Efficiency packages counter rising energy prices
Rapid increases in energy prices see plastics processing companies face huge challenges; after all, it is typically difficult to pass these costs on to the customer. Saving energy is key to ensuring competitiveness. Injection moulding machine manufacturer and system solution provider ENGEL is offering tailor-made efficiency packages to help customers pull out all the stops and lower energy consumption.
With its great expertise in systems solutions, ENGEL does not just focus on the injection moulding machine when optimising energy consumption. The new efficiency packages additionally include matching temperature control solutions and smart assistance systems. This means that – assuming a hydraulic injection moulding machine with a fixed displacement pump – energy savings of up to 67 percent are possible.
All of the packages are available for new injection moulding machines and can be retrofitted on existing e-motion, e-mac, victory and duo series injection moulding machines starting with the CC300 control unit generation.
When selecting a new injection moulding machine, the focus is on the drive technology. In collaboration with the processor, ENGEL analyses the requirements to find the best possible balance between energy consumption and machine output for the product to be manufactured. The overall efficiency is decisive. To avoid energy losses, ENGEL relies on servodrive technology and consistent insulation of the barrel, among other factors. From servo-hydraulic, through hybrid, to all-electric, injection moulding machines by ENGEL are some of the most efficient on the market in their size and performance classes.
ecograph plus and ecobalance are important parts of all efficiency packages; after all, transparency is the platform on which energy efficiency can be optimised. The Plus version of ecograph measures the energy consumption of all plant components – including the peripheral units and hot runners – and visualises them as a clear-cut overview for the operator. Based on these values, ecobalance distributes the total power defined for the machine or production cell in question across the injection moulding cycle in line with demand. This means that energy peaks and the risk of penalties can be avoided.
Mould temperature control is responsible for almost 40 percent of the total energy consumption of a production cell. This makes it by far the greatest energy consumer in injection moulding. And it explains why ENGEL has been working intensively on temperature control for more than ten years and has established a separate product program for this. In the efficiency packages, all injection moulding machines are equipped with e-flomo and e temp.
The maintenance-free e-flomo temperature control water manifold systems monitor the flow rate, pressure, temperature and temperature difference. They help to rule out obstacles in order to ensure high part quality across the board.
Temperature control units of the e-temp type are fully integrated into the CC300 control unit of the injection moulding machine via OPC UA. In this way, the speed of the temperature control water pumps is automatically adapted to match the actual demand, and this has a direct effect on the energy balance. To keep the number of temperature control units low, ENGEL offers an XL version of the e-temp temperature control units.
Smart assistance systems help processors leverage the full potential of the injection moulding machine. iQ flow control is the smart assistance system which ENGEL specifically developed to optimise the temperature control processes and which is an integral part of the ENGEL efficiency packages. Based on the measured values determined by e-flomo, the software actively controls either the flow rate or the temperature difference in the individual circuits. This means that the thermal conditions in the mould remain constant even if there are fluctuations in the system. The result is very high repeatability and minimum cooling water and energy consumption.
At the K 2022, ENGEL is giving visitors the opportunity to experience the benefits that result from the interplay between the injection moulding machine, temperature control and digital solutions hands-on. On top of direct energy consumption reductions for the individual plant components, preventing rejects, saving time for machine operating staff, and improving operation assurance all contribute towards boosting efficiency and achieving competitive production. The better the overall efficiency, the faster a new injection moulding machine offers a return on investment (ROI).