At the 2017 Automation Summit in Boca Raton, Florida, Siemens announced the winners of its 12th annual Customer Excellence Awards (CEA). The CEA’s recognize the achievements of Siemens’ customers and partners who demonstrate advanced business practices using Siemens technologies and solutions. The awards provide an illustration to other end users on how they can leverage software and hardware to successfully automate and digitalize their manufacturing operations.

“The intensity and focus on digitalization has never been stronger,” says Raj Batra, president of Digital Factory, U.S. “This journey takes both capital deployment and a cultural transformation. It’s abundantly clear this year’s Customer Excellence Award winners – representing a diverse group of verticals – have adopted digitalization, enabling them to become faster and more flexible than competitors, without sacrificing security or efficiency.”

LSI was awarded a CEA for its work with Siemens on a project involving Shaw Industries Group, Inc., the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, and its greenfield commercial carpet tile plant in Northwest Georgia. The company needed to expand to meet growing production capacity and extend market leadership. Shaw needed a technology partner that could deliver solutions on-time and on-budget for this critical project. At the same time, the company also was looking for a partner that could continue to help Shaw innovate in an increasingly competitive industry.

Logical Systems Inc. (LSI), a Siemens solution partner, worked with Shaw to handle system integration which included control panel design, fabrication, programming, and commissioning. LSI’s expertise with Siemens solutions was critical to the successful implementation of the project.

Siemens was given the opportunity to compete for the US business after a similar partnership on a project in Asia. After an extensive evaluation, Siemens was selected to provide programmable logic computers (PLCs), drives, industrial networks, human machine interfaces (HMIs) and controls, all tied together with Siemens Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) portal.

The greenfield Shaw plant was the first major installation in Shaw’s commercial division to use safety PLC’s and safe communications to I/O and drives. This solution saved wiring/installation cost while providing improved diagnostics. Shaw is now utilizing Siemens Safety PLC solution as a standard in all commercial plants replacing programmable safety relays.

Siemens variable speed drives integrated seamlessly in the greenfield site with Siemens controllers. Siemens variable frequency drives (VFDs) also support EtherNet/IPTM protocol for modernization projects happening at existing plants that did not have Siemens controllers. Sinamics drives supports V/Hz, Vector, and Servo applications reducing spare parts.

Shaw provided critical input into product design and functional requirements both on Sinamics drives and TIA portal that have resulted in product enhancements. A collaborative environment where Shaw feedback could be used to develop products and optimize solutions is important to this partnership.

In addition, an educational package was provided that included simulators and Shaw specific digital content to allow maintenance personnel to gain experience on Siemens solutions.

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