Industry News

Flawless Interplay Between IM, Automation & Industry 4.0: ENGEL at Plast Eurasia 2018

Published on 2018-12-03. Author : SpecialChem

TAGS:  Machinery     Part Design & Manufacturing    

Cleanroom version of a self-optimising ENGEL e-victory injection molding machine
Cleanroom version of a self-optimising
ENGEL e-victory injection molding machine
Optimum efficiency, maximum performance and consistent quality: ENGEL, the Austrian injection molding machine manufacturer and system expert, will demonstrate how flawless interplay between injection molding machine, automation, and Industry 4.0 can reconcile these demands cost-effectively and sustainably at the Plast Eurasia 2018 trade fair from December 5th to 8th in Istanbul, Turkey.

Live on site: the production of sophisticated medical parts on a tie-bar-less e-victory and large automotive components on a duo injection molding machine as well as proven and new inject 4.0 products for smart digitalization and networking of injection molding processes.

Maximum Integration with a Minimal Footprint

Highly integrated, compact production cells minimize the system footprint and increase area productivity. These aspects really pay off in the cleanroom. ENGEL further developed the stainless steel pipe distributor for the cavity specific handling of small injection molding parts, so that the handling system now fits completely into the expanded safety gate of the injection molding machine. At Plast Eurasia this extremely compact solution will be demonstrated using the production of needle holders for 1 ml safety syringes as an example.
  • The precision parts will be manufactured from polystyrene on an ENGEL e-victory 170/80 injection molding machine equipped with a 16-cavity mold by Fostag Formenbau (Stein am Rhein, Switzerland), taken off the mold by an ENGEL viper 12 linear robot and transferred to the distribution system. 
  • To ensure batch traceability down to the individual cavity, the filigree parts will be packed in cavity-specific bags. 
  • For this purpose, the 16 bags are hung in a cart located directly beneath the pipe distributor. Individual shots can be extracted for quality inspection purposes. 

Filigree needle holders
Filigree needle holders
To ensure fully automated cleanroom operation, two carts are alternated in sequence, with a buffer system enabling the automated exchange during on-going production. All the peripherals for this are integrated into the CC300 control unit of the injection molding machine. Thanks to shared data storage, the CC300 can precisely coordinate the movements of the machine and the robot with each other, thus optimizing overall efficiency. On top of this, the robot paths are especially short due to the tie-bar-less clamping unit of the e-victory machine. Both of these factors contribute to the short cycle times of six seconds in this application.

So that the machine can also be flexibly used for other products, ENGEL designed the pipe distributor and the bag-packing carts as fixed units. These can be easily moved back and forth, ensuring full accessibility of the mold area. In contrast to many other systems in the market, all components in contact with the product in ENGEL's pipe distributor are made of stainless steel. This helps to ensure low particle load in the cleanroom.

Intelligent Assistance for a Maximum of Good Parts

  • With a shot weight of only 0.08 g and varying wall thicknesses, the filigree needle holders require extremely precise process control. 
  • Since fluctuations in the melt volume would immediately lead to rejects, ENGEL will be using the iQ weight control software at Plast Eurasia. 
  • The assistance system from ENGEL's inject 4.0 program, analyses the pressure profile in real time during the injection process, and compares measured values with a reference cycle. 
  • For every shot, the injection profile, switchover point and the holding pressure profile are automatically adapted to current conditions and the injected melt volume is kept consistent throughout the production operation. In this way rejects are proactively prevented. 

Compact integration: The pipe distributor by ENGEL fits inside the machine's safety guard
Compact integration: The pipe distributor
by ENGEL fits inside the machine's safety guard

inject 4.0 Name

  • The self-optimizing injection molding machine is an essential feature of the smart factory, which is the objective of Industry 4.0. 
  • Under the inject 4.0 name, ENGEL already offers a wide range of mature and multiply practice-proven products and solutions for digitalization and connectivity in injection molding production, providing immediate and substantial benefits, both stand-alone and in the framework of a higher-level digitalization strategy. 
  • A further assistance system presented by ENGEL at Plast Eurasia is iQ clamp control, which determines and automatically adjusts the optimum clamping force on the basis of mold breathing. 
  • Too little mold breathing due to a too high clamping force prevents sufficient mold venting and can lead to burners. 
  • On the other hand, excessive mold breathing or too little clamping force may lead to overfilled cavities, resulting in flash formation. 
  • Both risks can be ruled out with the help of iQ clamp control. The system exclusively relies on standard sensors in the injection molding machine for this purpose. 

Dual-platen injection moulding machines
Dual-platen injection moulding machines

ecodrive as Standard for Significantly More Energy Efficiency

With their new injection units and thanks to ecodrive as a standard feature, the dual-platen injection molding machines in the ENGEL duo series achieve even greater efficiency and precision. ENGEL will present proof of this at Plast Eurasia. Car engine covers will be produced from fiber-reinforced polypropylene on an automated duo 3660/500 with a clamping force of 5,000 kN.

The temperature and pressure control in the barrel have been further optimized through the development of the new injection units. In addition, special attention has been paid to traverse temperature control. The temperature control range was enlarged to safely rule out clumping in the feed zone and absorption of moisture across a wider range of materials. The new concept minimizes energy losses both during heating and cooling of the feed through.

ENGEL Servo-hydraulic ecodrive

New TIG 2go dashboard solution from TIG makes it genuinely easy to get started in the world of MES
New TIG 2go dashboard solution from TIG makes it
genuinely easy to get started in the world of MES
The ENGEL servo-hydraulic ecodrive, which has been tried and trusted for many years, is now part of the standard package of the duo machines, thus significantly reducing energy requirements in production. The key to high energy efficiency here lies in demand-driven pump capacity. When a machine is idle, for example, during cooling phases, the engines close down and consume zero energy. The positive side effects are that machine operation is far quieter while the hydraulic oil heats up less, thus reducing the cooling overhead.

Smart Production: New Solutions for Newcomers and Advanced Users

ENGEL is dedicating its Expert Corner to the subject of smart production at Plast Eurasia. The focus is on TIG authentic, the MES of ENGEL subsidiary TIG (Rankweil, Austria). Tailored for the specific requirements of the injection molding industry, the Manufacturing Execution System ensures transparency in order to, for example, utilize the total capacity of the available machinery or correlate productivity indicators and economic objectives. The new products that TIG will be presenting for the first time during the trade fair in Turkey include the TIG 2go dashboard solution, which is particularly suitable for entering the MES world, and the TIG big data high-performance analysis platform for networking globally machinery in a central cockpit.

Source: ENGEL
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