As an industry pioneer, Arburg works intensively and practically with the question of how to use digitalisation to increase production efficiency when processing plastics. In the program arburgXworld, the company has intelligently and clearly collected all of its digital products and services as well as the customer portal of the same name. Besides “smarter” machine technology and innovative solutions in the service area, the central customer portal arburgXworld, with its numerous apps, is given a key position. There are now four packages to that end, which contain various apps and configuration levels.
Arburg sees great potential in digitalisation and offers manifold added value with its digital products and services. These days, many customers use the digital platform worldwide arburgXworld. The customer portal has been well received, and the basic version is free. Practically anyone, from machine operators to managing directors, can individually benefit from the numerous apps during their daily work.
Customer portal: arburgXworld bundles digital services
The customer portal makes work easier all along the value chain of injection moulding. Employees from purchasing, work preparation, and maintenance profit the same as production managers, machine setters, and machine operators. The digital services of arburgXworld come in four packages:
The free basic package includes central apps like MachineCenter, ServiceCenter, SelfService, Shop, and Calendar. They offer an overview of machine fleets, service history, and approaching maintenance dates, for example. Service tickets and spare parts can be ordered round the clock. With the “Configuration” app, the hydraulic Allrounder 270 S Compact can be ordered online under specified conditions.
With the services of the premium package, which incurs a fee, Arburg offers valuable tools to increase machine availability. The app “VirtualControl” the user can simulate the machine controls on a PC or tablet to create data sets, optimise workflows, or train employees. The premium versions of the apps “MachineCenter” and “SelfService” include an expanded digital machine file, as well as a guided solution dialogue and the “video telephone services” feature.
The configuration level “Premium Plus” offers access to Arburg’s interesting calculation tools and detailed knowledge databases, thus significantly reducing the time expenditure for production planning, work preparation, and quality assurance, as well as for product development and sales. The “MachineFinder” helps you select the right clamping and injection unit based on data concerning processes and material technology. “DataDecoder” can be used to display machine data sets legibly and save them as scv or xlsx files.
The “Connect” package offers machine-related expansion options for digital data integration. The optional “MachineDashboard” displays detailed status information and key indicators regarding individual Allrounders. It also includes the visualisation of production workflows using graphic trend diagrams. Based on the production protocol, the data for this are collected and continually processed in the machine via an IIoT Gateway. Customers who use the host computer system ALS will receive along with the ALS dashboard a cross-location overview of the machine fleet and key production indicators that is also mobile and extends outside one’s own company.
Smart Machine: basic standard connectivity
Beyond the digital solutions of the customer portal, Arburg is continually refining the “smartness” of its machines. All new Allrounder come equipped with an IIoT Gateway and have basic connectivity so they can be interconnected with the customer portal or Arburg Remote Service. Digital tools that support the operator when working on the machine include four assistance packages for all new Allrounders in the clamp design and, optionally, Arburg’s filling and plasticising assistant.
Smart Production: collecting and tracing data
Digitised production and online organisation are in demand so that plastic parts can continue to be manufactured efficiently also in the future. Arburg offers solutions for designing series production flexibly, using resources sparingly, and increasing productivity, quality, and availability.
The Arburg host computer system ALS is one of these solutions. This MES, proprietary to Arburg, is designed for detailed production planning and for data acquisition and tracking in injection moulding production. Besides the injection moulding machines of other manufacturers, metalworking machines and peripheral devices can be integrated.
With a production cell around an electrical Allrounder 570 A, Arburg demonstrated at the trade fair K 2019 how glasses can be manufactured “ready-to-wear” in a way that is fully automatic and traceable. To that end, Arburg “Turnkey” Control Module (ATCM) collects all process- and quality-relevant data.
Smart Services: less standstill, more productivity
The digital services of the customer portal arburgXworld include the Apps Shop, SelfService, and ServiceCenter; customers can use the “Configuration” app to configure and order the Allrounder 270 S compact online; and the Arburg Remote Service (ARS) facilitates time-saving online support.
In light of the corona effects, Arburg has also created the option for accepting machines remotely. To that end, Arburg’s sales experts go through the requirement specifications with the customer using an iPad. The customer sees exactly what’s shown on the iPad. This allows all requirements to be checked one by one through a visual approval test. In conclusion, the customer receives an extensive written record along with image documentation before the customer’s Allrounder is finally put into operation on site. This is a time- and cost-efficient alternative and an intriguing option for the future, although it cannot fully replace personal contact and an on-site visit.