当前位置：首页 > 资讯
Global plastic auto parts producer Novares plans to invest €6m to extend the capacity of its production site in the Zrenjanin Free Zone in northern Serbia.
The French group, formerly known as Mécaplast – Key Plastics, launched a plant at the site north of the capital Belgrade in 2012 and now employs a 170-strong workforce there. Its local output was originally aimed at supplying Fiat Serbia, which is located in the Kragujevac Free Zone, which now accounts for most parts production.
Today, the plant also serves the French automotive group PSA in Slovakia and Iran, Dacia – Renault in Romania and the Jaguar Land Rover group in Austria.
Rising demand has prompted the Paris-based moulded component supplier expects to add a new 3,200m2 production hall costing around €2.2m with the remains of the project investment going on new moulding machinery and other equipment.
Initially, Novares will employ a further 25 workers at Zrenjanin and expects to have 280 by 2020, according to Serb media reports.
Novares is to take advantage of additional development space in the Zrenjanin zone’s newly open East business complex. The firm’s new facility will provide it with an additional site of more than two hectares of land.
The Serb free trade zone not only enables companies to import and export freely, but exempts it from payment of taxes and customs duties and allows it free profit transfer. Resident companies are reported to be able to save up to 40% of their business costs.
Novares group is in 21 countries and operates 42 production plants, five technical centres, seven skill centres and 17 customer service units worldwide. In 2017, it attracted revenue worth around €1.2 billion.
As the digitalisation process increasingly gains ground in plastic processing, a key issue for processors everywhere is what to do about older machinery that functions perfectly well but lacks the digital power required today.
An important element of Industry 4.0 is the ability to apply digitalisation to the production environment by adding more intelligence into the existing process. While converters often assume that effective implementation can only be achieved with expensive upgrades of existing production lines, this is not necessarily the case, said Howard Forryan, Product Market Specialist at Harting UK, speaking to Plastics News Europe at the recent PDM event in Telford, UK.
Harting, a Germany-based family-owned connectivity & networks solutions company with offices and production plants around the world, has come up with a digital retrofit approach that makes it possible to “smarten” up existing processes for minimal cost over a short period of time, resulting in a fast return on investment and immediate productivity gains.
According to Forryan, digital retrofit provides four different ways to improve production processes, increase cost savings and extend the lifetime of different types of machinery: legacy machine protocol conversion; condition monitoring / energy measurement; asset management; and predictive maintenance.
“Central machine monitoring and process optimisation offer the best way to ensure that production lines and their various parts operate more effectively and economically. Many machines in well-established production lines, which may be between 15 and 30 years old, can still perform their main functional tasks successfully,” he said.
“But they are much less efficient than newer machine, as they lack the computing power, memory capacity, and the ability to communicate with their modern equivalents that are all required today.”
Injection moulding machines with the Euromap 15 protocol, for example, cannot be directly connected to a Manufacturing Execution System without expensive annual custom software licensing charges, and in many cases still require time-consuming individual programming by an operator.
“MICA Euromap 15” variant converts the legacy Euromap 15 TCP/IP machine operating communications protocol into OPC UA.
Harting has developed an edge computing device in the form of a digitally retrofittable IP67 package with Linux-based open-source software, called MICA (Modular Industrial Computing Architecture).
Specifically for injection moulding machines, the company has developed the “MICA Euromap 15” variant, which converts the legacy Euromap 15 TCP/IP machine operating communications protocol into OPC UA. In addition, it offers the potential to provide IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) web enablement and access to “Cloud” services for Big Data analysis or virtualisation, via an optional downloadable MQTT container.
As a result, the “MICA Euromap 15” provides a customisable interface to the plant MES/ERP, configurable with any specific operational software.
Forryan said that Harting UK first implemented the devices across its own in-house production injection moulding lines. Integrating IIoT/MES accessing edge computing devices directly with legacy machine allowed machine process parameters to be remotely monitored and modified more quickly via centralised factory control stations, reducing downtime and enabling manpower to be much more effectively employed. Machine operators could even monitor and affect the process of the production line from off-site, via a smartphone or suitable tablet device. “The return-on-investment payback period was 6-12 months,” he asserted.
Gary Powner, managing director at Omega Plastics (L)
UK plastics manufacturer Omega Plastics has invested in an all-electric injection moulding machine from Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, in a bid to save energy costs and the environment.
In an 18 April statement, the company, which has sites across North East England, said pressure is mounting on plastics processors to carefully consider what equipment to invest in for the future.
According to Gary Powner, managing director at Omega Plastics, the investment makes sense despite a premium of 20% compared to hydraulic machinery.
“When you then subsequently save between 40% and 70% on energy costs, it doesn’t take long to recoup the additional cost and start making further savings,” he noted.
This is Omega Plastics’ second all electric machine from Sumitomo (SHI) Demag and it will replace an older hydraulic machine at its factory in Blyth, one of three facilities the company operates.
The company bought its first Sumitomo Demag IntElect machine three years ago.
In addition to that, Omega Plastics has also invested in clean tech, all electric machinery at its factory in Hartlepool.
In June last year, it installed a new 50-tonne injection moulding machine manufactured by Fanuc at the Hartlepool site, to increase medical production by 25%.
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has reported a significant shift in the market over the last three years as its customers move from traditional hydraulic machines to more environmentally-friendly alternatives like its Systec ‘Servo’ hydraulic option and the IntElect all-electric machine.
With 11 exhibits at the significantly enlarged BOY’s booth and additional 6 BOY injection moulding machines at the booths of its partner companies, BOY willpresent more machines than ever before at K 2019.
Also BOY makes use of the K 2019 platform to present its new technologies and developments to a large audience. For example, BOY is going to present its new plastification technology Servo-Plast for the first time at the K 2019 as well as a new alternative positioning option for its successful Linear-Handling LR 5 on an injection moulding machine. The result is the saving of valuable footprint.
Bernd Fischer, BOY Area Manager Application Technology and Service, pinpointed the prospects for the upcoming highlight of the plastics industry: "During the eight days of this trade fair, our focus is on the increasing automation and networking of injection moulding machines and peripherals.”
“To demonstrate these digitization possibilities, we will present a 2K hard / soft application. With the active participation of the trade visitors the interaction of injection moulding machine, Handling, other peripherals and a Cobot with collaborating robot technology is rounded off in an impressive barista show. Both, the production data as well as the individual key data of the ‘delightful’ trade fair application can be traced back at any time according to Industry 4.0. The ‘Internet of Things’ is thus increasingly finding its way into our plastics processing industry.”
The issue of sustainability will be another focus of the BOY-trade fair presentation in Dusseldorf. Bio-based and recycled materials are processed on BOY injection moulding machines in five different applications.
In addition to the technical innovations, the specialist for injection moulding machines up to 1250 kN clamping force based in Neustadt-Fernthal, will demonstrate its core competencies in the overmoulding technology, in micro-injection moulding as well as in the processing of Elastomers and Silicones.
At CHINAPLAS 2019, WINTEC, a member of the ENGEL Group, highlights and showcases two machines that exhibit how high quality combines with the high efficiency. Customers can witness WINTEC’s product lines of a servo-hydraulic and an all-electric injection moulding machines which cover a broad spectrum of applications.
t-win: High energy efficiency and sensitive mould protection
The servo-hydraulic injection moulding machines of the t-win series are offered with clamping forces from 4,500 to 17,500 kN, which means they are particularly ideal to produce large or three-dimensionally complex components.
During CHINAPLAS, a t-win 13500-7000 injection moulding machine with a clamping force of 1350t impressively demonstrates the performance of the series by producing auto lamp housings made from polypropylene. The shot weight is 1,200 grams in a 2 cavity mold, while each cycle takes less than 70 seconds.
The t-win machines are equipped with the servowin servo-hydraulics as standard, which reduces energy consumption by more than 60% in comparison with conventional hydraulic injection moulding machines.
Other advantages that ensure a high degree of energy efficiency include operating point optimisation and the dual-platen design of the clamping unit with low moving masses and exposed tie-bars.
The dual-platen clamping unit was developed in Europe and guarantees precise mould guiding and maximum platen parallelism throughout the machine’s long service life, which leads to sensitive mould protection, outstanding dynamics and short dry cycle times. Parallel auxiliary movements such as the ejector, core pulls, or jets, are optional features.
The t-win 13500-7000 at CHINAPLAS is equipped with a viper 40 from ENGEL's linear robot series. The viper removes the finished parts from the mould and places them on the conveyor belt.
All-electric e-win for high precision and process stability
In the injection moulding machines of the e-win series, all machine movements are servo-electrical driven. The precision of movements ensures stable processes and a consistently high component quality, guaranteeing a fast return on investment.
The e-win series also allows for shorter cycle times. These are realized by the parallel movements of the drive axles as well as the breath-taking acceleration, up to 22 m/s2, of the injection axle.
Additional factors that contribute to efficiency are the low power consumption and the compact design. With clamping forces from 500 kN to 2,800 kN, the machines are used in a wide range of applications, where clean, high precision and quality processes are required.
At CHINAPLAS, an e-win 1000-170 with a clamping force of 100t is used to produce flip-top caps from polypropylene with a cycle time of 8.5 seconds.
Insights into intelligent manufacturing
As a member of the ENGEL Group, WINTEC is committed to the advanced concepts of the group. During CHINAPLAS, its exhibits operational data from the booth is transferred online and displayed in a manufacturing intelligence room in a remote location.
Via internet connection with real time machine data, WINTEC presents its leading concepts of future factory automation and Industry 4.0 readiness and demonstrates the benefits brought by digitization in manufacturing.
Rapid on-site service for high availability
WINTEC machines are designed and engineered in Europe and produced in China. Opened in 2014, the plant in Changzhou is tied into the global quality management of the ENGEL Group. Consequently, the same strict quality standards apply there as in all ENGEL plants worldwide.
In addition to quality, service performance is a decisive factor and affects the availability of the injection moulding machines. With a local dedicated service team and an in-house spare parts supply, WINTEC offers industry leading after sales support.
WINTEC’s Changzhou plant is currently being further expanded by doubling the manufacturing footprint to allow and cater for the steadily increased demand of their successful injection molding machines. The impressive construction works started end of 2018 and will be completed this year.
During the run-up conference held for K 2019, ENGEL unveiled its focuses of appearance at the upcoming trade show. One of these is circular economy. Dr. Stefan Engleder, the CEO of the ENGEL Group, emphasises the huge importance of this topic: “It is my personal concern to contribute to establishing a circular economy for the plastics industry, which bears a global responsibility that can only be met by companies working together. I therefore welcome the focus on circular economy at the most important international industry event. K will give this subject even more impetus.” According to Engleder, one of the priority tasks on the way to the circular economy is to open up a broader range of applications for processed plastic waste. At K 2019, five exhibits at three locations will demonstrate ENGEL's contribution as an injection moulding machine manufacturer and system solutions provider. The focus is on processing recycled material, improving process stability, and the trend towards design for recycling. Greater process stability, wider use of recycled materials “The stability of the injection moulding processes is key to being able to use recycled materials also for higher quality products,” explained Günther Klammer, Head of Plasticizing Systems division and Circular Economy expert at ENGEL. Recycled material is naturally subject to greater batch variations than virgin material. In order to significantly reduce its influence on the process, the intelligent iQ weight control assistance system will be used at ENGEL's stand to process 100% recycled ABS. The software from ENGEL's inject 4.0 program ensures a constant melt volume during injection and thus a consistently high product quality, even with strongly fluctuating raw material quality. Increasing recycled materials in sandwich-moulded components One further approach to using recycled materials more widely is sandwich components with a core of recycled material embedded in virgin material. The aim is, on the one hand, to design increasing numbers of products for this type of two-component production, while, on the other, increasing the proportion of recycled material in the sandwich structures. The proportion of recycled material that can be used in the core is essentially determined by the geometry of the moulded part and the flow pattern in the cavity. The transport boxes that ENGEL will be producing at its stand using the ENGEL skinmelt process pose a particular challenge in this respect. Despite this complex component geometry, ENGEL still succeeds in achieving a very high level of recycled content of over 50% with the skinmelt process. What is also important is the grade purity ensuring that the sandwich-moulded products can also be easily recycled at the end of their service life. ENGEL is exclusively using polypropylene for the manufacture of the transport boxes; the recycled material here originates from post-consumer collection. ENGEL collaborates with Der Grüne Punkt (The green dot), Duales System Deutschland (DSD, Germany), to this end. Considering recycling as early as in product development “Designing for recycling” means that the subsequent recycling process is taken into account as early as in the development of a new product. Further examples where this is already working well can be found in the packaging industry and in composite lightweight design. Wherever look in composite lightweight design, thermoplastic-based solutions point the way to the circular economy. In the ENGEL organomelt process, fibre-reinforced prepregs with a thermoplastic matrix such as organic sheets and tapes are overmoulded with a thermoplastic from the matrix material's material group. The entire composite component consists only of thermoplastic and glass fibres, and has the potential to be recycled at the end of its useful life. At its stand, ENGEL will be demonstrating the production-ready process with a demanding automotive application. Giving fishing nets a second life Meanwhile, in the outdoor exhibition area between Halls 10 and 16, post-consumer waste will be converted into miniature waste containers on an ENGEL victory injection moulding machine. Erema's recycling pavilion will be located in the immediate vicinity. Another victory machine will produce card boxes from recycled fishing nets there. The polyamide recycled material comes from Chile, where three American machine manufacturers have set up collection points for end-of-life nets. In Chile, the nets are recycled on an Erema system and processed into skateboards and sun glasses on ENGEL injection moulding machines. The project proves how interdisciplinary and international interaction can also be used to close material cycles where there are no comprehensive collection systems to date. “Circular Economy is a worldwide challenge with different regional focuses”, pinpointed Engleder. “With our experience from Europe, we can contribute to people taking the first steps towards circular economy in other regions of the world, such as South America or Asia. The closer enterprises cooperate along the value chain, the better this works,” he concluded.
Ford prototype sub-frame
Canadian-headquartered automotive parts supplier Magna has opened a new European composites centre of excellence in Esslingen near Stuttgart, Germany for development of lightweight structural parts and exterior components in “advanced materials” for European automotive OEMs.
Equipment in the centre includes a new 2,300-tonnes clamping force V?Duo vertical version of the V-Duo 2-platen injection moulding machine from Engel Austria that can compression mould fibre reinforced thermosetting plastic materials and sheet moulding compounds (SMC).
Magna refers specifically to applications such as under-hood sub-frames, door panels and vehicle hoods. These applications have been so far developed at Magna’s composites centre of excellence set up in 2010 in Concord, Ontario. They can now be additionally developed for European OEMs in the new Esslingen centre.
One example of such applications mentioned by Magna is the carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) hood of the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V coupe and CTS-V sedan, produced at Magna’s Polycon Industries subsidiary since August 2015 on a Siempelkamp press in Century Tool & Gauge tooling.
Barrday Advanced Material Solutions supplied the unidirectional (UD) CF epoxide prepreg used in the hood’s production. The application received the body exterior category fourth place in the SPE Central Europe autom0tive awards.
Another example mentioned by Magna is ongoing investigation with Ford into feasibility of mass production of CFRP vehicle under-hood sub?frames.
Among “several European automakers already pursuing joint development projects at the new centre”, Magna says that while one is considering sub-frames and another rear vehicle modules, there is also OEM interest in developing Class A paint-ready surface quality “body-in-white” exterior panels.
Plastics News Europe has seen Magna displaying an example of the Cadillac CFRP car hoods in Europe at e.g. the IAA 2015 automotive industry fair and the 2016 VDI plastics in automotive engineering congress.
Andrew Swikoski, composites global product line director at Magna Exteriors told PNE at IAA 2015 that the hoods are compression moulded in epoxide (EP) resin impregnated preforms (prepregs) with overall 10min cycle time including 8min cure. The hoods weigh 25?30% less than aluminium hoods, while providing increased stiffness and improved aerodynamics, Swikoski told PNE.
In the prototype CF-SMC sub-frame prototype developed by Magna with Ford in 1Q 2017, 45 stamped steel parts have been replaced by two adhesively bonded and riveted moulded parts and four metal parts, reducing weight by 34% (9.3kg) and saving 30-40% on tooling costs. The sub?frame would typically provide a place for attachment of the engine and wheels, while contributing rigidity and crash management.
The CF-SMC part has been made from 25mm long chopped 50k industrial grade Zoltek Panex 35 carbon fibre in a modified version of Magna’s EpicBlend CFS-Z SMC vinyl ester resin based SMC.
Six EpicBlend CFS-Z pre-preg fabric patches, placed between the SMC charges and compression co-moulded to the CFS-Z SMC, provide for additional tailored reinforcement to selected areas of the sub-frame where higher mechanical properties are needed.
Swikoski also revealed that the SMC is also used to overmould stainless steel sleeve inserts at body mount locations, that the part includes integrated composite crush cans and that energy absorbing front horns are also produced in CF-SMC. Undirectional (UD) fibre reinforced laminates applied on both sides of the sub-frame provide additional selective reinforcement.
The Bioplastics Award ceremony, which will take place this year for the twelfth time, is an annual highpoint in the global bioplastics calendar. Fondly known as the “Bioplastics Oskar”, the Award is presented each year during the European Bioplastics Conference in honour of the latest achievements, innovations and successes of manufacturers, processors, brand owners, and users of bioplastic materials. This year’s conference will be held on Nov 28-29 in Berlin, Germany. The Awards are an initiative of bioplastics Magazine and presented by that publication’s founder and editor, Michael Thielen.
Entries were submitted from around the world for careful evaluation by the five judges hailing from the academic world, the press and industry associations from America, Europa and Asia, who have now announced the shortlist of finalists for the Award.
To be eligible for consideration, the proposed company, product, or service must have been developed or have been on the market during 2016 or 2017.
This year’s final contenders, in no order of ranking, are:
TU/e Eindhoven University of Technology (the Netherlands): Fully biobased pedestrian bridge
A fully biobased pedestrian bridge has been installed at the TU/e campus in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The bridge, the first of its kind, spans the Dommel river and is wholly made from biobased materials. Strength is provided by the flax and hemp fibres which are used to reinforce the biobased epoxy resin, around an internal core of PLA bio-foam. The PLA foam is used as lost formwork for the structural biobased composite skin. Weight was an important consideration, as the bridge was transported in its entirety to its final location and put in place in one piece.
After a successful load test for the building inspection of the city of Eindhoven (5,0 kN/m2), the bridge was installed during the Dutch Design week in October 2016. The project was the result of a research collaboration between the universities in Eindhoven and Delft, the Centre for Biobased Economy and NPSP, a specialist producer of sustainable composites. Using High Tech Glass sensor technology, the bridge is now monitored during use.
Biobrush - Bioplastic toothbrush made of wood scrapsBiobrush turns wood scraps into toothbrushes. The handle, as well as the packaging, are made from bioplastics based on cellulose made of the wood waste from sustainable forestry. The bristles are made of 100 % renewable polyamide: the main component is castor oil, without harmful emollients, the colour masterbatches are tailored for use with bioplastics. The toothbrushes are clearly designed and, in line with the company’s ambition to make sustainable products accessible to as many people as possible, are available at a fair price. The toothbrush body and packaging are biodegradable; the bristles are not.
MAIP (Italy): I am NATURE: the first Bio-Technopolymer
I am NATURE is a special PHBH based compound, available in tailor made grades and suitable for high temperature applications. It offers a sustainable solution preserving the technical properties of a traditional thermoplastic material. For a new series of switch cover frames, ABB was looking for a bioplastic material that could replace engineering polymers such as ABS or PC/ ABS. In a joint development, ABB and Maip created a special I am NATURE grade able to meet all the requirements of the component. The new compound exhibits properties such as high dimensional stability, thermal resistance (about 130 °C), superior UV and light resistance, easy colourability and easy mouldability in multi cavity moulds. Easy processability and specific electric features such as, for example, a glow wire of 650 °C at 2 mm. Exceptional scratch resistance was obtained, even for matte textures. The outstanding mass colourability of the new I am NATURE compound allows the painting step to be eliminated, thus dramatically reducing the carbon footprint of the component.
Adidas and Amsilk (Germany): Futurecraft Biofabric shoe
The adidas Futurecraft Biofabric shoe features an upper made from 100% Biosteel fibre, a nature-based and completely biodegradable high-performance fibre, developed by the biotech company AMSilk (Planegg, Germany). The material offers a unique combination of properties that are crucial in performance, such as being 15% lighter in weight than conventional synthetic fibres as well as having the potential to be the strongest fully natural material available.
According to AMSilk, the fibres are made of 100 % nature based biopolymers, are 100 % vegan and biodegradable. The company’s process uses genetically engineered E. coli samples to express silk protein derived from the DNA of the European garden cross spider, and can generate about 20 different silk grades from four silk varieties
ICEE Containers (Australia): Foldable, reusable insulating box
Since commercial production of expandable polystyrene in 1952, the industry worldwide has been attempting to mould a durable, living hinge in particle foam. ICEE’s patented innovation means insulated boxes are no longer disadvantaged by their bulk as they can now be economically stored and transported flat, making them easy to return for reuse or recycling. ICEE has successfully moulded a living hinge in various particle foams including BASF’s ecovio a plant based compostable biofoam. The superior insulating and cushioning properties of particle foam makes them ideal for the expanding ecommerce grocery market, paddock to plate and the traditional markets such as pharmaceuticals, fresh produce and seafood. ICEE’s fold flat insulated boxes are 98% air, 100% recyclable and now available in compostable plant-based biofoam.
Photo by Caroline Seidel KraussMaffei CEO Hans Ulrich Golz at Fakuma.
KraussMaffei Technologies GmbH is introducing a new manufacturing execution system called MaXecution at Fakuma 2017.
The new software offering is "tailored to the requirements of small injection moulding companies," KraussMaffei said.
The company said the software provides greater transparency in manufacturing through productivity indicators regarding overall equipment effectiveness, mould and resource management, and statistics on machines and rejects.
"In total, using this software means better capacity utilisation of the machinery pool, fewer rejects and higher overall equipment effectiveness," the company said.
The new offering features three versions, allowing processors to decide what features they want to utilise in their MES.
MaXecution is based on MES Hydra from MPDV Mikrolab GmbH of Mosbach, Germany.
"The increasing digitalisation does not stop on account of minor plastics processors. However, the procurement of a complete MES system often involves excessive expenditure. With the new MaXecution, we offer our customers, in addition to the appropriate injection moulding machine, a compact solution tailored specifically to their processes," said Hans Ulrich Golz, president of KM's injection moulding machinery segment, in a statement.
MaXecution, the company said, "offers reliable real-time data throughout the production phase, thus facilitating the ? planning, control and monitoring of the entire production process."
"With the new MaXecution, we support our customers in the long term on their path to digital, paperless production and offer them a tailored system to improve the capacity utilisation of their machinery pool and to increase their overall equipment effectiveness," Golz said in the statement.
Creation of MaXecution, the company said, adds another offering in KraussMaffei's portfolio of Plastics 4.0 products.
KraussMaffei, with partner MPDV, is presenting live demonstrations of MaXecution for the first time ever at Fakuma 2017.
"Visitors can experience live how manufacturing data for the injection moulding process are collected and evaluated. In addition, in several brief presentations each day KraussMaffei will provide information on useful MES functions in plastics processing," the company said.
Photo by Surface Generation
Surface Generation has announced that is has opened a new research and development facility for advanced composites manufacturing at its headquarters in Rutland, UK. The new PtFS Innovation and Application Centre was opened by Sir Alan Duncan MP, Minister of State for Europe and the Americas and Member of Parliament for Rutland and Melton, who commended the company’s role in “turning a small corner of Rutland into a centre of excellence for advanced manufacturing and composites research, creating high value jobs and revolutionising how cars, aeroplanes and electronic devices are built.”
A provider of advanced carbon fibre processing technologies, Surface Generation invested in the new 10,000 square foot PtFS facility, comprising a fully equipped workshop and research laboratory, with as goal to develop advanced composite processing technologies and automated production techniques.
PtFS, or Production to Functional Specifications, developed and patented by Surface Generation, is advanced manufacturing process that enables manufacturers using compression and injection moulding applications to adapt heating and cooling levels in real-time to meet the exact requirements of each part, improving both component production quality and throughput.
The opening of this facility is a major milestone for Surface Generation, said Surface Generation CEO, Ben Halford. “This new facility provides the environment we need to expand that work and apply our processes and approach to larger and more complex components.”
New technologies will also be investigated including graphene, 3D printing and nanocomposites, which have the potential to significantly improve the cost, quality and throughput of high volume composite component manufacturing.
Seven engineers and technicians will work at the facility initially, and Surface Generation plans to recruit 12 more people to its research and development team as part of its expansion plans over the next two years.
Photo by Sanner
One year ago, the family-owned Germany-based manufacturer of high-quality primary plastic packaging and medical devices embarked on the modernization of its headquarters in Bensheim, an initiative the company says has now been successfully concluded - on schedule and within the designated budget.
Known within the company as the “future project production area South”, Sanner spent close to € 3m on the expansion of the site and new machines, readying the plant for what it referred to as “future-oriented manufacturing”.
Fourteen new, state-of-the-art injection-moulding machines were installed to improve production processes, readying the plant for the challenges of industry 4.0.
“Our goal was to further automatize production and consequently increase capacities and efficiency,” says Dirk M?hr, Managing Director of Sanner GmbH. “A goal we have definitely achieved.”
The new machines, all of the latest generation, can be further automatized at any time, rendering the plant optimally for further optimization projects. Over the next few years, for example, Sanner plans to expand its portfolio in the areas of capsules and desiccant packaging.
As a result of the expansion and modernization of the site, Sanner has been able to implement a significantly more energy-efficient manufacturing process – “in line with the Sanner sustainability concept,” said M?hr.
Next to a renewed media supply for cooling water and compressed air, a better raw material supply and new cranes, the company also installed new lighting and implemented measures to reduce the noise level, thus improving workflows and working conditions.
Photo by Martin Storz / Graffiti The "100 Centres of Industry 4.0 Excellence in Baden-Württemberg" award was presented to Susanne Palm, Team Manager Public Relations at Arburg, by the State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Katrin Schütz (left).
On 22 May, German injection moulding machine manufacturer Arburg, became one of sixteen latest recipients of the "100 Centres of Industry 4.0 Excellence in Baden-Württemberg" award, an initiative of the "Industry 4.0 Alliance for Baden-Württemberg" network to honour "flagship projects for manufacturing of the future" – companies who have actively embraced the opportunities posed by Industry 4.0.
At the award ceremony, State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Katrin Schütz, praised the family-owned plastics machinery manufacturer for its “outstanding innovative strength”, and noted that "the production of 'smart' luggage tags offers impressive proof of how Arburg products can be used to implement Industry 4.0 in practice."
Calling the company one of the “pioneers in the implementation of "Industry 4.0", she commented that the judges had been impressed by the demonstrated concept of flexible high-volume production of single-unit batches.
The "Industry 4.0 Alliance for Baden-Württemberg" network initiative seeks to pool expertise in production, information and communication technology, by bringing key players and small and medium-sized enterprises together, to promote the transition towards Industry 4.0 through innovative information-sharing initiatives. The "100 Centres of Industry 4.0 Excellence in Baden-Württemberg" competition honours forward-looking companies who have demonstrated that they have taken successful steps or developed solutions in this area.
“Our aim with this award is to promote tangible solutions from the region, which create added value,” Schütz said. She added: “The aim is to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises in particular to actively exploit the real opportunities offered by Industry 4.0.”
Arburg received the "100 Centres of Industry 4.0 Excellence in Baden-Württemberg" award in the "New Software/Networking Solutions" and "New Production Process" categories.
The solution the company showed was the flexible, automated, IT-networked and spatially distributed production of "smart" luggage tags, which demonstrated how mass customisation can be achieved relatively simply by combining injection moulding and additive manufacturing - without sacrificing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness offered by high-volume production. An Allrounder injection moulding machine, a Freeformer for industrial additive manufacturing, as well as automation and IT solutions from Arburg form a flexible cyberphysical production system.
By fitting the injection moulded product produced on the Allrounder with an individual NFC chip, it becomes the data and information carrier, controlling all further production operations to become a one-off part. The product communicates with the machines at the various production stations, knows its own history and status, as well as navigating its own path through the process chain. The individual plastic design is applied in an additive process using the Freeformer. The various stations are all connected via Arburg's proprietary ALS host computer system, which records the product, process and quality data and transmits it to a web server. In the "luggage tag" example, each part has its own website. The data for each component can be retrieved and traced at any time, even after many years.