The magazine of Friedhelm Loh Group

The magazine of Friedhelm Loh Group

Modern recycling machines
Experience – Engineering

Perfectly recycled

Recycling. Reprocessing with a plan: Eggersmann GmbH uses CAE solutions from Eplan for electrical engineering work on its recycling machines. That helps the manufacturer save time and optimise its modular system of components.

Text Thomas Michels and Beate Schwarz ––– Photography

If you compost your garden waste, you’ll know that every now and then you need to grab a spade and mix the layers of compost. That’s the only way to ensure the material breaks down evenly and forms a good-quality substrate. In large-scale industrial plants, there are turning machines that take care of that – mounted on caterpillar tracks, they use a rotor to mix the triangular piles, literally moving the lowest layer to the top and vice-versa.

Thanks to its Backhus brand, Eggersmann GmbH is a global market leader in the niche segment of mobile turner technology. After all, only regular turning can get enough oxygen into the compost to improve its quality. Eggersmann has so far built around 1300 machines, which are being used in 78 countries. It was 2012 when Backhus joined the Eggersmann Group, which specialises in the production of mobile and stationary machines and plants for processing and shredding and is thus a good match for the turning professionals at Backhus. “The Eggersmann Group now covers the entire gamut of recycling technology, right up to the construction of entire composting and treatment plants,” says Jens Brinkmann, head of the electrical engineering department at Eggersmann GmbH.

A choice of countless options

Production staff manufacture a wide range of machinery on an order-by-order basis – primarily operator-controlled turners with a cabin and a whole host of options for customers to choose from. For example, there are various undercarriages, movable cabins and radio-controlled hose carts for watering the piles. Backhaus also has a solution for automated mixing – the Lane Turner works in enclosed plants and doesn’t need a driver.

Electrical engineering and electronics are crucial to Backhus turners – and are becoming increasingly important. Here are two examples: The vehicles are operated via a virtual cockpit that enables rapid diagnostics when irregularities occur. Sensors in the rotor – the actual tool on the machine – measure rotational speed and oil temperature, among other things. There is a wide range of options, both in terms of electrical design – which is carried out in Eplan Electric P8 – and the machines. Brinkmann’s plan was therefore to pursue consistent modularisation to simplify electrical design work. The plan was first put into action on the A series from Backhus: “We have created modules for the electrical components of each functional unit such as the rotor, cabin, hydraulic tank, base frame and motor unit and connected these together via interfaces.”

Unique technology – Electrical engineering and electronics are crucial to the turners. Individual modules – such as the cabin or motor unit – are gradually combined to create one overall wiring plan.

The electrical wiring plans of the individual modules are combined into one central overall wiring plan. The structure of the wiring plans has also been changed, with connections mapped out based on functions rather than locations. The same applies to the hydraulic plan, which is created using Eplan Fluid. To simplify the electrical installation, plug-in connectors that can be installed without tools have been defined as interfaces designed for maximum assignment. Brinkmann explains: “Adopting a modular approach has simplified working processes. Modules are prepared and integrated into the machine as ready-made units. That reduces throughput times at the assembly workstation considerably.” Electrical engineering with Eplan is automatically compiled in internal documentation that is used as a visualisation tool in production and is utilised even more extensively by the service team.

“Thanks to the introduction of Eplan Cogineer, we can work with just one macro project and we only have to make alterations in that one project, too. In the past, we had several base plans for the various machines,” says Brinkmann. Since time and repeat work is saved and the electrical designs can now be reproduced, Eggersmann is extending modular engineering to other applications that are used across several series. “We are using one and the same hardware in various machines such as turners, shredders and, in the future, even screen drums. The differences and variants are produced solely based on the design of the cable harness,” points out Brinkmann. Product data management is also being reorganised. The Pro.File PDM solution from Cideon, a sister company of Eplan, is already being rolled out across the board at the Eggersmann Group. The consulting team at Eplan ­supported the process and provided expert advice. Teams from both companies worked closely together to ensure design, engineering and product data management at Eggersmann were in the best possible position to meet the innovative challenges of recycling technology. 

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