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Injection Moulding Asia Machinery

Industry 4.0 takes production processes to a new level Industry 4.0 is one of the strongest growth

be accessed by anyone. “Transparency is very important to us at this point to gain a broad acceptance amongst the machine manufacturers and the software providers, as well as the users,” says Dr. Harald Weber who leads the technical Euromap working groups. All the large injection moulding machine manufacturers were involved in the development of the new interface in the European umbrella association Euromap. Besides Arburg, companies involved were Engel, Ferromatik Milacron, KraussMaffei, Netstal, Negri Bossi, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag and Wittmann Battenfeld. For MES manufacturers, Euromap 77 offers the big benefit that a machine that supports the standard can be connected via plug-and-play and deliver a reliable basic set of information with which the basic MES functions can be represented, according to Euromap. Euromap 77 is just the beginning. It is already being worked on a further interface – Euromap 79 to establish a secure connection between injection moulding machines and robots. The biggest challenge there is to make some signals available in real-time, so that it does not come to collisions between the machine and the moving robot. Since OPC UA itself is not capable of real-time, it uses Time Sensitive Networks (TSN). However, it will not stop at Euromap 79. The connection of periphery devices is already in the planning, for material flow control and for extrusion facilities. The growing number of interfaces finally requires a uniform, superordinate structure. It is worked on such a structure already, so that the interfaces for different plastics and rubber machinery will follow a unified pattern.

drivers for machine makers, as seen in the

presentations by companies at the recently

concluded Fakuma 2017 show in Germany. Development of an interface As one of the first industries, the European injection moulding machine manufacturers, led by German machine group VDMA, worked on an internationally uniform interface for the exchange of data between injection moulding machines and master computers or MES, known as the Euromap 77. This was presented at the K show in Düsseldorf last year. A demonstration showed how several machines that were set up in different halls exchanged data with each other. Euromap 77 is based on the communications standard OPC Unified Architecture (OPC-UA), which has been established by the non-commercial OPC foundation and has already been used in many industries as the basis for the communication between machines of different manufacturers. The independent industry association also was involved as a consultant in the development of Euromap 77. “The big advantage of OPC UA is that it is manufacturer independent. It is a technology that is available to everyone and is not dependent on a control unit manufacturer. This is a main reason why OPC UA is increasingly becoming the standard of Industry 4.0,” said Jürgen Peters, Head of the software development department at German machine maker Arburg. In September 2017, Euromap 77 released a second Release Candidate, i.e. a sort of beta version, which can

Practical showcase of Industry 4.0 At the Fakuma show, of the ten exhibits at its booth and ten at other booths, machine maker Arburg aligned itself to Industry 4.0, Digital Transformation and Smart Factory with products such as the Arburg host computer system (ALS) as well as the integration of IT solutions into the production process. As a third highlight, Arburg presented a new practical example of Industry 4.0 that was tailored specifically to the requirements of the injection moulding sector. In this regard, customer requirements were integrated into the running injection moulding process for multi-variant high-volume production. A compact turnkey system featuring a vertical Allrounder 375 V produced flexibly tension straps in various lengths, colours and end piece combinations on demand from shot-to-shot – without any need for conversion.

At Fakuma, Arburg showcased a practical example of Industry 4.0 with tension straps “on demand”

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PRA Nov/Dec 2017 Issue