browserWarning browserWarningLink

Modernization of a furnace line based on the model case “Vacuumschmelze (VAC) GmbH & Co. KG, Hanau, Germany”

Portfolio: Automation
Industries: Plant Engineering and Machine Tool Industry


VACUUMSCHMELZE (VAC) in Hanau develops, produces, and markets special materials and finished products made from these materials. Modernization of the open-loop and closed-loop technology was intended to increase the availability and operational reliability of five hood-type annealing furnaces. The furnaces had been previously monitored and controlled by a central controller and a single control and monitoring system. An important customer requirement was that it be possible to operate each furnace individually and install an additional control and monitoring system in the control room that would manage and distribute recipes. Moreover, the recording of process values would be modernized and convenient user administration would be set up.


HEITEC supplied a complete package including hardware and software engineering, system conversion and commissioning, and training for maintenance personnel and operating staff. The central controller for all the furnaces (Simatic S5 155U) was replaced by individual standalone controllers for each furnace group (Simatic S7 1511-1 PN), each with its own external control unit (mTRON T, JUMO). The existing COROS LSB visualization system was replaced by a WinCC flexible system with user administration.


  • Increased system availability
  • Faster communication thanks to the use of PROFINET
  • Adaptation and optimization of process sequences
  • Process expansion for special annealing processes
  • All recipes stored in each furnace controller, enabling on-site operation with current data in the event of a failure
  • Time synchronization in all controllers and HMIs
  • Operator authorization via RFID chips conveniently administered on every furnace controller