IRVINE, Calif.—Arburg Inc. gave its full attention to the implications of Industry 4.0 in a well-attended seminar at its U.S. West Coast technology center.
President Friedrich Kanz welcomed attendees at the recent event, noting the business was marking its 10th anniversary in the Irvine facility and it 25th year on the coast. Arburg Inc., headquartered in Rocky Hill, Conn., is a subsidiary of Arburg GmbH + Co. K.G. of Lossburg, Germany.
Michael Stark, Arburg national sales manager, provided a primer on Industry 4.0 and said it basically "means the exchange of data and information between machines."
He acknowledged that climbing the Industry 4.0 learning curve can cause an individual to struggle with grasping the basics.
In exploring the possible avenues, a processor should "start the journey with a proven supplier and technology," he said, noting that Arburg has dealt with computer-integrated manufacturing issues since 1986.
He discussed the progress on multifaceted Euromap standardization using the machine-to-machine open platform communication united architecture communications protocols for secure and reliable exchange of data.
"The benefits are limitless," Stark said, mentioning traceability, complete work cell integration, all aspects of program planning, personalized production, lights-out manufacturing, remote access and machine artificial intelligence.
Juergen Giesow, Arburg director of technology and engineering, emphasized the value of flexible production technology including integrated work steps yielding "ready-to-use" parts and industrial additive manufacturing such as Arburg's Freeformer series. As introduced in November, the large-format Freeformer 300-3X model can produce complex, functional hard/soft parts using support structures.
Arburg continues development on components, material compatibility and technology to expand the Freeformer envelope.
Giesow discussed Arburg's Allrounder presses and their modularity with flexible robot systems, the internally developed Selogica control system and the plant management Arburg LAN System, known as ALS.
For more about the "competitive advantage" of Industry 4.0 technology, Giesow encouraged attendance at the parent company's annual Technology Days in March in its Lossburg headquarters.
In an Arburg Industry 4.0 demonstration, a 55-ton Allrounder 370E Golden Eagle press molded a business card holder on 30-second cycles using Colorfast-brand GPA100 ABS from Americhem's Infinity LTL Engineered Compounds on a one-cavity mold from Form Tech Tool & Mold Inc. with components from Hasco Hasenclever GmbH + Co. K.G.
A Keyence Corp. system laser-marked each part with a product code. Then, in a first showing on the West Coast, a network-connected computer enabled Arburg's large-model Freeformer 3D printer to personalize every sixth part. Arburg ran the same demonstration at NPE2018 in May.
Another demonstration combined three movements—closing the mold, pulling the injector return and moving the nozzle former—saving 0.6 to 0.8 of a second per cycle. The 55-ton Allrounder 370A Alldrive electric molded a polypropylene medical lever on 15.5-second cycles using a mold on loan from a nearby device manufacturer and a positive-air-pressure HEPA filter from Alpha Lonstatex GmbH.
In addition, a 110-ton Allrounder 470E Edrive press molded a PP syringe in 21-second cycles on a four-cavity mold from Kebo A.G.
Kistler Instrument Corp. plans to release the next version of its broad-based ComoNeo process monitoring system in early 2019, Bob Hendricks said.
A user can select a particular package with multiple functions to enable communications for process optimization, said Hendricks, Kistler regional manager and West Coast plastics specialist.
Industry 4.0 involves a convergence of technologies including the use of cavity-pressure sensors as "the nerve center of the process giving out vital information," he said. "Cavity pressure is the fingerprint of the injection molding process."
The technology takes "the human interface out of the equation," Hendricks said.
Kistler Instrument is part of the industrial process control division of parent firm Kistler Holding A.G. in Winterthur, Switzerland.
Dan Hazen described how data extracting multivariate analysis and fault detection can enable lights-out molding.
Hazen is senior product marketing manager in Austin, Texas, with MKS Instruments Inc.
"Do more with the data you already have [and] implement automated data-driven decision making," he said.
MKS, a publicly traded provider of instruments, subsystems and process control solutions, is based in Andover, Mass., and plans to host a Feb. 7 seminar at the Carlsbad, Calif., innovation and training center of FimmTech Inc.