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EUROMAP interfaces –EUROMAP 84 for extrusion published as Release Candidate

The working group EUROMAP 84 deals with the standardization of OPC UA based interfaces for extrusion. Experts from ten leading European extruders and extrusion lines manufactures are working together with control systems manufacturers and MES suppliers on standardized information models to facilitate an efficient networking of the extrusion line to central computers/MES as well as within the extrusion line itself. As with all EUROMAP recommendations, these are manufacturer-neutral.

In EUROMAP 84, first basic specifications will be made, and the extrusion line will be modelled as a whole. This foremost serves to control the overall production (for example throughput, product quality, energy consumption) and to manage production jobs. Particularly for the latter, a new concept was necessary because the existing job management model of the injection moulding world could not be transferred to extrusion. Next, the various components of an extrusion line will be examined separately to record all important process parameters.

The drafts of the following parts have now been published on www.euromap.org/euromap84 as Release Candidates and are thereby made available to the interested public:

Part 1: General Type Definitions

Part 2: Extrusion lines

Part 3: Extruders

Part 4: Haul-offs

Part 5: Melt pumps

Part 6: Filters

Part 7: Dies

These parts will be validated in test implementations before they are going to be published as final versions.

Additional parts for further components of an extrusion line are in preparation.

motan Innovation Award 2018

The motan Innovation Award was presented on the 18 October 2018 in the Dornier Museum Friedrichshafen. Three plastic innovations in the field of material handling prevailed against the competition. The winners receive not only motan donated prize money but also support in the further development of their inventions.

motan innovation award ceremony during Fakuma exhibition

The winners have been confirmed: Three new ideas in the field of raw materials handling were awarded with the motan innovation award (mia) on 18th October 2018. The mia jury, a panel of four experts from universities and institutes in the field of plastics research, had short-listed six ideas, as finalists for the award in July after intensive evaluation.The three winning projects were particularly convincing in terms of innovation level, relevance for the practice in the plastics industry as well as feasibility and market opportunities, and prevailed over the other contenders.

1st place: Rheinhard Herro

The gravimetric suction box developed by Reinhard Herro is a new system for throughput detection with batch traceability for pneumatic conveying systems. It measures all material throughputs directly at the material source and thus replaces the usual measuring procedure at the consuming unit typically a material loader. By means of a gravimetric dispenser integrated in the suction box, each batch of material is weighed individually before conveying and then automatically assigned to the designated machine. With only one measuring system it is now possible to measure and control the material throughputs of many consuming units. In addition, the gravimetric suction box opens up completely new possibilities for the control and monitoring of pneumatic conveying systems, as many processes are automated. For example, the optimum filling quantity for material loaders is automatically generated and overfilling is prevented. The jury also acknowledged that the increase in the degree of automation was accompanied by an increase in the reliability of the plants.

Reinhard Herro received a prize of 10,000 euros for his innovative idea.

2nd place: Philipp Mählmeyer

To be able to optimally serve large complex industrial plants requires a quick and precise retrieval of the current status information. The new app by Philipp Mählmeyer starts at this point: using clear, machine-readable codes (QR codes), which are attached to the aggregates, they visualize the required data on a mobile device. Thus, each operator can not only query status information easily, but also control the associated processes. For example, using a mobile device, mechanical adjustments, calibrations and service work can be carried out directly at the machine. A major advantage of Mählmeyer's app: The installation effort and the costs are low compared to other systems, if the necessary system technology is already available and the controls can be addressed via a network. In addition, a sophisticated “right and role” system enables user-specific visualization on the mobile device. For example, a service employee will see different information compared to a plant operator.

motan honoured this project with a prize of 6,000 euros.

3rd place: Bernd Michael

With the highly flexible "METRO-Lay" system, material feedlines can be laid in a very uncomplicated and efficient way.

METRO-Lay is the name Bernd Michael give his idea, which is made up of the terms "METRO" (representative of all motan conveying systems) and "Lay" (as a reference to one of the world's largest scaffolding manufacturer's Layher). The development consists of two essential components: the Layher Allround scaffold system, which serves as a supporting structure for material feedlines, and newly developed plug-in modules, which ensure faster and more secure installation of material and vacuum pipework. The combination of these two components optimizes the construction of feedlines significantly. METRO-Lay shortens assembly times, reduces assembly costs and thus increases the project margin. Even human resources can be spared by the comprehensibly structured system.

Bernd Michael won a prize of 4,000 euros n

KraussMaffei Group with new strategy

The KraussMaffei Group is repositioning itself. Under the name "Compass", the company has developed a twopillar strategy. In addition to classic plastics machinery construction this new strategy aims at intensifying and accelerating the development of digital services and products, as well as new business models. To this end, the new Digital Service Solutions business unit was established in July, and is expected to make a substantial contribution to the Group's sales in the future. The new strategy is initially designed for a period of five years until 2023.

The KraussMaffei Group is thus continuing its growth course. The share of digital services and products, as well as new services such as the "Rent It" machine rental model, will be steadily increased in the coming years. For this purpose the new business unit Digital Service Solutions was established in July. “We are positioning KraussMaffei as a company that is consistently focusing on customer needs in the age of digitization. In the coming years, we will significantly expand our business model and add digital excellence to our high level of mechanical expertise. This means that in future we will not only sell our customers high-quality machines as usual, but also create added value around the machine. We want to provide our customers with excellent service around the globe and around the clock – and make them attractive offers," explains Dr. Frank Stieler, CEO of the KraussMaffei Group.

Positive business development in 2018 A positive development is anticipated for the current financial year. In the first three quarters, incoming orders amounted to 1.05 billion euros. This corresponds to an increase of 2.5 percent compared with the same period in the previous year. Sales amounted to 973 million euros. This corresponds to an increase in sales of 15 million euros or 1.6 percent. The number of employees has also increased significantly. Today, the Group employs almost 5,500 people (including apprentices) – a record number. Since the end of 2016 alone, 618 new jobs have been created worldwide. This means a 13 percent increase in the number of employees within just under two years. "I am particularly pleased that we are currently qualifying 310 apprentices for their future professional careers - more than ever before," says Dr. Stieler.

KraussMaffei relies on GINDUMAC for new business model "Rent-it"

As KraussMaffei's strategic partner, GINDUMAC is responsible for the worldwide trading of used machinery. For the new business model "Rent-it", GINDUMAC will ensure that large quantities of used machines can be returned at the best market prices after the leasing period has expired. Thus, GINDUMAC enables commercially attractive leasing rates for KraussMaffei customers.

GINDUMAC also takes care of used machines when KraussMaffei customers decide to replace them. When purchasing a new machine, GINDUMAC guarantees fair and competitive purchase prices for the used machine currently in use. In less than 48 hours, GINDUMAC can determine the current market value of any plastics processing machine using proprietary valuation software with an intelligent data algorithm to compare current market prices.

The GINDUMAC online platform is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as a "digital warehouse" for sellers and buyers of used machines.

GINDUMAC focuses on brand independence in the trading business. Thus, brands such as Arburg, Engel, Battenfeld and Milacron are also purchased and offered by GINDUMAC. The internationally active company buys and sells used machines from all machine manufacturers in the plastics processing, sheet metal processing and metal working industries.

GINDUMAC buys and sells mainly used machine tools, sheet metal working and plastics processing machinery on a global scale.

GINDUMAC uses its own digital and data tools to establish a fair, transparent and economical used machinery trading transaction. On the company's own online platform under www.gindumac.com, industrial companies can sell to or buy from GINDUMAC in just a few clicks. In cooperation with KraussMaffei, GINDUMAC will be expanding its portfolio of used injection moulding machines. In addition, GINDUMAC has already started to include used extrusion and reaction process machines.

Milacron and iMFLUX sign first-of-its-kind agreement to change the way the world molds

Milacron Holdings Corp. (NYSE: MCRN), a leading industrial technology company serving the plastics processing industry is excited to announce that they've signed a first-of-its-kind distribution agreement with iMFLUX (a wholly owned subsidiary of Procter & Gamble). Through this distribution agreement, Milacron will integrate iMFLUX into their injection machine controls with native user interface (UI) and screens. Milacron will be the first machine manufacturer to integrate and offer this capability, and has certain exclusive rights to offer iMFLUX patented processing technologies as a fully integrated package.

Milacron CEO Tom Goeke stated, “The entire team at Milacron is thrilled to announce the distribution agreement with iMFLUX.” Goeke added, “Developments and technologies like iMFLUX's are rare and potentially game-changing. At Milacron we're always looking for “what's next” and how we can help our customers succeed, and we believe iMFLUX is “what's next.” The combination of Milacron's industry-leading injection machines and iMFLUX's process innovations are sure to equal gains for our most important asset, our customers.”

“iMFLUX is at its heart a technology company. It began in the spirit of achieving outcomes that weren't yet possible,” said iMFLUX CEO, Mary Wagner. Wagner added, “iMFLUX developed an injection molding process that broke every norm, every assumption of the conventional process. This new, low, constant pressure injection molding process creates new opportunities for the entire plastics industry. What Milacron has created with Milacron M-Powered, their suite of IoT technologies, is a perfect pairing for iMFLUX and we are ready to begin our partnership with a fellow Ohio-based technology leader as we continue to expand our work with the rest of the plastics industry.”

iMFLUX and Milacron M-Powered – A Molding Powerhouse

The Milacron M-Powered iMFLUX Module will reshape the molding industry, and Milacron will have the ability to include the M-Powered iMFLUX module directly in a customer's new machine or provide most existing Milacron injection molding machines with an M-Powered iMFLUX retrofit upgrade.

The M-Powered iMFLUX Module is a cutting edge adaptive processing control and backed by years of processing exploration; the M-Powered iMFLUX Module will help to improve part quality and also decrease the energy required to produce it. As part of the M-Powered suite of tools, the iMFLUX Module and molding technology will allow for a number of real-time adjustments to mold and material changes. These real-time adjustments coupled with the other M-Powered analytical tools are designed to assist in improving OEE, offer desirable resin flexibility, and correct for common operational issues through adaptive process control.

When coupled with existing M-Powered applications, iMFLUX allows data to be collected, analyzed, and utilized to improve performance and OEE through increased productivity, reduced scrap, improved quality, and the ability to automatically compensate for the changing conditions that occur in a molding operation. With iMFLUX, variations in process are a thing of the past. iMFLUX combines advanced data collection with intentional solutions so that a customer's machine is as effective as possible and maximizing productivity.

Using Milacron's M-Powered iMFLUX module, molders can increase productivity by up to 50% on existing injection molding machines. The process is ideal for most molding applications, but is especially advantageous for wide specification materials, recycled materials, and can help a biomaterial/bio-resin work for many more applications.

Milacron and iMFLUX Technology Live at Fakuma 2018

For plastics professionals currently attending Fakuma 2018 in Friedaschafen, Germany, Milacron and iMFLUX are displaying an active machine workcell with iMFLUX's real-time adaptive process controls in the Milacron booth (Hall B3 – Booth 3203) on an all-electric Milacron Elektron EVO with a Mold-Masters Master-Series hot runner. The Fakuma show runs until Saturday, October 20th. Stop into the Milacron booth and see the future of injection molding.

The WITTMANN Group takes a stake in ICE-flex

The WITTMANN group has entered into a joint venture with the MES producer ICE-flex, effective September 17th 2018. The company says with this move, WITTMANN has taken another important step to offer its customers optimal solutions as an extension of WITTMANN 4.0.

With the WITTMANN Group taking up a stake in ICE-flex, WITTMANN BATTENFELD is now able to offer its customers TEMI, an innovative modular MES package.

WITTMANN Group from the left: Marco Ravazzani and Giorgio Pigozzo from ICE-Flex, Michael Wittmann, Managing Director of the WITTMANN Group, and Marco Pelagatti, ICE-Flex, after signing the joint venture agreement

The TEMI software supports various manufacturer-dependent versions and interpretations of Euromap 63, which cover virtually all machine manufacturers on the European market. WITTMANN BATTENFELD is selling the package developed by ICE-flex for production planning, monitoring and data storage under the brand name TEMI+.

TEMI+ was developed on the basis of a web browser architecture, to enable all users to retrieve and process the data saved in TEMI+ using their personal access data from anywhere on the corporate premises.

The goal of ICE-flex and the WITTMANN Group is to offer an open MES system which can incorporate the entire range of injection moulding machinery of a moulding plant.

“TEMI+ is the first MES software worldwide which supports and integrates mobile auxiliaries in moulding plants through our WITTMANN 4.0 technology,” said Michael Wittmann, Managing Director of the WITTMANN Group.

dashboard – WITTMANN 4.0 work cell

“Of course, this provides innumerable advantages for customers. For example central storage of all settings of a given work cell, or the display of work cell OEE and ad hoc KPIs for the auxiliaries.”

ENGEL at Plastics & Rubber Indonesia 2018

Smart solutions for more productivity, efficiency and quality

Experience the smart factory – that is ENGEL's motto going into the 2018 Plastics & Rubber exhibition from November 14th to 17th in Jakarta, Indonesia. In manufacturing lids and handles for food containers, the Austria-based injection moulding machine manufacturer and system solutions provider will demonstrate the opportunities that digitalisation and networking present. In addition, it will show how these, in combination with intelligent machinery, can be applied to maximum effect to unlock the potential for efficiency.

ENGEL’s condition monitoring solution, e-connect.monitor, makes it possible to check the condition of critical machine components during operation and reliably predict their remaining service life.

Self-optimising injection moulding machine

inject 4.0 is ENGEL's answer to the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution. The goal is to achieve a smart factory in which manufacturing processes continuously self-optimise, and processors can respond in a highly flexible way to constantly changing requirements, thanks to production system connectivity and integration, systematic utilisation of machine, process and production data, and the use of intelligent assistance systems. The result is substantially greater productivity, efficiency and quality. ENGEL is demonstrating how these positive outcomes can manifest themselves in the real world by manufacturing lids and handles for food containers on an ENGEL e-victory 310/120 in a 1+1-cavity mould. The tie-bar-less injection moulding machine, featuring an electric injection unit, operates with intelligent assistance. It is equipped with systems including iQ weight control, which analyses the pressure profile during the injection process and compares measured values by means of a reference cycle. For every individual shot, the injection profile, switchover point and holding pressure profile are automatically adapted to current conditions. This balances out fluctuations in the ambient conditions and raw material, as well as keeping the injected melt volume consistent throughout the production operation – enabling the system to reliably prevent rejects.

Boosting the availability of machines

Intelligent assistance is a characteristic of smart machine, one of the three key areas of the smart factory. ENGEL also offers numerous mature products and solutions for smart service and smart production in the scope of its inject 4.0 range, offering immediate and substantial benefits, both stand-alone and in the framework of a higher-level digitalisation strategy.

In order to boost the availability of machines and production cells, smart service relies on online support, remote maintenance and predictive, condition-based maintenance. ENGEL's e-connect.monitor makes it possible to analyse the status of process-critical machine components during operation and reliably forecast the remaining service life. This way, the service life of critical machine components can be fully utilised without risking unplanned system downtime. e-connect.monitor is available for plasticising screws, ball screws in high-performance electric machines, fixed displacement pumps in servohydraulic injection moulding machines and for hydraulic oil.

The smart production area focuses on networking between the various machines, systems and devices, using authentig, a product by ENGEL subsidiary TIG. The MES ensures transparency throughout the machinery, making it easier to efficiently plan the resources available.

The modular approach of ENGEL's inject 4.0 range makes the initial steps towards digitalisation and networking particularly easy for processors.

Tie-bar-less technology keeping production cells compact

The design of the tie-bar-less e victory injection moulding machine, which will be on display at Plastics & Rubber Indonesia, also meets strict efficiency and precision requirements. Free access to the mould area considerably accelerates installing and removing moulds, significantly improving the injection moulding machine's availability, also for smaller batch sizes. On top of this, the tie-bar-less technology allows for particularly compact production cells. Given that mould mounting platens can be used to the hilt, relatively small machines can be fitted with large moulds. This proves to be a plus-point in terms of efficiency, particularly when using multi-cavity moulds or producing three-dimensionally complex components. The moulds are large in both cases, but the clamping force required for precise moulding of the fairly small component surfaces is relatively low. Where a tie-bar-less injection moulding machine is deployed, therefore, the machine size is determined not by mould volume, but by the clamping force required for the moulding process. Thanks to tie-bar-less technology, much smaller injection moulding machines can be used for many applications, which reduces investment and operating costs.

The patented force divider in the tie-bar-less clamping unit enables the moving mould mounting platen to follow the mould exactly parallel while clamping force is building up and ensures that the applied force is evenly distributed across the whole surface. This means both outer and inner cavities are kept closed with precisely identical force, which leads to extremely consistent wall thicknesses and guarantees reproducible high quality.

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