Plastics manufacturer uses Siemens technology to improve production processes across the globe

 Genk, Belgium. DSM Engineering Plastics (DSM) manufactures special plastics for the automotive and electronics industries in plants across the whole globe: These materials are typically used in cars and mobile phones. When it came to replacing obsolete control technology at the Genk site, a decision was quickly made to use components from the Siemens Simatic portfolio. DSM is thus able to respond more quickly and efficiently to production changeovers which reduces production times. The new process control system also decreases the reject rate on each line, lowering the error rate while increasing the standardization and userfriendliness.

Now that the solution has been so successfully implemented at the pilot site, DSM has since changed to the new Siemens system on all its sites. The technology on Line 6 at Genk had basically become obsolete. This was the impetus for DSM to start thinking about modernizing the control technology.

– We completed an in-depth cost-benefit analysis and decided to grab the bull by the horns: The entire automation was to be raised to a higher level, recollects Erwin Schepers, Process Control Engineer at DSM Engineering Plastics. System integrator Engie Fabricom advised changing to the Siemens Simatic PCS 7 process control system.

 More flexible and user-friendly, less scrap

The new system faced many different challenges. A significant element was the customers’ stringent requirements. Not only do they expect DSM products to be of consistently high quality, but they also expect the company to be able to respond quickly and flexibly to changes in the market. Simatic PCS 7 provides the company with a single solution which makes rapid production changeovers on the lines possible due to the integrated ‘recipes’. This saves time, reduces the probability of error, and thus the reject rate, and makes the system more user-friendly. The latter also benefits from the standardized HMI (Humane Machine Interface) which allows the employees to work on different lines without any problems. It was also important for DSM that PCS 7 is a future-proof system, offering high investment security.

 Global sites follow suit

Once Line 6 had been successfully modernized with Simatic PCS 7 in Genk, providing impressive results for DSM, the company decided to roll out the new Siemens solution to all its sites across the globe so that production and employees everywhere can benefit from the advantages of this reliable technology.