Plastics Technology

SEP 2018

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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production data onto an iPad from a Sumitomo Demag press running across the aisle. The data had made a stop-off in the Cloud before it was downloaded to the iPad, which then received an analysis of production, including OEE. For customers with global loca- tions, the system allows real-time insights into production, including the measurement of viscosity, to track batch-to-batch changes in materials. Priamus said those flow calculations factor in pressure and temperature to determine shear stress and, ulti- mately, viscosity. MOLD DATA IN THE 'CLOUD' Männer ( also launched a new monitoring system for injection molds at NPE2018. The com- pany says its moldMIND II can detect errors early on, minimizing downtime. In addition to planning maintenance, Männer says moldMIND II pulls data that can be used to optimize production. Process values such as the actual number of cycles, minimum and maximum cycle times, temperature profiles, operating times, and down- times of the injection mold are recorded and stored for access anytime. At NPE2018, a company representative pulled up a screen showing operating tools in Germany, the U.S. and China before clicking on the Chinese tool to display its real-time stats. Männer's second-generation monitor has various interfaces as well as storage and application options. Alarms can be set, and the system can log events, including tempera- ture deviations, sensor breakage, or downtime. If there are critical devia- tions from a setpoint, an alarm signal can be sent to a smartphone for quick troubleshooting or directly to an MES (manufacturing execution system) central computer. Control signals can also be output via digital I/O—for example, to automatically stop the injection molding machine in the event of a malfunction. As is increasingly important in markets like medical and automotive, Männer says moldMIND II documents all processes inside the mold throughout its lifecycle. Access to this data can be assigned based on individual authorization levels. Internal memory can also store tool master data or user-manual documentation. Data stored in the moldMIND II Cloud can be remotely accessed from any location via smartphone app, Bluetooth, WLAN, Ethernet, USB or OPC-UA. Mold owners can use a GPS module to obtain an overview of the exact location of their molds. In addition to planning regular maintenance with moldMIND II, including spare-parts management and mold refurbishment, Männer is working towards gathering data for predictive maintenance. "The collection, storage, and analysis of real-time data will enable predictive maintenance," the company states. "This approach will allow early prediction of malfunctions and make it possible for breakdowns to be avoided." In Orlando, the company also discussed how the system is pushing towards artificial intelligence (AI), wherein data pulled from temperature sensors or vibration sensors in the machine could create a warning that cooling or heating on the press may not be working, stopping the press before bad parts are made. "We aim to make the molding process independent from the operator," a Männer spokesperson explained. As reported in our April NPE2018 Show Preview, Progressive Components ( introduced the pairing of its CVe Monitor electronic mold-monitoring device to its CVe Live wireless device, which relays data to the Cloud-based CVe Live website. Glenn Starkey, president of Progressive Components, notes that the company started mold monitoring in 1993 with its first cycle counter, followed shortly thereafter with a software program: ProFile. Among many other benefits, Starkey said the new technology's GPS capa- bility better serves today's molding industry. "In the past, you were dealing with custom molders—small operations, one plant," Starkey notes. "But because of mergers and acquisitions, you get much larger corporations that can lose molds all the time. There are times when companies build new tools because they can't find the old ones." Hungarian firm Cavity Eye ( displayed a prototype of its new mold and process control and monitoring system, SMC (Smart Molding Control). A company spokesperson says its plan is to bring a finalized product to the Fakuma show this October in Germany. The system consists of a Smart Measuring Plug (SMP), Smart Control Plug (SCP) and a Monitor, Switch and Computer (MSC). Using a microcomputer and sensor network, the SMP measures and sends pressure curves to the control plug, which then commu - nicates to the press and the robot, helping control the molding process's switchover point from filling to pack-and-hold via 24V digital signals. The SMP can connect to a laptop, and measurement can be run on eight to 32 pressure sensors simultaneously. Molds have shifted from one of the few mechanical holdouts in a cell to an active participant in Industry 4.0. Milacron's SmartMold technology tracks key process data from the tool, including lifetime cycles, cycles in the last 24 hr, average cycle time, and more. 26 SEPTEMBER 2018 Plastics Technology N P E R E P O R T: T O O L I N G Close -Up On Technolog y

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