Weight lifter extraordinaire

Weight lifter extraordinaire
34 A P P L I C AT I O N S _ S E N S O R / F I E L D B U S
The vacuum
traverse from
Lubas can
lift and move
steel sheets
of tons
Weight Lifter
BL67 I/O system and PS pressure sensors guarantee that the 15 t vacuum
lifting systems from Lubas operate reliably
wenty meters long, almost 5 meters wide
and weighing thousands of tons due to
their size and weight, the centimeterthick steel plates produced and processed in steel
mills do not necessarily rank among the things that
conventional lifting systems are able to move. In
order to be able to safely and comfortably maneuver these steel sheets, powerful solutions from specialist companies are required. Among these specialists is Lubas, a German machine and equipment
manufacturer that has made a name for itself when
it comes to vacuum lifting systems for extremely
heavy loads.
“Our core business involves crossbeams for
weights starting at 5,000 kilograms. But we have
also built a crossbeam for a steel mill that can lift
steel sheets weighing up to 32 tons,” explains Alexia
Bockermann, who is responsible for electro-technical planning and installation at Lubas. “There are
very few companies in Germany that can build lifting
equipment of this magnitude.” According to Bockermann, however, the company is unique in Germany
because of its high vertical range of manufacturing.
What distinguishes Lubas: From steel construction
planning to steel girder construction, valve engineering and vacuum vulcanization and electronics,
53 pressure sensors and two BL67 I/O fieldbus
stations process the signals from each individual
vacuum suction cup
tion. While the special vulcanized elastomers of the
vacuum suction cups can withstand temperatures of
up to 250 °C, the electronics built into the top side of
the steel structure are considerably more sensitive.
“It isn’t just that the crossbeam is permanently positioned above the broiling hot sheets, but you have to
account for an average temperature of 60 to 70 °C,”
explains Bockermann. “This already places a high
demand on the electronics.”
For this special environment, Turck has provided
the right solution with the BL67 remote I/O station
and pressure sensors from the PS series. “We are
building the decentralized concept with the BL67
stations for the first time. We used to do everything
using terminal boxes in the control cabinet. Rapid
installation using M12 plug-in connectors and electronics modules is a considerable advantage,” says
Bockermann, when explaining the company’s decision to use Turck products. The compact fieldbus
stations are an additional advantage: For the BL67,
Turck also offers Ethernet gateways that can be
We wanted to
avoid suppliers who
go by the motto ‘sell
the product and forget the customer’.
With Turck, we know
that we can get help
at any time in case of
Alexia Bockermann,
 Quick read
Vacuum crossbeams from Lubas lift heavy steel that other lifting systems
had to give up on long ago. With two modular BL67 fieldbus stations and
53 pressure sensors from the PS series, Turck has developed both a rugged
and easy solution that monitors the vacuum of any suction system.
almost all essential services are provided by this one
Among the most powerful mass-produced lifting
machines from the Lubas product line are the models from the UniTravMega series, which can lift and
transport large-scale sheets up to 18 meters long and
weighing over 25 tons. Lubas is currently constructing
two UniTravMega crossbeams with a lifting capacity of
15 tons each. These crossbeams are equipped with
over 51 large vacuum suction cups arranged in 3 rows
and attached to a massive weight-bearing body. The
vacuum of each individual suction cup is recorded by
Turck pressure sensors from the PS series and shown
directly on site via the display. Lubas has installed two
BL67 I/O stations to record and forward the measured
values to the controller.
Temperatures in the limit range
The sheer weight of the steel sheets to be transported is not the only challenge faced by the vacuum lifting systems from this machine manufacturer. When
it comes to compensating for the oversized sheets,
meaning re-heating in industrial ovens and subsequent specific quenching in cold water, temperatures
of over 200 °C develop directly on the sheets. These
temperatures can damage not only the vacuum
suction cups, the steel structure, but also the hose
connections and the overall electronics of the lifting
systems if they are operated too long without protecmore @
used to connect the lifting systems to the operator‘s
company network. “This gives our customers the
opportunity to monitor via their own company network how many tons the crane has moved or how
many pipes have gone into production.”
Both BL67 stations used in the UniTravMega
record the signals from the 53 pressure sensors
installed above the vacuum suction cups. Their
pivot and swivel displays make it possible to easily
and directly check each individual vacuum suction
cup and conveniently program them using only 3
push buttons, this makes laptops or other external programming devices redundant. “For security and maintenance of the crossbeam, it is very
important to see whether a vacuum is established
on each suction cup. Without the pressure sensors
and the displays, each suction cup would have to
be checked using a test plate. The customer can
spare this expense and effort using pressure sensors,” explains Bockermann.
In addition to its impressive sensor and fieldbus
solutions, Turck’s excellent customer service played
a central role in the cooperation between Lubas and
the Mülheim-based automation specialists. Confirms
Bockermann, “we wanted to avoid suppliers who go
by the motto ‘sell the product and forget the customer’. With Turck, we know that we can get help at
any time in case of problems.”
 Webcode
Tschlatscher is a
Sales Specialist at
Turck Germany
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