Jennerjahn, located in Matthews, Ind., is a manufacturer of assorted lines of narrow and wide-web slitter rewinders, and custom machinery.

On a recent job for a building products company in Australia, the Jennerjahn engineering team, led by Roger Vogel and Will Adams, was confronted with a unique set of requirements on a 120-inch wide, three-drum surface slitter rewinder – a variation of the company’s standard Model JLS-120 – to be used to wind a variety of non-woven web materials used in the construction industry. The machine required five axes of motion control. The JLS line features an unwind with pneumatic braking, a driven surface winder and driven lay-on roll. The machine typically slits a web into multiple sections and the surface winder winds a small diameter roll to a precise length. 

The customer required a Category 4, SIL 3 safety system, with components to support a local 415VAC, three-phase electrical power supply.  As Jennerjahn senior controls engineer Will Adams explains, “We discussed the job with the applications engineering team at our local distributor, C&E Sales, and the decision was made to utilize a total package of Siemens hardware and control software, including Simatic PLC, Sinamics drives, HMI and a Profibus DP communications network.” 

While Jennerjahn had utilized Siemens products in the past, this machine requirement was a particular challenge, owing to the safety requirements, in particular. The builder was seeking a solution that would not require adding large amounts of relays and other hardware to meet the customer needs. Plus the Jennerjahn team wanted to utilize the standard controls enclosures on the JLS-120 for this job.  Adams continues, “The integrated safety features on the Siemens S7-300 PLC, plus the ability to execute a position move within the drive and also have those drives operate within a wide voltage range, allowed us to meet the Category 4 safety level for our customer.”  He further notes that the compact “bookend” design of the drives enabled Jennerjahn to use the standard enclosure on their machine.  Previous JLS machines used AC/AC drives for all drive requirements.  On this machine, there were three additional ancillary axes, so the use of the Siemens S120 booksize drive platform enabled the machine design to run all driven axes in a single drive.

In addition, many of the diagnostic features on the drive software helped the builder’s team with troubleshooting and start-up issues.  Finally, the I/O configuration of the Siemens platform “…allowed us to keep our existing distributed I/O layout with minimal system redesign,” says Adams. 

The Jennerjahn team estimates that the implementation of the Siemens controls platform on this machine was achieved with a start-up time savings up to two-thirds, the result of various factors in the relationship between this builder, the controls vendor and the local distributor.  Will Adams explains, “Siemens provided us design assistance to verify the sizing information and specify the required drive hardware.  C&E Sales then provided a complete bill of materials to us, which saved us a great amount of time, owing to our lack of detailed knowledge about the Siemens products.” Adams also notes his company received several days of onsite engineering support provided by the controls supplier to help with drive set-up, network troubleshooting and the integrated safety program modifications required on this machine build. 

Roger Vogel, engineering manager for Jennerjahn, adds, “This project went very smoothly for us, because the relatively few problems we had were quickly handled by the folks from Siemens and C&E, both in the hardware and software areas, plus overall automation integration scenario.  The training class we were offered was very well run and provided our team the extra information needed to successfully program the machine.”


JennerJahn Machine Inc.
(765) 998-2733;
Siemens Industry Inc.
(847) 640-1595;