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Injection molding process timed with pinpoint accuracy

News 24.02.2016

Weekly Timer, the new function from KraussMaffei, makes it possible to set the production start during injection molding precisely. This prevents unnecessary machine waiting times and significantly reduces energy costs. Weekly Timer is integrated by default into the KraussMaffei MC6 control system.

A self-learning system
With Weekly Timer, the machine operators can precisely set the desired start of production. "The MC6 'learns' the boundary conditions of the machine thanks to an intelligent sequence. This tells the control system how long the preheating phase will take, which in turn allows the machine to be ready with pinpoint accuracy," says Dr. Reinhard Schiffers, Head of Machine Technology at KraussMaffei, explaining the function of the new Weekly Timer. It also responds to changing temperatures (e.g. seasonal changes) or the installation of new plasticizing units. The Weekly Timer detects changes to the process and reconfigures the times immediately and continuously. Thanks to this intelligence, the machine operator can define the exact start of production intuitively and without calculations. Inconvenient programming is no longer necessary, sources of error are reduced.

Significant reduction of energy costs
By using the Weekly Timer, machine waiting times are now completely eliminated. This means significant savings potential in energy costs. "Let's take an easy calculation example. Even if a GX 650/8100 from KraussMaffei is not yet producing, but has been preheated, it requires energy. If such a machine remains in waiting mode for one hour three times per week, it can incur costs of 450 euros per year. If you calculate this for 20 machines over a 10-year period, you get 110,000 euros which our customers could save by using Weekly Timer," says Schiffers.

Committed to Industry 4.0
Weekly Timer is an excellent example of how the vision of Industry 4.0 — the complete networking of all processes in production — can be implemented using intelligent machines. Weekly Timer registers changes automatically, responds and optimizes the start of production of the injection molding process through self-directed learning. KraussMaffei advances the implementation of the Industry 4.0 vision under the umbrella "Plastics 4.0" and bundles it into the three categories: Intelligent Machines, Integrated Production and Interactive Services.

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