Everyone in the food industry is already familiar with the terrible effects of bacteria like listeria, E. coli and salmonella. Guarding against these contaminants requires vigilance and attention to detail—right down to the boots that walk across the production floor.
This is where Wisconsin-based company Clean Beam comes in. Its DryZap! footwear sanitization solution uses pulsed ultraviolet (PUV) light—eliminating the cost, safety, maintenance and compliance issues associated with typical wet boot-washing systems, which, ironically, can cause the same contamination they’re designed to prevent.
When first developing this game-changing product, Clean Beam required a set of highly integrated products, including software controllers, industrial PCs, RFID solutions and more. Let’s explore how incorporating Siemens components simplified procurement, licensing, programming and support—all while saving critical time and costs.
Addressing Wet System Challenges with Siemens
Wet boot-cleaning systems pose various safety risks. In addition to being messy, they can cause workers to slip and fall. They can also cause contamination; by the end of a worker’s shift, the water has become a breeding ground for pathogens—leaving workers to track the contaminated water into other plant areas. Dry and chemical-free, DryZap! eliminates these risks. When workers step into the system, PUV light emits a 200- to 1,100-nm beam of energy, which kills pathogens instantly at the DNA level.
When DryZap! was first in development, Clean Beam Founder and President Mark Cottone consulted his principal design engineer, Vadim Wein, who recommended Siemens for several reasons:
Seamless product integration. “I’ve worked with all major suppliers,” Wein says, “and Siemens has the most technologically advanced components that work seamlessly together and are easily programmable with the SIMATIC TIA (Totally Integrated Automation) Portal software engineering framework.”
Reduced time and costs. At the time, Clean Beam was a startup racing against its cash-burn rate. The company couldn’t afford to waste time sourcing, programming and integrating components from different suppliers.
Global footprint. Clean Beam had big plans to sell its dry footwear solution worldwide—and Siemens’ global coverage was critical to this process. “The Siemens name inspires trust in the quality of our product,” Wein says.
Integrated Siemens Components Simplify Development
To design and engineer the automation and controls for DryZap!, Wein specified a long list of Siemens components. Part of the Siemens TIA portfolio, they’re designed to easily interconnect and interoperate. All programming is done via the TIA Portal, which incorporates a graphical interface and comes with libraries of proven code—saving critical time during development stages.
The components include:
- SIMATIC S7-1500. This software controller provides the automation and control functions. Though it runs on a Windows PC, it’s independent of Windows for high availability. It also features PROFINET and PROFIBUS connectivity and an integrated web server for remote access, programming and diagnostics.
- SIMATIC Nanopanel PC IPC277E. A flexible, industrial Windows PC embedded in a rugged 7-inch display. It serves as the HMI for DryZap! customer versions.
- SIMATIC WinCC Runtime Advanced (TIA Portal). This software runs on the Nanopanel PC and provides a common software engineering framework for the system’s HMI and SCADA programming.
- SIMATIC ET 200SP. This distributed I/O system with a communications module links the system’s process signals to the S-1500 PLC via PROFINET or PROFIBUS.
- SINAMICS V20. These 0.25-hp drives provide reliable, cost-effective and energy-efficient motion control of PUV beam emitters.
- SITOP PSU100L. A cost-effective, compact power supply with up to 89 percent efficiency. It features low power consumption and heat loss in the control cabinet, plus short-circuit and overload protection.
- SIMATIC RF1060R. This RFID reader scans users’ employee badges as they pass through the system.
- SCALANCE switches. These facilitate networking to higher-level systems, such as HR databases, to track personnel use. Siemens incorporates the OPC UA communications protocol in its networking devices—enabling OEM machines to communicate with third-party machines and systems.
- SIRIUS control products, such as push buttons used to start and stop the system’s operation, as well as contactors and other small but critical devices.
Saving Time, Costs—and More
Sourcing the SIMATIC S7-1500 software controller, SIMATIC Nanopanel IPC and other core system components from Siemens simplified all stages of the DryZap! development process—from procurement and licensing, to programming and support. As a result, Clean Beam saved significant time and costs—and even accelerated its time to market.
Other benefits include:
- Reduced licensing costs. Because Siemens licensing is much simpler than competitors, Clean Beam saves up to 60 percent on licensing fees.
- Time savings. Using the SIMATIC TIA Portal, engineers can program, test and debug functions in two hours versus two days—an 85-percent difference.
- Customer interest. Unlike current wet systems, the Siemens S7-1500 software controller and RFID reader enable user tracking and tracing. These functions have sparked a lot of interest from potential customers.
- IoT connectivity. The ability to connect to higher-level plant and enterprise systems allows Clean Beam to provide its customers with a service bundle that includes remote diagnostics, condition-based maintenance and data and fleet management.
“We are excited to be working with the global leader that Siemens is and extending our reach as we progress outside of North America with our customer relationships,” Cottone says.
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