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Visualization and control of the production line for the straightening, cooling, machining, and dispatch of railroad axles at Uralvagonzavod's production plant in Russia

February 11, 2014 | Bretislav Valek

Uralvagonzavod is a Russian company located in Nizhny Tagil. It is focused on the development and production of military equipment, road building machines, and freight cars. The company also incorporates research institutes and design offices. The company's specialization and an area of over 827,000 m² rank it among the world's largest and most important producers in the heavy engineering industry.


Between the years 2008 and 2013, the production plant that is engaged in the manufacture of railroad axles was reconstructed. The Czech company ALTA became the general contractor and partner of the project. There were also tens of suppliers from the Czech Republic and Slovakia.



Control system

To control the production line, Siemens devices are used. They communicate with the Reliance SCADA/HMI system using SIMATIC NET OPC Server. For communication with individual control systems, a ring topology with optical fiber cables and Siemens SCALANCE switches is used. The SCADA system runs on four workstations that can be fully substituted with one another and can exchange information through a server connection on the network segment separated from process data. Over 45,000 data points are used in the extensive visualization application!


The basic task of the Reliance SCADA system is to monitor the operation of the entire line, including the devices, in the following levels:


  • All processes – information on the movement of products along the line (about 2,500 possible product positions are monitored)
  • Process units – information on individual devices including the conveyor system (information on states and failures)
  • Devices – information on their states, alarm states, states of individual drives and sensors
  • Drives and sensors – detailed information on individual drives and sensors


The Reliance SCADA system also allows the operator to:


  • Monitor the status of the entire industrial process
  • In the event of a device failure, to quickly remedy the problem according to the information offered to him/her
  • Make decisions
  • Log all failure states of the devices
  • Log all decisions of the operator
  • Log the entire industrial process for analysis


The monitoring and control system determines through which points of the conveyor system
a product should move along the production line (e.g., a saw, ultrasonic testing, depots, measuring devices for certification purposes).


In addition to the product, the production line carries information on its parameters and movement from normalizing furnaces to dispatch. This information is continuously stored and updated in SQL-type data tables (Microsoft SQL Server) and then used for creating production output reports and for further processing.


Many features of the Reliance SCADA system were employed to customer satisfaction, including the extensive use of the scripting engine. The project includes 25,880 lines of source code, which handles multiplexing when information on individual devices is displayed, customer order creation for the movement of the product along the line, decision processes, and controlled data reading from individual PLCs.



Source: Uralvagonzavod (www.uvz.ru)





Examples of visualization windows



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