustment drives. Thanks to servo drives at the rollers, the two application rollers can achieve precisely coordinated speeds, allowing the gluing process to be adjusted for different products. Two suction bars which can be traversed individually or together using servomotors lift and move the glued cases for wrapping. The benefit of individual drives is that they eliminate the need for complex couplings and gearboxes, improving access and speeding up the engineering process.

High performing and intuitive

All the sections of the machine are controlled by the high-performance Simotion D445-2. A virtual master axis integrated in the controller provides the clock generator for the entire system. Linked to it are additional virtual master axes for the individual sections, which are ultimately linked to the real axes. To facilitate operation, Kolbus developed a modular human machine interface (HMI) for standardised screen masks and operating sequences, the Kolbus Copilot. The central component of the system is the Simatic industrial PC IPC477D integrated in the machine, which enables multi-touch operation using intuitive familiar operating functions. The drive, control and operating package from Siemens allow Kolbus to operate the new automatic casemaker with the utmost efficiency while complying with stringent quality requirements and simplifying the engineering process.

New in Simotion: Scope for further improvement

Using Simotion also allows Kolbus to benefit from the new integrated functions in the future. An example is Learning Error Compensation (LECo), a self-learning control algorithm which is capable of detecting and automatically compensating for cyclical disturbing influences on the drive control behaviour – usually after only a single cycle. LECo is based on the open architecture interface from Simotion. Additionally Simotion Scout V5.1 contains the scope for object-oriented programming (OOP) and also the simulation environment Simosim, which allows programs to be tested without the need for actual hardware.

For more information contact Jennifer Naidoo, Siemens Digital Factory and Process Industries and Drives, +27 (0)11 652 2795,,

Supplied By: Siemens Digital Factory & Process Ind. & Drives
Tel: +27 11 652 2382
Fax: 086 506 6149
Share via email     Print this page  

Further reading:

  • A hybrid-electric passenger plane
    1st Quarter 2018, Siemens Digital Factory & Process Ind. & Drives, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    What the companies have in mind is a 100-seat passenger aircraft in which one of the four conventional turbines has been replaced by a high powered electric motor. Such an aircraft is expected to make ...
  • Faulhaber motors for Mars
    1st Quarter 2018, Horne Technologies, This Week's Editor's Pick, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    2020 is the year of the next rover mission to Mars. The main payload of the Russian Proton rocket is the ExoMars rover, developed by the European and Russian Space Agencies (ESA and Roskosmos). The plan ...
  • Easy, high-performance servo drive system
    1st Quarter 2018, Siemens Digital Factory & Process Ind. & Drives, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    Today, machinery construction OEMs are facing special challenges. The goal is to produce even more quickly at lower cost, while at the same time satisfying the highest quality demands. As a consequence, ...
  • How drives are revolutionising the printing industry
    1st Quarter 2018, Nidec Industrial Automation Southern Africa, This Week's Editor's Pick, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    Whether it’s for actual printing press machinery or supplementary systems, such as inserters, reel stands and cart loaders, many in the print industry are taking steps to replace DC drives with AC drives ...
  • Digitalisation in mining
    1st Quarter 2018, Siemens Digital Factory & Process Ind. & Drives, News & events
    The global mining industry faces major challenges and, in order to stay competitive, companies have to become leaner, stronger and more innovative. In this context, digitalisation plays a crucial role ...
  • Puristic design and convenient functionality
    1st Quarter 2018, Horne Technologies, This Week's Editor's Pick, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    A combination of exercise, relaxation and a sporting challenge – these are the things that motivate golfers when they step onto the green. The golfer’s most important companion is a lightweight and manoeuvrable ...
  • An experience like no other
    1st Quarter 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick, Other technologies
    A 50-ton, flame-throwing mechanical spider.
  • Kinetic sculpture interacts with water and light
    4th Quarter 2017, Beckhoff Automation, This Week's Editor's Pick, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    A fascinating play of water, light and motion.
  • Supramotion in action
    4th Quarter 2017, Festo, This Week's Editor's Pick, Other technologies
    At the Hannover Messe 2017 trade fair, Festo showcased three exciting new concepts for the application of superconductor technology to industrial automation.
  • Hytec’s largest sea vessel project ever
    4th Quarter 2017, Hytec (Afripower), This Week's Editor's Pick, Hydraulic systems & components
    In its biggest sea vessel project ever undertaken, Hytec successfully designed, manufactured, installed and commissioned all hydraulics for three systems on board the most technologically advanced marine diamond sampling and exploration vessel in the world for its client De Beers Marine.
  • Rotating and turning
    4th Quarter 2017, Lapp Group , This Week's Editor's Pick, Robotics & Mechatronics
    The most important difference between robot cables and conventional moving cables is that the former have to withstand both bending and torsion over their entire service life, and in development they are designed fundamentally differently to a power chain cable, for example.
  • Changing perspectives in automation
    4th Quarter 2017, Siemens Digital Factory & Process Ind. & Drives, News & events
    At the recent African product launch in Pretoria, head of Siemens Process Automation, Mikhail Vakhutinskiy explained; “With Version 9 of its Simatic PCS 7 process control system, Siemens is opening up ...

Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronic Buyers Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual


    classic | mobile

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.