With 9 control engineers, SPS and robotics experts, the department of automation solutions at Langzauner has grown significantly over the last few years. The vast pool of know-how in the field of automation is a reflection of our development from a classic press manufacturer to a provider of comprehensive production lines with press technology at their core.
Supporting our customers from kick-off to commissioning
Our control engineers, robotics and automation technicians are fully involved in every customer project. We always provide personal project support by a contact person from the specialist department. “We take on a project right from the kick-off, and from that point onwards, as the contact person, you’re basically married to the plant. When it comes to automation, you’re the first point of contact in special machine engineering, as the code is the means to the end to ensure the production line runs smoothly. Each of us has clear responsibilities. A contact partner often monitors the respective plant from conception and throughout many years during plant operation,” explains Simon Heitzinger, deputy head of the automation department.
Experts in control software: agility and expertise are essential
Langzauner places great value on providing highly flexible automation solutions in line with our customers’ demands. For us, this includes know-how in all common control systems. “In the area of control software, as far as material specifications go, Siemens is the market leader in Europe. But we also work with control technology by Beckhoff, B&R and Rockwell. We work together with customers to analyse in detail which system is suitable for the process requirements,” emphasizes Simon Heitzinger.
Our robotics expert Gerald Widegger adds: “In our field of work, agility is extremely important. In automation technology, we have to develop solutions with short response times. To do so, broad expertise within our department is absolutely essential.” “In automation, we’re constantly having to evolve. It’s a continuous interaction between experience and new developments. Manufacturers are constantly launching new products on the market, which we then incorporate into Langzauner production lines to remain innovative. Our response times are also very fast because with us, there’s always a colleague intensively monitoring the customer project. This means we don’t have to coordinate with loads of team members, and can instead implement customers’ wishes flexibly and quickly,” says Simon Heitzinger as he describes how automation functions at Langzauner.
Strong coding by Langzauner
Alongside classic SPS programming in customer projects, the automation department at Langzauner is also engaged in R&D projects in software development. Which is how our IoT solution perfectDATA was developed for digitalization on the shop floor with our development partner FiveSquare. With perfectDATA, we offer a high-performing system for greater agility, efficiency and an increased learning curve in production processes:
• Real-time data detection • Scalable data monitoring • Visualization • Predictive analytics • Data-driven plant optimization
Simon Heitzinger on perfectDATA: “For many years, we collected real-time data in various constellations. Then three years ago, we organized it all systematically and wrote a set of specifications. We defined precisely what our customers actually need and what is feasible. Today, perfectDATA stands out thanks to its incredible high speed and selective approach in data collection. A high-performance system runs in the background, which later on, for example, can enable the embedding of AI. The more historical data is collected now, the more sophisticated the operation of these systems will be from the start. At present, Langzauner customers mainly use perfectDATA for quality assurance. Our open-system digitalization solution with an OPC UA interface enables the integration of a wide range of systems.”
Working in automation at Langzauner
Our automation experts are primarily HTL (technical college) graduates in the core areas of mechatronics, electrical engineering & automation technology. The daily work is characterized by a high degree of personal responsibility, a steep learning curve and a strong team bond.
Simon Heitzinger says of working in the department: “Each colleague’s very specific set of skills becomes evident, which they then bring into the department. Gerald, for example, is a robotics expert. However, each person also has to demonstrate broad knowledge, because each team member is fully responsible for individual customer projects and monitors them continuously. There are mechanical engineers who have a different philosophy. They choose to separate drive technology, safety technology or robotics entirely and have each area supervised by individual points of contact. But this has a major drawback – during commissioning, huge teams then need to be present at the customer’s location. This makes everything slower and more costly. Our method is considerably more agile.”
Gerald Widegger adds: “But our approach of short response times means that no information is lost, because we always maintain intensive exchange within the team. Knowledge is gathered and prepared in a knowledge base.”
Q&A round with our automation professionals
What makes Langzauner attractive for automation experts?
Simon Heitzinger: “What I especially appreciate about my work here is that we work on customer projects in day-to-day business. We develop concrete solutions that our customers truly need.”
Gerald adds: “The mix of office time and on-site customer support is good. This means the job never gets boring. There’s always plenty of variety. You spend time at the office, in production for test runs and with the customers on site. For me, it’s the ideal balance.”
How would you rate the working environment and team bond in the company? “It’s pretty cool to work here. You spend a lot of time with one another in a big team. After all, we’re always present on site as an inter-departmental team for the commissioning of customer projects. We always know how to have a laugh. It’s all about the balance – out and about and in the office,” Simon relates.
Are there any benefits you particularly value at Langzauner? “I work at my home office every Friday,” Gerald describes the flexible working models at Langzauner. For Simon, it’s the social elements that are especially important: “Our joint celebrations and excursions are definitely never boring,” he explains with a laugh.