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Rolls with speed

In order to meet the requirements of its growing clientele as well as the increasing demand of already existing customers in the eastern half of Austria, Fischer Brot built a new production facility that incorporated a high-tech bakery factory, complete with brand new machines and equipment.

The company’s technical maintenance engineers demanded high-quality functionality in the products and partners it chose. These demands were based on the experience the engineers gained within their time at the two existing plants in Upper Austria.

On the automation front, all specifications required Step7 programmable control technology and VIPA Speed7 315-2AG10 CPUs to be used as central modules. Fischer Brot’s technical engineers chose to use components from the VIPA product series due to their rate of efficiency, processing speed, interface diversity, user friendly scaling, and compatibility with Siemens’ Simatic S7 technology.

It all began in 1958

Fischer Brot looks back on 50 years of successful history. What started as a small bakery shop on Linz’s Kapuziner Street in 1958 has meanwhile grown to a large industrial bakery with three production sites supplying food retail daily to the whole of Austria.

Fischer Brot today produces its famous product in three locations: in Upper Austria at its headquarters in Linz; at the factory in Pichling which was built in 2002; and at the most recent production site.

“The main reason for establishing the new production site was the freshness of our products. Our clientele is continuously increasing. Providing our high quality standards required short routes of transport,” said Fischer Brot engineer and executive director of technology, Andreas Ortler, in an interview with Austrian journal, AUTlook.

Only six months passed between the ceremony and the moment the first roll left the oven. Within this short period, not only was the factory built, but also the entire production equipment and machinery was installed and commissioned.

“Of course we were giving it some thought how to equip our future production beforehand. Based on our experience we gained within the years working at the other two plants we had some precise ideas, especially concerning control technology,” Ortler said.

STEP7 as standard

Fischer Brot had already decided to work with Simatic S7 technology as a standard when it established the facility in Pichling three years ago. It was therefore determined to maintain this specification for the new machines in Markgrafneusiedl.

“Since Siemens is the absolute market leader within German-speaking countries, it was of course not a problem for our production facility suppliers to meet these requirements,” Ortler said. “However, for me it has always been clear that I would like to apply Speed7-CPUs made by VIPA on the hardware side for our installations – concretely the Speed7 CPU 315. This CPU is 100 per cent compatible to the world of Simatic S7. However, contrary to the Simatic S7 315 which is comparable in size, the performance of this CPU is better and if you add up all features which Siemens charges additionally it is also cheaper. Integrated as standard is a TCP/IP interface and ample on-board memory. In addition, the Speed7 CPUs are incredibly fast.”

A companywide CPU

Ortler had his first experience with VIPA CPUs in the course of a building control system project in Linz.

“I was looking for a cost-effective but high performance controller with reasonable interfaces and without any CPU choice restrictions to automate the observation of a refrigerated warehouse – this I found at the manufacturer VIPA,” he said.

“Initially I was a little sceptical about whether the promised high performance would really meet my expectations, and especially how the reliability and durability of the PLC would turn out. There are rumours that VIPA CPUs could cause problems – but I had the exact opposite experience. I intensively tested this one Sample CPU and next to the observation of the refrigerated warehouse I was also able to control the illumination, heating and the ventilating system by means of this PLC – and up to this day it is still running without a problem.

“After a year it was clear for me – this CPU is of top quality, it is extremely efficient and incredibly fast. Some of the cycle times it provides are so quick that they cannot even be displayed. This means that I can even solve positioning tasks using the normal user program without having to program special interruptions! And with VIPA I don’t have to submit to any surcharge policy or restrictions on the choice of CPUs.”

Due to his positive experience Ortler decided to replace all existing Simatic S7 CPUs with Speed7s by VIPA if they fail.

“My target is to apply VIPA controllers as a companywide standard. For some applications, this high performance CPU is actually overdimensioned – but in any case I have lower expenses and in addition to that I have the advantage that I only have to store one uniformed type of CPU in my spare pooling. And I have plenty of reserve capacity which means with this PLC I do not have to worry about being able to meet any requirements in the future,” Ortler said.

Application at the new Plant

From industrial mixers, hoisting, tilting and kneading machines, port conveyors, packing machines, and box wash installations, right up to the building control technology – the Speed7 CPUs manufactured by VIPA have now been implemented within all areas of the new production facility.

Thirteen machine and installation distributors were involved in the project. The programming was done via Step7 by Siemens; and visualisation and recording of data was carried out using WinCC.

“The integration of VIPA devices works without a problem since the CPU internally simulates a Siemens CPU within the hardware configuration,” Ortler said. “In the beginning I was of course worried whether the Siemens program would really accept the foreign component without any complications. I have therefore intensively tested the compatibility, and I have come to the conclusion that this really works.”

On the WinCC application the add-on Webnavigator is also being applied. This feature enables the maintenance crew in Linz to access the control and communication system in the plant at any time via a standard web browser. The VIPA controllers have been in use for almost three years now.

“The Speed7 devices run without a problem, the cycle times are outstanding, and the compatibility to the Siemens products is impeccable. For the time being I cannot think of any better solution. I am very satisfied with VIPA, which also displays high leves of customer service.”

VIPA Automation – Australia

07 3488 0177

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