Automation for Printing Press Applications - Advanced Controller, Motion Control, Drive and Motor Solutions

As technology leader in automation, Siemens continues to drive innovation for printing machines, whether it involves open-­loop and closed-­loop control, commanding and signaling, or evaluating and responding: With a comprehensive range of products and systems, Siemens develops and supplies optimum solutions to address all printing industry requirements – all from a single source.

SIMOTION Print Standard - example function modules

Compensation for varying cylinder sizes found in gravure and flexo printing

Plate change on-the-fly

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Multiple virtual master synchronization

Cylinder positioning

Full web compensation

Integrated register control

> Learn more about SIMOTION Print Standard


Setting Integrated Automation and Registration Standards

SIMOTION Print Standard

Printing machines are becoming ever more flexible and modular, with many functions previously performed mechanically now being implemented with a separate drive. This results in comprehensive multi-axis concepts with cross-control synchronous operations. In conjunction with ever shorter development and commissioning times, a standardized software solution for the motion control with flexible modules for technology functions assumes increased importance. The SIMOTION Print Standard provides this functionality.

The Siemens Print Drive Standard (SPDS) was developed for the SINAMICS / SIMOTION platform. The SPDS application includes all of the features of the Siemens Shaftless Drive Standard and has many additional features for various printing applications, such as:

Compensation for varying cylinder sizes found in gravure and flexo printing

Plate change on-the-fly

Multiple virtual master synchronization

Cylinder positioning

Full web compensation

Integrated register control


  • Print Standard Master Application
    The basic application extracts the most important functionality segments from the printing-machine world. Units can be moved, homed, positioned and synchronized independent of each other. Even enormous, distributed synchronous-operation concepts with more than 100 axes can be implemented and handled quickly

  • SIMOTION Print Standard Segment Applications
    Simple solutions in the form of application examples are generated from a base application. Each example illustrates specific topics in the associated segment. The documentation describes clearly and with concrete machine projects how the application is deployed in the chosen segment. Gravure printing, offset printing and corrugated segment applications are available

  • Print Standard Add-On Applications
    Only a few, segment-independent technology functions, such as wind and unwind material, set pulling forces or control registers. like blocks, need to be integrated in a project and customized to the machine type and the materials to be processed. If required, they should also be applied subsequently without disturbing the complete structure. SIMOTION Print Standard Add-On applications are example projects concerned in detail with these technology functions and show step-by-step how they can be included and deployed in the Print Standard

Example Solution for Packaging Gravure Printing using SIMOTION Print Standard

Rotogravure printing presses feature a variable format length, multiple cylinder diameters, various printing materials and finishing units. SIMOTION Print Standard application makes it simple to create the required machine application from the modular application blocks. Gravure printing functionality and detailed implementations steps are fully documented in the accompanied documentation.

Print Standard topology


Products Used

Flexibly Expandable and Customizable
thanks to open software


B, C










PROFINET Industrial Communication

SIMATIC ET200 Distributed I/O

SIMOTION D Drive-Based Motion Controller

SINAMICS S120 Servo Drives

SIMOTICS M High Precision Induction Motors

Siemens Absolute Encoder

Registration Cameras SIMOTION TRC5000

Simple and Fast Implementation
 of specific machine solutions

Supplied with Fully Functional Demo Application
Runs on standard hardware

Integrated Register Control

SIMOTION TRC5000 Integrated Register Control Camera

Powerful register control increases the value of each printing machine: The more easily, quickly and precisely the register mark is reached during multi-color printing, the less maculation is yielded – the longer the printing process is productive, and the higher the printing quality.

Increasing efficiency and precision, this solution directly connects innovative camera technology to the SIMOTION control module. The drive controller calculates the register control algorithms and the conventional drive-related motion control functions. The direct access to process data together with the virtually instantaneous transfer of control signals ensures exact and effective register control — resulting in superior control dynamics.


This entry-level solution is limited to the core task and is therefore recommended for the price-sensitive segments of the printing industry. The sensor uses white light and high-quality gray value acquisition, automatically detects all commonly used wedge and block marks in standard colors, measures up to two marks against one another and communicates with the integrated register control via PROFINET IO with IRT.


With this solution, a powerful RGB sensor does not only detect standard colors, but also difficult to handle special colors and lacquers on low-contrast or reflecting materials. Depending on the operating mode used, the smart sensor automatically measures up to 3 or 20 print marks and is directly connected to the SIMOTION controller of the printing unit via PROFINET IO with IRT.


Measures point marks using a smart CCD camera which – in contrast to sensor-based systems – simultaneously measures all point marks of a printed page and at a defined scanning time. This results in particularly high measuring and repeat accuracy. The live camera pictures facilitate the setup and monitoring of materials and print marks.

System Comparison




Measuring System

Smart optical sensor

Powerful RGB sensor

Smart CCD camera

Number of Recordable Print Marks


To 3, or to 20 (depending on operating mode)

16 control marks and 5 reference marks

Mark Types

Wedge, block, double wedge and double block marks

Wedge, block, double wedge and double block marks

Point marks 0.2-2 mm

Measuring Methods

Path-cylinder, path-path, verso measurement with second head measurement, automated mark search


Longitudinal to the material path, transversal with two-head arrangement

Longitudinal to the material path, transversal to the material path, the measuring field can be positioned in the print image

Fields of Application

Standard colors on paper or measuring tasks in print finishing

Superior requirements are placed in the printing industry, for example, low-contrast marks or reflecting materials



Sample Solution: TRC5000

Siemens register controls are fully integrated in the SIMOTION controller and the SIMOTION Print Standard application. This means that an additional third party registration system is not required, that the register control is an integral component of the automated machine sequence control. To record print marks there are various sensor-based solutions with optical fiber for wedge marks and a camera-based solution for point marks. The open, individually adjustable SIMATIC WinCC flexible operator interface allows integrating the register control in the machine control and the automated sequence control.


integrated register control topology






Operation and Monitoring
WinCC Flexible

Register Control
SINAMICS S120 Servo Drives

Industrial Communication

Intelligent Camera System

Servo Motors








Flexible Implementation, Superior

Diagnostics during Commissioning

and Operation

thanks to the open source system

Single Supplier

for register control, drive and automation

Reduced Hardware Complexity

by integrating the register control in the

Motion Control system

Compact System