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Machines with High IQ


The MES “e-factory” enables process and status data to be monitored at any time and to get the best use out of available machinery (© Engel)

Industry 4.0 is all about the smart factory, in which the various production machines and their components communicate with each other and continuously optimize themselves. The outcome is marked increases in productivity, efficiency, and quality and flexibility of production. Under the banner "Inject 4.0", Engel Austria GmbH, Schwertberg, Austria, will be focusing on three areas: smart machine, smart production and smart service.

Self-adjusting, decentralized systems composed of smart machines boost process capability, without the operator having to acquire additional specialized knowledge. The iQ software solutions make it possible to detect deviations in critical process parameters and to actively compensate before scrap is generated. While "iQ weight control" keeps the injected melt volume and viscosity constant throughout the injection molding process, including the holding phase, "iQ clamp control" monitors mold breathing and continually adjusts the clamping force automatically. Even if the environmental conditions should change or the pellet quality vary, these software solutions keep the process constant and ensure consistently high product quality.

Engel will also present a development of its Engel e-flomo electronic temperature control water manifold, which selectively controls the flow rate or, optionally, the temperature difference. The new "iQ flow control" software automatically adapts the pump speed of the temperature control device to current needs. While e-flomo increases process stability, the automatic speed control reduces the power consumption of the temperature control.

With its "smart service" module, Engel has tackled the issue of predictive maintenance that is a typical challenge for injection molders. The Austrians have developed a measurement system for plasticizing screws so that wear parameters can be determined during operation. The measurement takes just a few minutes – in the past, checking of large molding machines would have taken two working days of downtime to remove, clean and measure the screw.

The "Engel e-connect.monitor" also monitors machine components which have not been a focus of maintenance up until now. Consequently, the user can at any time check the condition of spindles that actuate the axial movements in electric machines. On request, the software can be programmed to automatically trigger an order for a spare part and to book a service technician to deal with a critical situation.

As for machine-side innovations, the system provider will be demonstrating seven highly integrated and automated production cells. All cells are networked using Engel e-factory, Engel’s own MES (Manufacturing Execution System). This makes it possible to view the status and process data and to compare them against quality or business metrics. QR codes afford a way of tracking individual quality variables and product-specific process data. To this end, plastic parts injection molded on the stand will be given an individually generated QR Code, which will enable visitors to get information via the Internet about the process conditions in which the molded part was made.

Hall 15, booth B42 and C58

Company profile


Ludwig-Engel-Straße 1
Tel.: +43 50 620-0
Fax: +43 50 6203009
E-mail: sales <AT>

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