When the machine chats

When the machine chats

The cable specialist MD Elektronik knows how important digital data streams are and equipped two new KraussMaffei machines with socialProduction for production monitoring - even the acceptance could be carried out remotely.  

6,000 employees worldwide, supplier of all major OEMs, 400,000 kilometers of cable processed every year: MD Elektronik is a heavyweight in its industry and a typical hidden champion, which even manufactures connectors and housings in the injection molding process. The TechCenter in Waldkraiburg recently received two all-electric PX machines (81 and 121), which are equipped with the socialProduction product line.

socialProduction combines the advantages of social media with state-of-the-art technologies of production monitoring and with its three modules productionMonitor, processSupport and liveCare socialProduction offers the corresponding options. Machines and operators communicate, for example, in a separate chat room. productionMonitor provides a quick overview of the fleet including key figures such as order progress and remaining time. If alarms occur or parameter changes are required, the machine automatically sends a message to the chat, whereby a digital shift book is created, which documents important events beyond the shift change. processSupport provides a deeper insight.

Here the production process is monitored by a self-learning process, which is based on a complex algorithm and the process expertise of KraussMaffei. The liveCare product analyses the condition of machine components in order to be able to detect maintenance requirements early and plan them accordingly. Particularly interesting in light of the energy problems: liveCare supports the user in determining the most appropriate time for an exchange.

Customer Advisor Stefan Betzing (KraussMaffei, left) made Peter Krause (MD Elektronik) aware of socialProduction. Photo: KraussMaffei

Peter Krause, who is responsible for the purchase and teach-in of new machines at MD Elektronik, currently uses the production monitoring and anomaly detection of socialProduction. This was extremely helpful during the sampling. At the company's request one PX received several special modifications to the hardware, by doing this the process had to be monitored for proper functioning and stability. Peter Krause was able to track online over a longer period how the machine, which was still at KraussMaffei Automation in Schwaig, produced smoothly. One of the two PX machines will be transferred in the future to Chotěšov, Czech Republic and also remain within his digital field of vision there.

MD Elektronik manufactures very different components, varying in weight between 0.03 to 120 grams, which are created in molds with up to 32 cavities. The smallest items are insulating fittings which are installed in connectors between inner and outer conductor. The machine feature APC plus, which is also available for the PX, is recommended for such lightweight components. It ensures a constant shot weight by individually adapting the switchover point and holding pressure for each individual cycle. APC plus will also be important for the increased processing of recycled material in the future because here batch fluctuations are more pronounced than with new materials, which influences the melt viscosity and therefore the shot weight.

KraussMaffei's Digital & Service Solutions (DSS) business unit develops solutions for digital transformation of plastics processing. liveCare is one of the latest products.