When Stöckl-Schmaus installed its first KraussMaffei CX machine approximately 10 years ago, operation was still slow-paced. The KM 65/380 CX made the beginning for expansion and modernization of the machine pool in Pfeffenhausen in Lower Bavaria. In each of the following years one or two more were added. Today, production includes 15 state-of-the-art injection molding machines in the clamping force range from 500 to 3500 kN; of those injection molding machines, 13 are of the hydraulic CX series. "We think long and hard about our investments and prudently expand our machine pool, so that we will be able to produce cost-effectively in the future, too. In KraussMaffei, we have found a reliable partner that provides us with excellent support for this," says Simone Schmaus, who has been managing the company since 2014 as an authorized agent.
Productivity significantly increasedSimone Schmaus, authorized agent managing the plastics processor Stöckl-Schmaus, is delighted with the results of the new CX injection molding machines and automation from KraussMaffei
Step towards automationFast alle KraussMaffei CX-Maschinen sind mit einem LRX-Roboter und /oder dem Angusspicker SPX ausgestattet.
25 percent of cycle time saved
In 2010 the company also began optimizing the production processes and certifying in accordance with ISO 9001:2008. "Doing so enabled us to increase productivity significantly," Schmaus adds. Another important step toward increased production was the first use of an automation solution from KraussMaffei, an LRX linear robot. "At that time we finished processing all the components manually. The use of an LRX robot was completely new to us and was not exactly self-explanatory. KraussMaffei supported us from the beginning with the configuration, programming and implementation. That was an important learning process," explains Schmaus, the authorized agent. Thus, the first trial run would turn into serial production. So now almost all KraussMaffei CX machines are equipped with an LRX robot and/or the SPX sprue picker. The investment in automation has paid off. "By doing this, we significantly reduced the cycle times, indeed by approximately 25 percent," says Simone Schmaus.
Modular design and fast mold change
Manufacturing at Stöckl-Schmaus is now done in three shifts per day. At the same time, frequent product change-overs necessitate high flexibility of the entire machine pool. "The modular concept of the hydraulic CX machines from KraussMaffei is very accommodating to us in this regard. The large selection of clamping unit and injection unit combinations as well as the selection of various platen sizes and spacing options provide us with high potential for efficient production," explains Simone Schmaus. The CX is appealing also when suitable molds are being selected and used or if rapid mold changes are involved. In addition, all machines are equipped with the KraussMaffei BluePower servo drive technology. This reduced the energy consumption of the hydraulic drives by 50 percent.
Modular and flexibleThe CX series by KraussMaffei
All machines have APC
All KraussMaffei machines at Stöckl-Schmaus are also equipped with the intelligent machine function APC (Adaptive Process Control). "I was excited right from the start. The APC function noticeably stabilizes our processes. This way the usual batch fluctuations can be reliably leveled out. Recycled material can be reliably processed, too," explains Schmaus. In total, this has significantly reduced scrap rates.
New LRX small robots in field testing
Thanks to these good experiences in the past, Stöckl-Schmaus got on board as a field test customers for the new generation of LRX small robots. "The new LRX small robot is ideal for our requirements. The revised, decentralized control cabinet concept provides us with a lot of free space for maintenance and service in production," Schmaus points out. Another highlight is the new digital vacuum monitoring with integrated air-saving function. This regulates the compressed air supply much like an automatic start/stop mechanism and creates only as much of a vacuum as is needed in the cycle. Altogether a savings of up to 90 percent of the compressed air requirement is reached. Consistently modernized and then automated: With the support of KraussMaffei, the small-to-medium-sized company has also successfully adapted to the field of automation of injection molding processes along with further processing.