Plastics Technology

SEP 2018

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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At the show, Siemens ( announced that it was adding MachineSense LLC's suite of vertically integrated Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) programs to its MindSphere platform. As a Siemens Silver partner, MachineSense will gain access to educational materials and, perhaps more importantly, fellow members, to further promote its IIoT to industry. MachineSense ( provides power-quality monitoring, energy management, and predictive and preventive maintenance. Conair, meanwhile, launched its Uptime Guaranteed initiative at NPE2018, which is powered in part by its new Smart Services offering, a Cloud-based database where equip- ment and process data are transmitted to the Cloud for analysis by proprietary algorithms. Conair (conairgroup. com) developed those algorithms, while it partnered with Maven Machines ( to create the platform. That firm, based in Pittsburgh, was founded on a mobile Cloud-based technology to provide fleet management for the transportation industry, including trucking and rail. "The intention is to pull data from our huge installed base of equipment," explains Sam Rajkovich, Conair's v.p. of sales and marketing. "Our eventual goal is AI (artificial intelligence); getting the machine to understand what is going on and fix itself." MACHINE LEARNING, MACHINE INTELLIGENCE The concept of AI or machine intelligence came up more than once at NPE. Machine intelligence can only be achieved if machines can "learn" on their own, and many suppliers see that as the future of machinery in plastics and beyond. David Preusse, president of Wittmann Battenfeld (, discussed the burgeoning intelligence of its equipment at the show, specifically citing the company's Smart Removal program for robots, which can teach themselves the fastest path and velocity into the cavity to pull parts. "The machine is getting smarter than man," Preusse states. "It approaches AI." On the Industry 4.0 front, Preusse noted that Wittmann Battenfeld engineers sit on the committee that's developing stan- dards, and his company was displaying the newest standard— EUROMAP 77—during NPE2018, via a collaboration with ERP and MES software provider IQMS (, whose software was fully integrated into a Wittmann Battenfeld molding cell, collecting and analyzing production data in real time. If machines can talk to other machines, there is, of course, the possibility that unwanted devices could surreptitiously join the conversation, breaching a network. Wittmann Battenfeld stressed IT security for its connected offerings of auxiliaries, specifically touting its Wittmann 4.0 router, housed within the molding machine, which automatically assigns IP addresses and security certificates to any equipment added to a cell. In addition to recognizing what equipment is in the cell and assigning the proper "recipe" to a temperature-control unit, for instance, given the installed tool; or having a robot automatically "home" itself, Preusse said this connectivity alleviates control- screen fatigue. "Today within a cell there are too many displays," he said. "You walk up to cell and see 10 different controllers. With Industry 4.0 you can get all that on a single control." Preusse acknowledges that Wittmann Battenfeld is in a unique position when it comes to such comprehensive connectivity, as it makes molding machines, auxiliary equipment and robotics. Other suppliers are watching to see how the OPC-UA standards shake out and determining whether the Industry 4.0 tools they deploy will be built in-house, contracted out, or a combination of the two. Mark Johansen, v.p. marketing & product management at ACS Group (, said his company is determining whether it will be easier to integrate another company's established algorithms, or create its own. In the latter case, companies will have to decide whether to use a subscription model, which could reimagine equip- ment suppliers as software developers that charge their customers to run the software, the same way Microsoft charges for Windows. QUESTIONS ABOUT NPE2018 OR AUXILIARIES? Visit the NPE or Auxiliary Equipment Zones. "The machine is getting smarter than man. It approaches AI." In addition to its own proprietary algorithms, Conair partnered with Maven Machines to create the Industry 4.0 platform that powers its Cloud-based SmartServices offering. 12 SEPTEMBER 2018 Plastics Technology N P E R E P O R T: A U X I L I A R I E S Close -Up On Technolog y

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