Arburg: Industry 4.0 and additive manufacturing

As a central building block of Industry 4.0, the Arburg host computer system (ALS) ensures end-to-end IT networking of molded part production. The “Mobile Maintenance” module for mobile devices is a new feature of the MES system

Arburg presents a new hybrid machine, a networked turnkey system molding customised parts, and the production of two-component functional parts using the APF technology

by Marco Giuliani

Arburg will be presenting a special highlight at the Plast 2018: international trade visitors will be able to see the hybrid Allrounder 820 H with a clamping force of 4,000 kN in a new design and with the innovative Gestica control system. The exhibit will use PP to produce a 300-gram bucket with a capacity of nine litres in just 11 seconds. Handling is by means of a Multilift V40 linear robotic system with a load capacity of 40 kilos.

«This year’s Plast is a very special exhibition for us», emphasises Björn Noren, Managing Director of Arburg Italy. «We have now been represented by our own subsidiary in the Italian market for 25 years. The trade fair launch of the hybrid Allrounder 820 H in a new design and with the visionary Gestica control system shows that we continue to set trends in the market and that we will be a reliable and innovative partner for our customers in Italy for the decades to come».

Cost-effective automated molded part production
With two other injection molding exhibits, Arburg will be demonstrating the cost-effective automated production of plastic parts at the Plast 2018. An Allrounder 470 E Golden Electric that produces four 5.75 g switch housings from PA6 (GF 30) for the automotive industry in a cycle time of around 20 seconds, demonstrates that the electric entry-level series is ideally suited to technical injection molding. A servo-electrical Integralpicker is used for sprue removal. A specially equipped hydraulic Allrounder 370 S is configured for the processing of liquid silicone (LSR). The LSR machine uses a 4-cavity mold to produce a four-gram valve diaphragm (hardness 60 Shore A) in a cycle time of 30 seconds.

Industry 4.0 in practice

As a practical example of Industry 4.0, a turnkey system built around a vertical Allrounder 375 V injection molding machine will show how customers’ requirements can be incorporated online into the ongoing injection molding process. Elastic tension straps will be produced in different variants “on demand” and yet cost effectively in a flexible process from shot to shot without any need to change the machine set-up, thanks to a clever product and mold design.

High-volume production “on demand”: a turnkey system at the Plast 2018 produces elastic tension straps according to customer requirements in a flexible process from shot to shot

In the application demonstrated at the trade fair, visitors can choose between straps of different lengths, colours and end piece combinations and can enter the variant of their choice directly at the terminal. The requirements are transmitted to the central Selogica control system via the OPC UA communication protocol. The strap is cut to the selected length from the roll and handling is by means of a six-axis robot, which is compactly arranged within the machine installation area. The mold has two cavities each for hook and eyelet. The strap ends are placed in the cavities and overmolded according to the order. This allows hook/hook, hook/eyelet or eyelet/eyelet combinations to be produced in a cycle time of about 40 seconds.
The finished elastic tension strap is finally removed by the robot and removed from the system. «In addition to the practical example of elastic tension straps, we also have many features to offer in terms of information technology-linked plastic parts production and the individualisation of high-volume parts», points out Noren.

“The trade fair premiere of the hybrid Allrounder 820 H in a new design and with the visionary Gestica control system shows that we continue to set trends in the market” Björn Noren

Visitors to the Arburg stand will see solutions for the smart factory, combinable Industry 4.0 components or for the individualisation of high volume parts in batches of a single unit thanks to the combination of injection molding and additive manufacturing. At the Plast 2018, all exhibits on the Arburg trade fair stand and on the Sverital partner stand are networked via the Arburg host computer system (ALS). As an important component of Industry 4.0, the ALS, enables the comprehensive traceability of orders and batches. Machines can be networked in a simple, standardised manner by means of interfaces based on the OPC UA communication protocol.

25 years of Arburg in Italy
2018 is not only the year of the Plast trade fair in Milan, but also the 25th anniversary of Arburg Italy. The subsidiary was established in 1993 under the management of Björn Noren, who is still Managing Director, and has developed very successfully. The subsidiary in Peschiera Borromeo near Milan has 38 employees. Arburg’s “Wir sind da.” brand promise formulates the company’s high standards of quality, reliability and personal proximity to customers and partners. In addition to the efficiency of the machine technology, these groups particularly value Arburg’s comprehensive expertise in service and consulting. The extensive range of services includes the hotline staffed by experts, experienced service and application technicians, a well-equipped spare parts warehouse, a 300 square metre showroom for trials with Allrounders and a training programme in either Italian, English or German.

Additive manufacturing according to Arburg

A Freeformer and numerous functional components will be used at the Plast 2018 to demonstrate that Arburg Plastic Freeforming (APF) is not only suitable for prototyping but also for the industrial additive manufacturing of functional components in particular. Visitors can handle parts at an interactive station and convince themselves of their functionality and quality. The exhibit uses the components PP and elastic high-performance TPE to produce retaining clips in a hard/soft combination.

The Freeformer is an open system that allows users to qualify their own original materials in the APF process and optimise the freely programmable process parameters specifically to their particular application. One huge advantage in this context is that original materials certified e.g. for medical technology or aerospace applications can be used. In addition to amorphous standard granulates such as ABS, PA and PC, the ever-expanding range of materials qualified by Arburg includes, for example, elastic TPE, semi-crystalline PP, medical grade PLLA and PC approved for the aerospace industry.

 

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