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Efficiency, performance and quality

Efficiency, performance and quality

News 15.11.2018

Optimum efficiency, maximum performance and consistent quality: ENGEL, the Austrian injection moulding machine manufacturer and system expert, will demonstrate how flawless interplay between injection moulding 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 moulding machine as well as proven and new inject 4.0 products for smart digitalisation and networking of injection moulding processes.

Maximum integration with a minimal footprint
Highly integrated, compact production cells minimise 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 moulding parts, so that the handling system now fits completely into the expanded safety gate of the injection moulding 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.

csm ENGEL at PlastEurasia 2018 Medical 1 on 01 8df5787960

At Plast Eurasia, the cleanroom version of a self-optimising ENGEL e-victory injection moulding machine will be used for the production of needle holders

The precision parts will be manufactured from polystyrene on an ENGEL e-victory 170/80 injection moulding machine equipped with a 16-cavity mould by Fostag Formenbau (Stein am Rhein, Switzerland), taken off the mould 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.

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 moulding machine.

Thanks to shared data storage, the CC300 can precisely coordinate the movements of the machine and the robot with each other, thus optimising 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.

csm ENGEL at PlastEurasia 2018 Medical 2 on 01 12dd640ed2

The production of filigree needle holders poses exacting requirements in terms of precision and process consistency

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 mould 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.

csm ENGEL at PlastEurasia 2018 Medical 3 on 01 6b723283ea

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

The self-optimising injection moulding 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 digitalisation and connectivity in injection moulding production, providing immediate and substantial benefits, both stand-alone and in the framework of a higher-level digitalisation 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 mould breathing. Too little mould breathing due to a too high clamping force prevents sufficient mould venting and can lead to burners. On the other hand, excessive mould 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 moulding machine for this purpose.

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 moulding 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 fibre-reinforced polypropylene on an automated duo 3660/500 with a clamping force of 5,000 kN.

csm ENGEL at PlastEurasia 2018 Automotive 1 on 01 b5a546d2ad

With their new injection units and thanks to ecodrive as a standard feature, the dual-platen injection moulding machines from the ENGEL duo series achieve even greater efficiency and precision

The temperature and pressure control in the barrel have been further optimised 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 minimises energy losses both during heating and cooling of the feed through.

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 authentig, the MES of ENGEL subsidiary TIG (Rankweil, Austria). Tailored for the specific requirements of the injection moulding industry, the Manufacturing Execution System ensures transparency in order to, for example, utilise 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.

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