There has been countless chatter about Industry 4.0 across the injection molding supply chain, so this October Sumitomo (SHI) Demag (Nuremberg, Germany) will showcase how it is already helping manufacturers stay ahead of the game at K 2016 in Düsseldorf, Germany (Stand D22, Hall 15).
Under the banner Electrified 4.0, five machines will be actively running on the stand, demonstrating the speed and precision already being deployed to produce quality packaging, caps & closures, pharmaceutical, automotive and in-mold decorated (IMD) plastic components. The company to debut a new IntElect platform, plus three injection molding partnership installations developed in collaboration with Sepro, Yushin and Oni.
“There seems to be a general lack of clarity among the plastic molding community about what Industry 4:0 means and where it is heading,” notes UK Managing Director Nigel Flowers. “It’s a bit of an unknown science with no clear end game, and this is holding manufacturers back in terms of defining their Industry 4.0 strategy, we aim to help clarify this.”
Three key elements reinforce the company’s ‘Smart Factory’ vision; Smart Machines equipped with an intelligent and future proof user interface, fully synchronized to external ERP systems, robots and the supply chain; Smart Service, integrating quality assurance and featuring remote diagnostics and maintenance to increase machine availability; and Smart Production, with fully connected systems and a host manufacturing execution system (MES) tracking real time production information.
Putting it into simple terms, Nigel explains: “Industry 4.0 is about increasing productivity and profitability, reducing costs and waste, personalization and traceability, factory connectivity and optimizing energy usage. So, in many respects, molders that have invested in Sumitomo (SHI) Demag machines in the past five years, particularly all-electric machines, are probably more Industry 4.0 advanced than they might perceive.”
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag exhibits at K 2016 will illustrate how upgradable technologies, including automation, and robust process optimization programs are already adding value to businesses and assisting customers to embrace the switch to Industry 4.0.
Two El-Exis SP machines with a clamping force of 2,000 and 4,200 kN will appear on the stand, along with a Systec Servo (2,800 kN) and two all-electric IntElect machines (500kN and 4,500 kN.) The machines are all equipped with an OPC Unified Architecture (OPC/UA) interface, offering broader scope for connectivity and allowing molders to use data to boost production, make operation decisions quickly, and generate reports. The OPC/UA interface is also Euromap 77 compliant.
Both El-Exis SP machines on show will demonstrate packaging applications. The El-Exis SP 200 is being plugged as the most rapid IML exhibit at K 2016, producing four high quality decorated cups in less than two seconds. Demonstrating the production of thin-walled packaging is the El-Exis SP 420, producing four polypropylene trays in a 2+2 stack mould, featuring a high-speed Sepro side-extraction robot.
Showcasing sophisticated IMD techniques is the Systec Servo 280, which will simultaneously create and decorate a vehicle door trim. Rather than using a full-surface cohesive and printed plastic film, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag will demonstrate its advanced molding and decoration capabilities, working with a porous wooden structure. For electronic monitoring of the mold temperature, the machine includes the activeMouldWater module. The machine also offers activeMotionControl technology.
Representing the smallest and largest clamping force of the all-electric IntElect range, the company will launch a 500kN model aimed at the automotive sector. Meanwhile, the largest model—the IntElect 450— will produce crystal-clear headlight covers in a highly efficient electric production cell, harnessing the precision, dynamics and energy efficiency already widely used by pharmaceutical and caps & closures injection molders that have switched to all-electric for the production of intricate components.
“Electrified 4.0 at K 2016 is probably the most comprehensive exhibit we have staged to-date, covering all of the key applications. Instead of adding to the hype, we’re providing practical examples on how Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is already assisting molders to optimize future production processes in the context of Industry 4.0,” added Nigel.