Aimplas Wants to Improve the Competitiveness of the Plastic Sector
Plastics Technology Centre Develops Industry 4.0 Project
The Plastics Technology Centre Aimplas,Valencia, Spain, is carrying out an ambitious project that will allow adapting the whole Valencian plastic industry to the concept ‘Factory of the Future’ or ‘Industry 4.0’. The center expects cost saving of up to 30 %.
During 2017, Aimplas implemented the first year of the IND 4.0 project to analyse the performance of Industry 4.0 in the plastics sector and to develop an action plan to modernise and improve the competitiveness of this industry. In 2018, the IND 4.0 - 2 project, will follow up the results obtained by implementing three demonstrators in plastic-processing companies as a pilot test and then transfer them to the sector.
The results of the first year of the project concluded that companies in the plastic sector have a low awareness regarding the 4.0 and in cases in which implementation attempts have been carried out, it has been achieved at a basic level through non-specific commercial solutions to the plastic industry. In addition, there was a lack of a defined strategy, a lack of knowledge on technical requirements to be applied, and a great difference in the level of maturity depending on the processing technologies. Thus, injection companies had a level of maturity higher than extrusion and compounding companies.
Precisely because of the differences observed between companies, during this year, the IND 4.0 - 2 project, recently approved by the Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness (IVACE) with 198,368.56 euros of economic aid and cofounded by the EU European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funds, within the ERDF Operative Program of the Valencian Community 2014-2020, will carry out three actions in three companies as a pilot test.
Three Companies, Three Different Projects
In injection molding, the company Faperin, Alicante, Spain, participates, dedicating to manufacturing automotive parts. In this case, it has been proposed to introduce technologies as collaborative robotics and artificial vision, which will considerably reduce the time and improve quality in terms of part finishing defects.
The extruder company selected was Gaviplas SL, Valencia, Spain, dedicated to film extrusion. In this case, the demonstrator will go towards process simulation technologies, which will make possible to foresee the product performance failures under certain conditions.
Finally, in the case of compounding, Aimplas collaborated with Repol, Almazora Castellón, Spain, a company dedicated to the formulation, transformation and marketing of technical plastics. In this case, technologies for sensorization and data capture will be implemented, obtained from the different production lines that, after analysis, will improve the currently used processes and improve their efficiency.
The results obtained from the project will quantify the benefit resulting from the implementation of these technologies in terms of process performance and use of resources, thus verifying whether the estimated figures of up to 30 % in cost savings that have been managed until now in various bibliographical sources are adjusted.
The results of the project will be transferred to companies through a website, a video and public reports and deliverables.
AIMPLAS Instituto Tecnológico del Plástico
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