"The provision of the new injection molding machine happened at exactly the right time and is a strong symbol of our many years of excellent collaboration with KraussMaffei. Companies have a demand for digitalized and automated production – and this is a demand that we can satisfy. We will work together with our partners from business and research to further enhance our expertise in this direction going forward. This will happen at our model factory in Würzburg, which is under construction," says Professor Martin Bastian, Institute Director at the SKZ.
Intelligent and sustainable production is the backbone of any company. To achieve this, it is essential that data be transparent and traceable throughout the entire process. Requirements are becoming more stringent, both for the efficiency of the injection molding process and for quality. Companies are relying more and more on the connectivity of their systems and of the associated peripherals. "It is a basic requirement for inline-enabled quality parameters to be recorded, such as geometry, mold cavity pressure, weight and the component-specific heat pattern right after demolding. Recording these parameters makes it possible to intervene in production efficiently as needed. Based on the acquired machine and process data, we can support companies in optimizing their processes," states Georg Schwalme, Head of the Injection Molding and Additive Production unit at the SKZ.
Perfectly positioned for the digital future of injection molding:Prof. Dr. Martin Bastian (SKZ), Frank Burkhardt and Martin Würtele (both KraussMaffei) as well as Georg Schwalme, Christian Deubel and Anika Fuhrmann from the SKZ (from left to right.)
All-electric PX 160 acting as central data platform
KraussMaffei closely collaborates with its customers to provide requirements-based solutions in this field. Their systems, which are developed in house, ensure the right technological conditions for the digital networking of production processes – for any and all processes and manufacturers. The all-electric PX 160-750 injection molding machine provided by KraussMaffei (clamping force of 1,600 kN) is equipped with all the technological innovations necessary to collect essential production data in plastics processing and to make this data available for customer-specific evaluation.
“Based on the acquired machine and process data of quality parameters such as geometry, mold cavity pressure or component-specific heat pattern , we can support companies in optimizing their processes."
The machine thus acts as the central hub for exchanging all process-related data within the entire plant system. "The injection molding cell in the SKZ provides us with an important test and presentation environment for digitalization. It also gives us an environment that is similar to the real application for the purpose of integrating technologies and software – for any manufacturer," explains Martin Würtele, Director Innovation & Basic Development at KraussMaffei.
Along the entire value chain
Thus, at the SKZ, an Industry 4.0 platform is being created for plastics processing companies along the entire value chain as part of the project named "DigInject." "We are acting as an important catalyst here and want to demonstrate, under approximate production conditions, what we can achieve today using the technologies of tomorrow. In this effort, we are being supported by a group of renowned companies," says Schwalme.