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Interplas 2017: Smart solutions for more productivity, quality and flexibility

Experience the smart factory – this is ENGEL's focus at the Interplas 2017, from September 26 to September 28 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. At its trade-fair booth, the injection moulding machine builder and system expert, headquartered in Schwertberg, Austria, will demonstrate the opportunities created by digitalisation and networking, and how inject 4.0 can help to take advantage of these in a simple fashion. From the perspective of technologies, the focus of ENGEL will be on the highly precise processing of LSR and extremely economic process integration.

inject 4.0 is ENGEL's answer to the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution. The goal is the smart factory in which production processes continuously self-optimise through the networking of production systems, the systematic use of machine, process and production data, and the utilization of decentralised, intelligent assistance systems. During the three days of the trade fair, ENGEL will demonstrate how plastics processors can increase the productivity and quality of their production and respond flexibly to ever more rapidly changing requirements with the production of inject 4.0 logos on an all-electric and tie-bar-less ENGEL e motion 170/80 TL injection moulding machine.

 

Self-optimising injection moulding process

The CC300 control is capable of simulating process fluctuations; the automatic readjustments by the intelligent assistance systems can then be tracked on the display of the machine. Three assistance systems from the inject 4.0 programme of ENGEL will be used. 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. Thirdly, iQ flow control will connect the injection moulding machine, which is equipped with the 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. ENGEL, together with its partner HB-Therm, has developed a new line of temperature control units called e-temp. The machine is connected via OPC UA, thus pointing the way for further applications. Together with its market partners, ENGEL is actively committed to establishing OPC UA as the standard for communication models in injection moulding applications. OPC UA enables platform-independent, high-performance, and above all secures communication, both within the shop-floor level and with higher level control systems such as MES and ERP.

 

Hydraulic precision for sophisticated LSR

Burr-free, zero-waste, rework-free, and fully automated – these are the key elements in the economic manufacturing of high-tech products from liquid silicone. At the Interplas, ENGEL will demonstrate how this can be put into practice with the production of venting valves for beverage bottles on a hydraulic ENGEL victory 860/160 injection moulding machine. This application optimally utilises the efficiency potential of the tie-bar-less machine. 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. iQ weight control provides a further contribution to high process consistency and reproducibility. Initially, the software was only available for injection moulding machines with electrical injection units; ENGEL has expanded the area of application with a version for hydraulic machines.

ENGEL is presenting the processing of LSR together with its partner Elmet Elastomere Produktions- und Dienstleistungs GmbH (Oftering, Austria). In this application, Elmet is providing a model TOP 5000 P LSR dosage system, a 16-cavity mould with a cold runner and a demoulding unit. Parts are handled by a viper 40 robot from ENGEL's linear robot programme. The conveyor belt is integrated into the safety gate of the injection moulding machine, keeping the entire system compact.

 
One-shot process reduces costs per unit

The healthcare application presented at Interplas also impresses with an extremely high degree of integration. Interdental brushes of the type "scrub!" will be produced on a clean-room version of the all-electric ENGEL e-motion 170/110 T injection moulding machine. Together with the grip surface and core, up to 500 bristles can be formed in a single-component injection mould. Extremely delicate in the bristle area, the high-performance precision 8-cavity mould comes from Hack Formenbau (Kirchheim unter Teck, Germany), with Hekuma from Eching, Germany, providing the automation. A highly integrated, automated production cell, built in the modularised HEKUflex design, will be presented by Hekuma. Immediately after injection moulding, the parts will be inspected by camera and the usable parts will be automatically packed in retail bags, 16 parts to each. A bag leaves the production cell every four seconds.

The high degree of process integration and the single-component design of the interdental brush, developed by pheneo in Bremen, Germany, significantly increases production efficiency in comparison to the products and processes established on the market. Interdental brushes are generally made up of three components, which are usually produced in separate processes: The grip surface, a wire-mesh, and the filaments. However, the technology of the system partners ENGEL, Hack and Hekuma has made single-component injection moulding production possible.

With a total shot weight of only 1.93 grammes, completely filling eight cavities with up to 500 bristles places extremely high demands on the mould as well as the injection moulding machine. The all-electric drive technology ensures the highest precision in machine movements. In addition, iQ weight control and iQ clamp control help to prevent rejects.

The application potential of the integrated process is huge. It ranges from medical applications to cosmetics. For example, besides interdental brushes, mascara brushes are needed in very large quantities and at low unit costs.

 

All-electric for maximum performance

At the Interplas, the booth next to ENGEL (Booth H71) is also dedicated to the very highest performance. Campetella from Montecassiano in Italy is presenting a highly integrated production cell for the manufacturing of thin-walled containers, including in-mould labelling. The cups will be injected in a 2-cavity mould on an all-electric ENGEL e-motion 440/160 T injection moulding machine. On the basis of this application, Campetella presents a side-entry automation of the MINI MODULA series. The entire system operates with a cycle time of 2.8 seconds and accordingly produces 2,571 cups per hour.

ENGEL at Interplas 2017: Hall 4, stands F70 and G70

The assistance systems from ENGEL's inject 4.0 programme that are integrated into the CC300 of the injection moulding machine ensure that process fluctuations are adjusted before rejects occur.

With the production of inject 4.0 logos at the Interplas 2017, ENGEL will demonstrate how the potential of smart machine can be used in practice.

During the Interplas, ENGEL will produce geometrically complex venting valves for beverage bottles on a hydraulic victory 860/160.

At its exhibition both, ENGEL will produce single-component interdental brushes on an highly integrated and automated production cell.

The production technology developed by ENGEL in cooperation with Hack Formenbau and Hekuma makes it possible to fully form up to 500 bristles using a single-component process.

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