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Take 5: Smart technologies

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Maplan technology
Maplan's C6000.web and C600.web controllers.

Among the highlights on the Maplan stand at K, are its new C6000.web and C600.web controllers. After an intense development period, the controller C6 and all of its new features will be the heart of every new machine of Maplan from model year 2016-017 onward. The Austrian company claims that the web-based, full HD panel with integrated optimization control loops are the most advanced current concept in the elastomer machines sector and a significant step toward the vision of Industry 4.0.

As part of its Industry 4.0 theme for K Show 2016, Desma is highlighting the development of its SmartConnect 4.U product range. The intelligent, networking series is designed to allow production processes to be realised in a more flexible, efficient and resource-friendly way. Pay-backs, says Desma, include higher plant and machine uptime, more transparent and improved product quality as well as "piece cost" oriented production efficiency.

Machinery maker Troester GmbH & Co. K.G. is introducing a smart service monitoring and response technology at the Duesseldorf trade show. Presented under the name Troester Smart, the Industry 4.0 technology is said to offer advantages, such as reduced downtime, machine failure prevention and continuous product-quality reports. These benefits, says Troester, will be achieved by integration and connection of built-in high-technology sensors. The collection and evaluation of ‘big data’, it adds, will enhance unified communications, condition monitoring, predictive maintenance and advanced machine operation.

Wacker Elastosi
Wacker's new applications for textile sensors that exploit the electroactive properties of silicone.

At this year's K, Wacker A.G. is presenting new applications for textile sensors that exploit the electroactive properties of silicone. Ultrathin film is embedded between two conductive electrodes made of carbon-black-filled silicones. Together, the layers form a flexible capacitor that can store electric charge. If the silicone capacitor is mechanically deformed—for example due to a tensile or compressive movement—its capacitance also changes. The subtle nuances of these capacitance changes can be measured and thus used for sensory purposes, for example to make body movements visible. Wacker's patented production process creates silicone films in thicknesses of between 20 and 400 micrometers.

Engel’s modular e-factory technology for the injection molding industry is designed to ensure deep vertical data integration down to individual-cavity level. At K2016, the unveiling a new module at K2016, the E Austrian machine manufacturer is introducing an energy module that permits a detailed display, evaluation and optimization of energy consumption. Machines from different manufacturers can be integrated to obtain a complete energy balance. At the same time, consumers not integrated into the system can be recorded manually. The new module also the intelligent distribution of available power sources to individual consumers to prevent problems due to energy peaks, for example when an entire machine pool is restarted after a shutdown.