Technology for a lean & clean machine

Car wash and auto detailing in the United States

With many sectors of the US experiencing overall increased disposable income, resulting in a rise in new car registrations, naturally there will be more car-washing and auto detailing going on. However, where the cars get washed is affected strongly by a decline in residential car washing due to environmental regulations limiting / prohibiting such activity. Besides, who has time to drag out the hose and bucket and sponge these days anyway?

Consumers are becoming better educated about the benefits of commercial car wash services, such as increased efficiency, along with rising environmental consciousness regarding optimal deployment of water resources and proper dumping of solid waste. According to IBISWorld: Car Wash and Auto Detailing in the US: Market Research Report, there are over 65,000 carwash businesses in the US employing some 208,000 people, with revenues around $11 billion.

Delivering a better car wash by improving quality and an improved customer experience — all while reducing utility, maintenance and damage costs — is at the forefront of every car wash owner’s mind. As costs in the industry continue to increase, and aging equipment becomes less efficient and costly to maintain, new ways must be found to protect the bottom line.

Siemens is at the car wash

Siemens' General Motion Control business has developed innovative products and solutions that can be customized to meet the growing needs of automated car wash systems, including:

  • Full-Service (tunnel)
    drive-through, garage-like tunnels with conveyor belts and tracks that move cars through (stationary) rinsing, washing and drying stations

  • Full-Service (in-bay)
    Similar to tunnel systems, but the car is stationary and the washing equipment moves around the car through the rinsing, washing and drying processes. Sometimes known also as ‘roll over’ car washes

  • Technology (touch-less)
    Using high-powered water pressure sprayers to clean, with touch-less systems only the water and cleaning agent come in contact with the car, preventing scratching and marking the car‘s finish

  • Technology (cloth friction)
    This type uses a large, soft, yet powerful cloth to clean the car and rotating brushes that use soap to scrub the car exterior clean

Siemens can provide complete solutions for automation and control needs, including software simulation for new designs through the PLM group.

The reasons for using Siemens drives for car wash automation

By using variable frequency drives (VFDs) on blowers, dryers, pumps, motors and conveyors, savings can be seen in the reduction of energy consumed, water used and wear-and-tear on equipment. Siemens offers simple, easy-to-use and cost-effective drive system solution to help achieve these savings.

Energy-savings
Hibernation mode and ECO mode functions are available as standard on SINAMICS drives. ECO mode automatically adapts the motor flux to minimize energy consumption during low dynamic load cycles. Hibernation mode only operates the motor when the machine requires it to, minimizing energy consumption while extending the motor / machine lifetime. Siemens can provide competitive selling advantages to OEM equipment by standardizing their system with SINAMICS G120 drives and SIMOTICS VSD4000 synchronous reluctance motors. This package provides the highest drive / motor system efficiency in the industry (IE4 acc. to EN 50598-2), allowing end-users to enjoy significant energy-savings on variable torque applications throughout the equipment’s lifecycle.

Maintenance
By using a memory card to back-up / restore parameter sets, minimum knowledge is required to replace drives. In addition, the modular design of the SINAMICS G120 allows for quick replacement of only the affected component without the need for re-commissioning. Remote monitoring via PLCs provides increased maintenance and uptime.

Safety integrated
Avoid personnel and equipment accidents when using Siemens best-in-class, integrated safety solutions.

Engineering
No-cost engineering software for the commissioning, troubleshooting and maintenance of SINAMICS drives

Circuit protection
SINAMICS V20 and SINAMICS G120 family are UL/CSA tested for high SCCR ratings and provide equipment protection against short-circuit faults when bundled with UL248 fuses or Siemens manual starter protectors (MSPs) and molded case circuit breakers (MCCBs).

Examples

  • By adding a VFD to the blowers, you can add settings for specific situations such as setting an idle speed at 50% between cars and then program for a slow startup to avoid inrush

  • Run blowers at a lower speed for convertibles to avoid damage and turbulence

  • Adding a pressure transducer with your VFD gives you the ability to control the high-pressure pumps on your wheel blasters and the pressure applied to the side of the car

  • By operating the pump and motor at only the RPMs needed to clean, you reduce your maintenance and electric expenses

  • Currently, at higher chain speeds, flex wraps have difficulty adjusting between large and small vehicles. Hydraulic control provided through the use of VFDs ensures the wraps are running at the correct RPM and will sound better on the vehicle, reduce damage and reduce electrical usage.


Advantages of the SINAMICS drives family

  • Wide range of power ratings
    from 0.12 kW (1/6 HP) to 85 MW

  • High degree of flexibility and combinability

  • Simple coupling to SIMATIC control systems
    and seamless automation integration through the Siemens Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) Portal

  • Higher-level, standard integrated safety concept
    to protect people and equipment

  • Standard and unified functionality
    resulting from common hardware and software

  • Common engineering for all drives
    SIZER for engineering and STARTER / SINAMICS Startdrive for parameterization and commissioning


SINAMICS Application Examples

Siemens has ready-to-run application examples for car wash applications, including wiring diagrams and parameter descriptions. Sample configurations for connecting SINAMICS drives with SIMATIC PLCs include hardware, software and wiring examples, installation instructions for the supplied S7 project, drive parameterization and HMI sample projects.

Customer benefits

• Provides a basis for customer-specific machine configurations

• Optimal leveraging of TIA advantages

• Free download via the Siemens Online Support Portal:
www.siemens.com/sinamics-applications

Sample solution for a full-service automatic, in-bay carwash

Sample solution for a full-service tunnel system


Choosing the right drive

The Siemens drive most often employed in car wash automation is the SINAMICS V20. Traditional car wash systems use simple speed control and are operated by either analog inputs or serial communication (Modbus RTU) to a main controller. The new SINAMICS V20 Smart Access accessory is an exclusive solution from Siemens for commissioning, troubleshooting and system diagnostics using any mobile or computer device over Wi-Fi.

SINAMICS V20 drive for simple motion

SIMOTICS VSD4000

SINAMICS G120 is a perfect match for touchless automatic in-bay systems, where basic position control might be required. Siemens can bundle SINAMICS G120 with SIMOTICS VSD4000 synchronous reluctance motors for maximum energy efficiency vs. traditional induction motors when operating at rated load or partial load ranges.

Siemens can bundle SINAMICS G120 with SIMOTICS VSD4000 synchronous reluctance motors for maximum energy efficiency vs. traditional induction motors when operating at rated load or partial load ranges.

SINAMICS G120 modular vector drive

SINAMICS G120C is also a great option due to its compact size, extended power range, network communication, and Safety Integrated.

SINAMICS G120C compact vector drive

SINAMICS V20

SINAMICS G120
  SINAMICS G120C *

Energy savings

ECO mode / flux reduction
reduces motor currents saving energy during low load cycles

Hibernation mode
the drive is automatically switched on and off depending upon the process requirements, thereby extending the wear on your pumps, blowers and motors

Display of the electrical energy saved
in either kWh, CO 2 or currency without the need for power measurement equipment

Cascade
drives are switched on and off in stages depending upon the process requirement

Efficient Infeed Technology
an innovative feature, that also means that compact drives are also capable of energy recovery

Reducing motor speed
can save energy up to 80% at 50% of speed

Easy installation

Several mounting options
Wall-mount, push-through, side-by-side

Easy operator control 
using built-in BOP (basic operator panel)

Smart Access
wireless commissioning, operation and diagnostics via mobile device or laptop with web server module

Higher power rating
in a smaller space

Easy maintenance
with modular design and flexible control cabinet configurations with push-through versions (applies to G120 only)

  Commissioning of standard applications
 using application-specific wizards — knowledge about  parameters is not necessary

Simple commissioning on-site
using a handheld terminal

Free-of-charge advanced commissioning
using STARTER / SINAMICS Startdrive software

Easy to use

Parameter settings can easily be transferred
from one unit to another

  Integrated RS485 communication interface
for USS and MODBUS RTU

Connection and application macros
to simplify I/O configuration

Keep Running Mode
provides higher productivity by automatic adaptation in case of unstable line supplies

Robust
wider voltage range, better cooling design and coated PCB increase robustness of drive in difficult environments, such as ambient temps up to 140º F (60º C)

Compliance with environmental class 3C2
for frames ABC (3C3 with SIPLUS; 3C3 is standard for frames DEF)

Integrated safety with easy setup
(STO2, SS12, SBC2, SLS3, SDI3, SSM3)

Integrated energy recovery
simple setup efficient infeed technology

Positioning capability
(EPOS)

Integral part of Totally Integrated Automation (TIA)
with interfaces for PROFINET and PROFIBUS — coupling to  third-party systems via USS / Modbus RTU, BacNet MS / TP and EtherNet/IP TM

* G120, G120C includes all of the benefits of the V20 plus the additional items noted. 2Functions for stopping the drive safely (STO – Safe Torque Off; SS1 – Safe Stop 1; SBC – Safe Brake Control). 3Functions for safely monitoring the motion of a motor (SLS – Safe Limited Speed; SDI – Safe Direction; SSM – Safe Speed Monitor).