Plastics Technology

JUL 2018

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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from different manufacturers to be easily connected in one network for monitoring and production data acquisition, management of production jobs, and transfer of whole datasets for machine settings. One sign of how this new standard is already being realized was the appearance of production-data "dashboards" all over the show. Under the banner of "Smart Data, not Big Data," suppliers of injec- tion and blow molding machines, process-monitoring systems, MES systems, and even robots and other auxiliary equipment showed their latest efforts to avoid overwhelming users with masses of data by displaying quick snapshots of crucial data—job production totals, time to job completion, good/bad part counts, cycle time, NPE2018 set records for exhibit space (1.2 million ft2), number of exhibitors (2180), and probably the amount of technological inno- vation on display. An announced attendance of 56,034 (up 1.7% from NPE2015) confirmed registered attendees from almost 19,000 unique companies. A dozen editors at Plastics Technology and sister publications of Gardner Business Media have reported literally hundreds of pages of news in NPE2018 pre-show issues and five Show Daily issues distributed at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. But for the latest word on new technology at NPE2018, here's a brief selection of some of the more intriguing developments, and stay tuned for our post-show roundups in August and September. 'SMART DATA': THE RISE OF THE 'DASHBOARDS' For North American plastics processors, NPE2018 offered the broadest exposure yet to the bundle of trends and technologies known as Industry 4.0 or the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT). The timing was right: The week before the show saw the release of the first standard for digital interfaces based on the OPC UA (Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture) machine-to- machine commu- nication protocol that is the basic platform for emerging Industry 4.0 technologies. Euromap 77, a standard for data exchange between injection molding machines and MES (manufacturing execution systems) computers was released on May 4 by Euromap, the European Association for plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers ( It allows machines One sign of the incoming wave of Industry 4.0 technologies was injection and blow molding machines, MES systems, robots, and auxiliaries that send production data to the cloud for retrieval anytime/anywhere in the form of easily digestible "dashboards" of essential data. Two examples here: Milacron's M-Powered display and Yushin's dashboard of real-time data from robots around the show and even in Japan. News Highlights from NPE2018 Developments in Industry 4.0, multi-layer preform molding, automation, LSR processing, and PP were among the major newsbreakers at May's show. And one film processor finalized purchases of 13 new lines. Husky is exploring varied applications for PET bottles made from co-injected three-layer preforms. The middle layer can introduce barrier protection or, as in these examples, decorative effects, enhanced by varying the layer thickness to "fade" the color. By Matt Naitove, Executive Editor Jim Callari, Editorial Director Lilli Sherman, Senior Editor 14 JULY 2018 Plastics Technology N P E 2 0 1 8 F I R S T R E P O R T Close -Up On Technolog y

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