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Plastimagen 2017: For higher productivity and quality

inject 4.0 – this is ENGEL's answer to the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution. At Plastimagen 2017, from November 7 to 10 in Mexico City, ENGEL will demonstrate how these new opportunities – tailored to the requirements of the respective country and industry – can be optimally utilised. In addition, the exhibition booth of the Austrian-based injection moulding machine manufacturer and systems solution provider will be presenting MuCell foam injection moulding for the automotive industry, as well as the extremely precise and very economical processing of liquid silicone.

"We invite fair visitors to get to know our smart factory products at our booth and to see for themselves what a huge impact even smaller individual solutions can have", announces Walter Jungwirth, Managing Director of ENGEL de Mexico in Querétaro. By networking production systems, the systematic use of machine, process and production data, and the use of intelligent assistance systems, the manufacturing processes in a smart factory can continuously optimise themselves. As a result, the productivity and quality of production increase, and at the same time processors can react with great flexibility to rapidly changing requirements.

ENGEL committed to this trend early on, and today, under the name inject 4.0, offers numerous sophisticated products and services for all areas of the smart factory – smart machine, smart service and smart production. All of the products provide a tremendous benefit, individually as well as in the context of a high-level digitalisation strategy. With this modular approach, ENGEL is making the entry into digitalisation and networking especially easy.

 

Self-optimising machine

With production cells becoming more and more complex due to increasing process integration and automation, steering and controlling them must become that much more simple and intuitive. Self-adapting assistance systems play a decisive role in this. They increase process consistency and quality without requiring the machine operator to acquire special expertise.

To clearly demonstrate the functionality of these solutions, during the four days of the exhibition ENGEL will produce inject 4.0 logos on an e-motion 80 TL injection moulding machine at its booth. The CC300 machine control is capable of simulating process fluctuations; the automatic readjustments by the intelligent assistance systems can then be tracked live on the display of the machine. While iQ weight control maintains consistent injected melt volume throughout the entire injection moulding process, iQ clamp control monitors the mould breathing in order to calculate and automatically adjust the optimal clamping force. Fluctuations from the target values are automatically detected and compensated for within the same shot, thus preventing rejects.

iQ flow control, the third assistance system presented at the Plastimagen, will connect the injection moulding machine, which is equipped with an e-flomo electronic temperature control water distributor, to the temperature control unit, enabling the pump speed to automatically adjust to the actual requirement. This results in higher energy efficiency. Together with its partner HB-Therm, ENGEL has developed its own line of temperature control units called e-temp.

 
Capping costly energy peaks

In several Expert Corners, visitors can dive even deeper into the subject of inject 4.0. Some of the topics included will be the online-support and remote maintenance tool e-connect.24 and the MES authentig. This manufacturing execution system was developed for the specific requirements of the injection moulding industry and therefore achieves an especially greater depth of vertical data integration, down to the level of individual cavities. authentig creates transparency, for example to optimise the utilisation of a machine pool's total capacity, or to correlate key productivity indicators with economic objectives.

The MES has a modular structure and can be precisely adapted to the individual requirements of the processor. "Energy" is the most recent of the authentig modules. Not only does it make the energy consumption of individual consumers in the injection moulding operation transparent, but it also reliably caps peaks in the power demand. This is made possible by defining situational consumption limits for each individual consumer, and then dynamically allocating the pre-defined power amounts to the consumers. This intelligent hall management can help to significantly reduce the energy costs for the machine pool.

 

Less weight, better component properties

MuCell injection foam moulding will be the main focus of the automotive exhibition area at the ENGEL booth. "MuCell offers the opportunity of combining resource-efficient lightweight design with a high degree of cost efficiency and excellent component properties," emphasises Jungwirth. "This combination means that the process is continuing to rapidly gain significance." During the trade fair, ENGEL will produce passenger car cooling radiator components on an ENGEL duo 2460/500 injection moulding machine using the MuCell process.

During physical foaming, nitrogen is injected into the plastic melt as a propellant and homogeneously distributed. Following the injection into the form, the gas separates from the melt again, forming a fine-cell foam structure. In comparison to the standard injection moulding process, this method reduces the raw material consumption and the weight of the component. At the same time, MuCell-produced components do not display any distortion or shrinkage.

MuCell is a brand of the Trexel company, based in Wilmington, MA, USA. As a systems provider, ENGEL imports MuCell systems for its customers, also managing the integration of the controls and safety measures into the injection moulding machine, making it particularly easy to implement the technology.

 

Tie-bar-less for consistently high quality

Burr-free, zero-waste, rework-free, and fully automated – these are the key elements in the economic injection moulding manufacturing of sophisticated components from liquid silicone. At the Plastimagen, ENGEL will demonstrate how this can be put into practice by manufacturing coasters in a 4-cavity mould on a hydraulic victory 200/120 injection moulding machine. Due to its tie-bar-less clamping unit, the victory provides advantages for many liquid silicone applications. For example, the patented Force-Divider allows the moving mould mounting platen to follow the mould precisely while clamping force is building up, and ensures that the clamping force is evenly distributed across the platen face. This allows both the outer and inner cavities to be kept closed with exactly the same force, ensuring consistent compression of the mould and a consistently high product quality.

Further advantages of the barrier-free clamping unit are fast changes to the mould set-up, optimal automation concepts and particularly compact production cells. Without any tie-bars in the way, the mould mounting platens can be utilised fully, right up to the edge of the platen, so that even large and bulky moulds can be fitted on comparatively small injection moulding machines. This reduces the system footprint, for example, in the case of multi-component applications or multi-cavity moulds.

ENGEL at Plastimagen 2017: Hall D, Booth 514

At Plastimagen, ENGEL will produce coasters on a tie-bar-less victory machine using liquid silicone.

inject 4.0, ENGEL's answer to the challenges of Industry 4.0, already includes numerous sophisticated products and solutions for all areas of the smart factory: smart machine, smart service and smart production.

iQ flow control represents a milestone on the path to securing data exchange in the smart factory. The temperature control unit is integrated into the CC300 control of the injection moulding machine via OPC UA.

During Plastimagen, ENGEL will produce passenger car cooling radiator components on an ENGEL duo 500 injection moulding machine using the MuCell process.

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