For some time, it has been apparent that mobile apps have been spreading more and more across the industrial environment and have become a popular medium among users. One special feature in this field is the variable frequency drive app for the easy selection of all necessary components from the respective corporate portfolio. The online selection is always up-to-date, available in many different language versions and saves the user time — laboriously poring over catalogs is now a thing of the past.
Due to the special requirements in some cases, selecting the right drive is not always straightforward and can often waste valuable time. After all, the fields of application and the requirements regarding operating behavior and costs are wide-ranging. Whether the drives are used to operate pumps, fans or compressors, or to drive conveyors, mixers or kneaders, it is important to find the appropriate drive for the required range of performance and voltage quickly and easily for each of these applications. And wherever possible, this must be done without the need for expert knowledge of drive technology.
Assembling components by smartphone
In order to simplify this sometimes complex process, Siemens, for example, has been offering its Sinamics Selector app free-of-charge. This is a solution that displays the entire collection of products from the portfolio of low-voltage frequency drives — Sinamics V20, G120C, G120 and G120P — on the most popular iOS and Android smartphones and can be used both online and offline. This offline capability is of particular importance in regions which do not have full cellphone coverage. Since Version 4.0, not only have brochures, product videos and application examples been available to users and electrical distributors, but also more language versions.
Katharina Roehrlein, marketing manager for Sinamics drive systems at the Siemens Digital Factory division, explains additional innovations: "With the latest update, Version 5.0, we have adopted the second generation of the Sinamics G120 modular Frame Size D-E, as well as the Sinamics V20 Power Extension up to 30 kW, into the app. In addition, we have integrated more technical values such as resistance, peak performance and continuous power ratings into the logic of the app. And for good reason, because we want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to find the right drive in order to save valuable time."
As a matter of principle, when assembling the appropriate components, the Sinamics Selector app offers not only a product-specific, but also an application-specific approach. In other words: either the user knows from the outset which frequency drive is required, or the app guides the user step-by-step to the right drive by asking for key parameters. The information held by the Sinamics Selector app is kept up-to-date at all times by the central storage of data and continuous updates. Bob Hendrickson, applications engineer at Wesco, one of the largest distributors in the United States, regards this as an enormous advantage over conventional catalogs, especially when the app can save him a great deal of time in preparing a bid. "The Sinamics Selector app is very helpful as it lets me create a complete bill of materials for a customer offer very quickly. This option saves me a huge amount of time since I no longer have to create bills of materials by hand. The app also makes it easier for me to respond to queries arising from projects when I’m on the road and don’t have any catalogs or other documents to hand."
Bid preparation made easy
After choosing the required type of frequency inverter, the rated output, device options and accessories can then be selected and adapted individually — if necessary, also with the support of the respective Siemens contact, whose details are also stored in the app. Once the components have been selected, the user has the option of either saving or emailing them. To make it easier for end-users to get in touch later, the headers and footers of the email can be adapted individually, for example, with personal contact information. The overview includes actual part numbers for all of the selected components. This can be used as information for the customer, but also as the basis for ordering specific components or preparing an offer at the local dealer/distributor. Kevin Young, application engineer at electrical distributor CE Sales Inc., in the U.S., also confirms this: "I really like the Sinamics Selector app. I copy the result into my bill of materials, which enables me to immediately present a bid to my customer." His colleague Jay Swank adds, "I use the application almost every day now."
Over 15,000 downloads and counting...
Since the introduction of the first version, the Sinamics Selector app has been installed 17,000 times on mobile devices worldwide — and the number is still rising. Apart from Europe, China and the U.S., this trend is being led by key markets such as India, Brazil and Mexico. “It is particularly important in these countries to have a solution in the local language which also functions faultlessly offline. The email containing the results can be stored and then transmitted when sufficient network capacity is available again," adds Ralf Weber from the Siemens Digital Factory division responsible for the app.
Think global, act local
Due to the great success of the app in all language versions offered thus far, Siemens is planning the integration of additional languages, as well as the continuous support and expansion of the product range covered. The main focus here is on Europe, particularly the eastern regions.
For more information about the Sinamics Selector app, visit:
Access: online and offline
Platforms: iOS, Android
Languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Russian,
Korean and Turkish
Quicklink to the Sinamics Selector app: http://ow.ly/WFRe5
For more information on this story, please contact:
SIEMENS INDUSTRY, INC.
MOTION CONTROL — GENERAL MOTION CONTROL
390 Kent Avenue
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Attention: John Meyer, Manager, Marketing Communications