How Lenze makes logistics smart and crisis-proof

Aerzen, 25 April 2023. Due to multiple crises, intralogistics is gaining a lot of importance - more goods are in stock, new distribution channels are emerging, costs have to come down, consumers demand sustainability in the supply chain, plants are running 24/7, long maintenance stops are a thing of the past, there is a lack of personnel, delivery reliability is required and logistics is becoming an important differentiator in the market. Lenze is aware of the challenges faced by its customers, and at Logimat 2023 it will be demonstrating the interplay of automation and drive technology, as well as digital engineering, in order to meet challenges, optimize processes, and develop new business models. The goal: the smart warehouse.

Lenze presents a new generation of decentralized frequency inverters for horizontal conveyor technology: the i-series motec. The inverter serves customer requirements like reducing engineering times thanks to minimal variance while saving energy. Thanks to the drive design via EASY System Designer, the system achieves energy savings of up to 30%. The new developed component can be motor- or wall-mounted and outputs from 0.37 kW up to 45 kW are possible. The integrated regenerative unit provides additional savings. The developers' promise: regenerative energy is not lost in braking resistors and is fed back into the grid without additional hardware costs. In addition, the inverter controls synchronous motors completely without sensors.

Drive system as sensor
The IO-Link master functionality reduces the cabling effort for employees. At the same time, users collect data from it and pass it on to a higher-level system. By scanning the digital nameplate, users can quickly access product data and the Lenze Information Hub. Thanks to the integrated oscilloscope function, the drive system becomes a sensor in conveyor technology. The new development records the motor current in high resolution. With the data obtained, companies can know today what is happening in the system and then, in a second step, find out why something is happening in the system in order to predict what will happen and when. Lenze relies on the combination of IT and the OT world, and on IT expertise and domain knowledge in intralogistics. This makes it possible to optimize plants, reduce costs, and open up a new digital business model.

Another result of the interaction between IT and OT is asset and ticket management for better machine availability. Lenze has developed a portal for this purpose that is directly linked to the OEM's machines. If a fault occurs, the machine can automatically create a ticket so that the service technician is informed at an early stage. In the ticket, the service technician can read which component is affected, which model and variant it is, what the serial number is, and where the part was installed in the machine's topology. Misinformation due to outdated documentation is ruled out. The information comes directly from the PLC, which always reflects the consistent actual state. Since the platform is vendor-neutral and relies on open standards, not only Lenze products can be queried. SICK's sensor specialists are already part of the solution.

Modular engineering
A second digital solution that simplifies engineering is FAST. With the software engineering modules from Lenze FAST, the automation specialists bundle ready-to-use functions for the stacker cranes of the latest generation. Lenze FAST helps developers build machines in a modular way. This saves engineering time and takes systems to a new level, because users have an expandable basic framework for machine applications. The most important control commands can be executed independently of the higher-level controller, and commissioning is simplified by a graphical user interface. The integration of customer-specific know-how or additional functions is possible thanks to the open IEC 61131 environment.


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