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Plastics 4.0: The overall concept for modern production

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Note: Numerous new developments for the networking of production along the entire process chain- Demonstration version for new
Numerous new developments for the networking of production along the entire process chain 
- Demonstration version for new E-Service platform
- APC plus: Weight consistency also for cascades
- DataXplorer: Like looking through a microscope
- Euromap 77: Pioneering for networked production
- Analytics: Intelligent key performance indicators on smartphone and tablet

(Munich, October 19, 2016) Internet of Things or simply the networking of machines and production processes: The KraussMaffei Group with its brands KraussMaffei, KraussMaffei Berstorff, and Netstal is promoting this development under the umbrella name Plastics 4.0, and presents new technical solutions at K 2016. Latest news: The first demonstration version of a new electronic platform (E-Service), which shows how processes between customer and service organization will be optimized in the future.

Individual customer service in the future via the Internet

A situation that occurs every day worldwide: A machine urgently needs a spare part. The machine comes to a standstill. Fast action is required! What is the exact part designation and the correct product number? How much does the spare part cost? What is the quickest possible delivery and installation? "With the future E-Service of the KraussMaffei Group, processes such as these will soon be able to be processed much more efficiently than before. This facilitates the processing of service cases in day-to-day business and will increase the system availability of our machines", states Renzo Davatz, CEO at Netstal and Vice President of Service in the Injection Molding Machinery segment. In the future the user will log in to the E-Service platform. His personal dashboard will offer him a detailed overview of his machine fleet on the start screen. Manuals, service information, and application videos will also be stored here. "A part finder app on the smartphone or tablet computer will enable reliable identification of the required component using QR codes. Availability and price can be determined in a database, where an order function will also be integrated. A service ticket can also be opened here directly", explains Davatz. Additional buttons in the digital dashboard will offer quick access to numerous services, for example to current performance data of the integrated machines, the ticket system, and remote service. The team headed by Benjamin Müller, Project Manager of E-Service, is working rigorously on the implementation of the E-Service for all three brands of the KraussMaffei Group, and will show the potential and advantages to visitors in detail by means of a demonstration version at the K trade fair.

APC plus with many new functions

The E-Service portal falls into the category of Interactive Services, which together with Intelligent Machines and Integrated Production form the three subareas of Plastics 4.0. "This fourth industrial (r)evolution will radically change the working world. For instance by the self-optimization of intelligent machines, and thus achieving stable processes", states Dr. Hans Ulrich Golz, President of Injection Molding Machinery of the KraussMaffei Group. The APC plus (Adaptive Process Control) machine function already provides an indication. Compared with the predecessor version APC, which was successfully launched in 2014, it also offers additional functions and can thus respond even more specifically to process fluctuations triggered by changing ambient conditions, downtimes, or the use of recycled materials. For the first time the APC plus takes into account the specific property patterns of 20 basic materials – such as the melt compressibility – and then takes corrective action in the holding-pressure phase. During cascade injection molding it controls the opening of the needle shut-off nozzles so that they always open at the same mold fill level. The result is always components with extremely consistent weights.

Complete traceability with new DataXplorer

"Integrated Production" is how the KraussMaffei Group defines this seamless networking of production over the entire process chain. For example, when an injection molding machine and dryer communicate, in order to achieve an optimal material flow and avoid idle times. Or when the new DataXplorer provides an almost microscopic view of the process, thus making it possible to respond to unclear error patterns. Depending on the machine's equipment, it displays up to 500 high-resolution signal paths, visualizes the signal paths, and makes them available for evaluation. According to Dr. Reinhard Schiffers, Head of Machine Technology at KraussMaffei, an important application for the DataXplorer is also in documentation: "For safety-related components or in medical technology it is important to be able to subsequently retrieve all quality-relevant process data for each individual injection cycle." Visitors at the K trade fair can see this by means of a FiberForm application. A QR code on the component gives them direct access to the specific production parameters. For example, the curves for heating the organic sheets or the injection pressure. This makes it possible to seamlessly trace all product and process data for each component – globally, online via smartphone, tablet, or PC.

The KraussMaffei Group enables its customers to already use the potential opened up by Industry 4.0 as an overall concept for plastics processing companies of any size.

Euromap 77 – Standard interface between injection molding machines and host computer

In order to pave the way for integrated production, the leading injection molding machine manufacturers jointly defined the new Euromap 77 interface. The host computer interface realized via OPC-UA should ensure standardized communication between injection molding machines and a host computer system. Euromap 77 is being officially unveiled at K 2016 at the exhibition stand of the VDMA (German Engineering Federation, Stand 16/F42). Production data transmitted in real-time by plants of various exhibitors in different exhibition halls, also including injection molding machines from KraussMaffei and Netstal, is visualized on a demonstrator.

Analytics – Intelligent key performance indicators on smartphone and tablet

At its booth the KraussMaffei Group will use Analytics and present a prototype to show how added value can be generated in the future with production data of a company. The objective is to evaluate the abundance of data which modern injection molding machines already provide today and use it to optimize the production process. In order to show the possibilities of the Analytics application, injection molding machines from KraussMaffei and Netstal will send various key performance indicators and operating data to a local server. The trade fair visitors can view the generated data via a web application. This information allows the processor to work more efficiently, for example, with the early detection of faults. The Analytics application is presented at the booth as a separate web application.

Three strong pillars for implementing Industry 4.0

Under the name Plastics 4.0, the KraussMaffei Group bundles its solutions into three categories: Intelligent Machines, Integrated Production, and Interactive Services. Intelligent Machines represents intelligent, self-optimizing machines, which improve productivity and quality. Integrated Production symbolizes seamlessly networked production, in which the individual machines and components communicate with each other and autonomously control the processes accordingly. Interactive Services must in turn be equated with systems and services based on state-of-the-art communication technologies in the environment of fast and globally active service.

KraussMaffei Group at K 2016
Hall 15, Booth B27/C24/C27/D24

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