At Plastpol 2022 from 24 to 27 May in Kielce, Poland, ENGEL will be presenting smart exhibits in Hall F (Stands 3 and 4) to show how important the automation and digitalization of injection molding processes are – not only for productivity, but also for improved energy and resource efficiency.
ENGEL is premiering a production cell with an integrated ENGEL easix articulated robot. Lunch boxes made of polypropylene are being produced with the help of robots on an ENGEL duo 2460/400 injection molding machine. The mold comes from a local mold manufacturing partner, A.D.Tech from Ozorków in Poland. Thanks to its dual-platen clamping unit, the duo combines high output on a comparatively small footprint.
Where ENGEL delivers the two systems, the machine and the robot, from a single source as an integrated system solution, both control units share a common database. In this case, the easix articulated robot can tune its movements to precisely reflect those of the machine. This means that the robot can start to move in while the mold is still opening and reduce the handling time by doing so.
First Time at Plastpol: ENGEL easix
The robot and injection molding machine control units follow a uniform control logic. This makes programming and operating easix articulated robots a totally easy experience for the operator. Anyone who has already worked with ENGEL viper linear robots, will immediately feel at home when it comes to operating the easix articulated robot as the rotation motion is converted into linear motion.
The exhibit draws on the iQ weight control, iQ clamp control, iQ melt control and iQ flow control smart assistance systems to demonstrate why digitalizing the injection molding process is so important for greater sustainability.
Working together, iQ weight control and iQ flow control compensate for fluctuations in the injection molding process, reducing the number of rejects by doing so. iQ weight control detects fluctuations in the melt volume and material viscosity, and adjusts the injection profile, switchover point and holding pressure to match. iQ flow control compensates for temperature differences in the individual cooling circuits to ensure constant temperature control conditions. Therefore, repeatability and energy efficiency are boosted.
iQ clamp control and iQ melt control also ensure high product quality across the board. While iQ clamp control determines the optimum clamping force on the basis of mold breathing and automatically adjusts for this, iQ melt control adapts the plasticizing time to reflect the current conditions.
Smart assistance is an essential characteristic of the smart factory. And the modular approach of ENGEL's inject 4.0 program makes it very easy for plastics processors to grasp the opportunities that digitalization offers in this field. Each smart assistance system offers great benefits individually.
The All-electric E-Motion Series
As its second exhibit, ENGEL is presenting an ENGEL e-motion 740/160 injection molding machine in Kielce producing plant pots made of PP in a cycle time of just four seconds. The partner for the mold and high-speed automation for this exhibit is Brink Automation (Harskamp, Netherlands).
The all-electric e-motion series stands for particularly energy-efficient, high-performance injection molding. All main movements in this sophisticated machine solution are servo-electrically powered. And for this exhibit, too, the iQ weight control, iQ clamp control and iQ melt control smart assistance systems additionally boost production efficiency.
Another product from the inject 4.0 program, e-connect.monitor with the module for ball screws in high-performance electrical machines, is also set to grab the attention of trade show visitors. This predictive condition monitoring system lets molders monitor process-critical machine components during ongoing operation. As a result of the forecast on the remaining service life of the components, unplanned machine downtime can be minimized, and maintenance scheduled in good time to maximize machinery availability.
Processing Technologies and Digitalization Solutions
In addition to injection molding machines and robots, many processing technologies and digitalization solutions at ENGEL are in-house developments. In one Expert Corner of its stand, ENGEL is highlighting the benefits this offers for injection molders. As a system supplier, ENGEL bears the overall responsibility for the production cell, and this includes system components which are implemented in collaboration with partners.
Operators can turn to ENGEL as a central point of contact to accelerate project engineering, start-up and service calls for manufacturing cells in active production.
As a long-standing partner, TMA Automation, based in Gdynia, Poland, is also exhibiting at Plastpol 2022. One of the automation specialist's focuses is on in-mold labelling processes in the mid-range performance segment. TMA Automation became a member of the ENGEL Group in March this year.
Lecture on Sustainability and The Circular Economy
In line with its long-standing tradition, ENGEL Polska is inviting students to a presentation at its booth at 12 o'clock on each day of the Plastpol fair. This year, one focus is on the topics of sustainability and the circular economy
For many years, ENGEL has been one of the strong drivers of the circular economy for plastics. This is expressed equally in the form of ENGEL's strong social commitment and innovative technological strength. The aim of the research and development work is to open up a wider range of applications for processed plastic waste. One approach to doing this relies on smart assistance systems which reliably identify and compensate for fluctuations in the raw material, even when processing recycled material. The digitalization of injection molding is essential for a value-preserving circular economy for plastics.Source: ENGEL