Plastics Technology

DEC 2018

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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for the 0.1 to 1 THz spectral range, as well as an industrial control and data-acquisition unit with proprietary software for scan motion and data processing. It allows for robotic scanning of 3D objects based on their CAD files—beside an injection press, for instance. STRIPP has been used to measure the thickness of multilayer coatings, to inspect composites, and to measure glue layers in assemblies of composite parts. For injection molding, it can perform wall-thickness measurements to ±3 microns. In foamed parts it can measure thickness of the solid skin vs. the foamed core. It can also determine the density and uniformity of the foam cell structure; find voids or bubbles in solid parts; reveal foreign-body inclusions, internal weld lines, or the quantity and orientation of fiber reinforcements; and even show the boundaries between materials in multi-component parts. Another capability is to "slice" the part into virtual layers, revealing internal structure at different depths, as in medical tomography (CT) scans. (See October blog for more details.) In addition, Trexel rolled out a new system that allows molders to operate multiple presses running the same parts with MuCell foaming off a single gas booster unit. This cost-saving approach involves a new satellite dosing unit that can be fed by Trexel's T-Series or new P-Series boosters (the latter for fast-cycle packaging), as well as its B-Series for blow molding, or a non-Trexel pressure source. Also new from Trexel are T-Series central gas boosters based on T300 and T400 compressors to feed satellite units. MORE SOURCES OF MES SOFTWARE Major injection machine suppliers have indicated that MES (manufacturing execu- tion systems) are essential components of their Industry 4.0 strategies. Several of these OEMs offer their own MES products, have purchased MES software vendors, or formed alliances with such vendors. Among the latest developments, Wittmann Battenfeld has purchased a stake in Italian software firm ICE-flex and is now offering a version of that company's TEMI modular MES package. Called TEMI+, this version is tailored to work with Wittmann 4.0 production cells and provides special functionality made possible by Wittmann 4.0 router technology. In particular, TEMI+ connects automatically with Wittmann Battenfeld presses and Wittmann auxiliaries—whether or not those auxiliaries are connected directly with the injection machine. Any alterations in the composition of the production cell—such as connecting different auxiliaries when changing jobs—is recognized, saved and displayed automatically by TEMI+. This capability is said to be unique to TEMI+, as is the ability to display on a computer or mobile device a dashboard of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of all connected equipment in the cell. This dashboard offers OEE for the machine and entire cell. Wittmann Battenfeld says TEMI+ offers a simple approach to entry-level MES data collection. Modules include ERP connec- tion, production planning, "alarm messenger" specifying time and cause of stoppages, QMS module that records process data and stores quality-inspection instructions, and a production monitor that displays all machines' status at a glance. Wittmann Battenfeld USA anticipates that it may be three to six months before TEMI+ is launched in this hemisphere. Meanwhile, Engel's wholly owned MES provider, Austrian-based TIG, will open next month a U.S. subsidiary in York, Pa., home to Trexel's new TrexelVision terahertz spectroscopy system allows quick, nondestructive, noncontact, nonhazardous QC inspection of internal features of foamed or solid parts. Solid Part Foamed Part Time of Flight, pico-sec Time of Flight, pico-sec Engel showed automated changeover of mold inserts (front row on fixture) and robot EOAT (back row) in production of a two-piece caliper. In about 1 min, the robot changed EOAT from part handling to mold- insert handling (and vice versa), and then changed mold inserts to produce two different parts in alternating batches. The robot also placed matching pairs of parts into an assembly device and laser-marking fixture. (For more details, see October Keeping Up.) Y, mm Y, mm X, mm X, mm 50 40 30 20 10 0 50 40 30 20 10 0 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 13.00 13.00 18.00 18.00 "gas channel" in ~450 μm depth 16 DECEMBER 2018 Plastics Technology Close -Up On Technolog y

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