As a pioneer in the industry, Arburg has long been intensively involved in the important future topic of digitalisation and is continuously developing its digital products and services. As part of the focus on “arburgXworld”, numerous new digital features and smart injection moulding applications for further increasing production efficiency will be presented at Fakuma 2021. These include Gestica control system assistance functions for optimising cycle time and energy requirements, the “AnalyticsCenter” customer portal app for process analysis, and the traceable production of designer glasses.
At the Arburg stand, trade visitors will also have the opportunity to receive personalised advice on smart machines, smart production, and smart services.
New apps and features added to the customer portal
Meanwhile, 2,200 customers or no less than 6,000 user use the “arburgXworld” customer portal, which is available in 18 languages. A brand new and unique feature in the field of injection moulding is the new “Customer Upload” function in the “MachineCenter” app. With this premium service, customers can now map their horizontal and vertical value chain themselves and also integrate non-Arburg equipment such as test bays, temperature control units, injection moulding machines from other manufacturers, and inventory into “arburgXworld” on an entirely individual basis. Documents and links can be stored for each piece of equipment, for example to integrate important information and dashboards. In addition, notes can be made for each item of equipment to simplify communication in production.
The “AnalyticsCenter” analysis tool is specially designed for the documentation of mould acceptance tests, trials, and injection moulding processes. A well-structured dashboard uses charts and trend diagrams to display the production data of machines networked via an IIoT gateway, and provides a quick overview of important indicators – either online or via a mobile device. From Fakuma 2021 onwards, a corresponding tutorial will be able.
“arburgXworld” users now also have the option of activating the 4.0 assistance packages via the customer portal or directly in the control system and testing them free of charge for 182 days.
Gestica: Assistance and control functions offer added value
The focus of further developments in the Gestica control system is on additional smart assistants and adaptive regulation concepts that create unique added value. Two new assistance functions will be presented at Fakuma 2021. With the new “aXw Control CycleAssist”, the control system knows the programmed cycle. The function graphically compares the current times of each cycle step with previously defined reference values. Unproductive time segments can be displayed with a click. This enables the user to reduce the cycle time and makes high productivity programmable in advance.
The “aXw Control EnergyAssist” function knows when production is scheduled to start and when it will end. This means that the heating up or deactivation of the cylinder module and mould can be controlled automatically to ensure a uniform, energy-saving process. Another new development is the “Arburg FlowPilot”, which combines a cooling water manifold close to the mould with temperature and flow control. This allows interference variables such as increasingly clogged filters, deposits in cooling channels, and kinked lines to be reliably detected.
The Gestica control system incorporates all of Arburg’s experience in the development of hardware and software. New assistance functions and features will be presented at Fakuma 2021.
Smart injection moulding applications
Visitors will also be able to learn about the added value of “intelligent” features in a very practical way at various exhibits. An electric Allrounder 520 A, for example, which produces “green” sunglasses, is equipped with two assistance functions. The “aXw Control FillAssist” creates a mould filling study online by importing STL data and directly adopts the injection process parameters that are calculated. This way, Gestica instantly recognises different components and their properties. Thanks to “aXw Control MeltAssist”, the control system identifies the built-in cylinder module via a chip and uses this data to automatically calculate parameters such as utilisation of the plasticising unit and dwell times. One hundred percent traceability is ensured by the SCARA system Arburg Turnkey Control Module (ATCM), which collects and collates the process data and results of the quality inspection.
With its bionically optimised pressure control, “aXw Control PressurePilot” makes mould filling more consistent and improves the balancing. Burr formation and underfilling are prevented by adapted switching to holding pressure. This feature is used for the production of blood tubes on a Packaging version of the electric Allrounder 630 A.
A 570 E Golden Electric Allrounder will be used to demonstrate how an LSR dosing unit can be integrated into the control system by means of digitalisation. The connection is established via OPC UA (Euromap 82.3). In this way, relevant input parameters, exchange of material pressure, colour and additive settings as well as remaining run times are communicated transparently and conveniently.