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Inject 4.0

Smart in Four Ways

Eight thermostat housings are produced in a highly integrated, fully automated process at each cycle (figure: Engel)

Engel Austria GmbH, Schwertberg, Austria has recognized the customers’ demand for a holistic consideration of the production process and has structured its product range for the future accordingly. The competences as system provider include here in particular the topics of automation, process technologies, process optimization and services. Engel is bundling these competences under the motto "inject 4.0" and outlining how the "smart factory", the factory of the future, can look (see also the article on page 34).

Self-adaptive, decentralized systems will boost process capability and product quality (smart machines). For example, the software solutions from the iQ product family increase the process stability by continuously analyzing the plastication and molding process and automatically reacting in the event of deviations from the setpoints, while "Engel e-flomo" automatically ensures a constant supply of cooling water and thus contributes to a maximization of the process capability.

All the machine data come together on a central computer during the fair. There the MES solution "Engel e-factory" allows orders to be planned, the status of the injection molding machines to be monitored and quality evaluations or documentations to be created (smart production). At the same time fair visitors gain an insight into how customers can identify spare parts online or place a service request with no loss of time via the "Engel e-connect" portal (smart services). Possible implementations of the "smart factory" are presented with five applications from different branches.

Engel will be demonstrating the cost-effective production of decorative trims with real wood veneers using a manufacturing cell whose heart is an Engel duo 3550/650 combi M injection molding machine with rotary platen that also allows large quantities to be produced with short cycle times and high productivity. In the "Engel clearmelt" process, the veneers are back-injected with a thermoplastic (PC/ABS) and coated with a transparent polyurethane to protect the surface at the same time.

The joint development with HIB Trim Part Solutions GmbH, Bruchsal, Germany – a subsidiary of NBHX Trim GmbH, Heilbronn, Germany – and further partners is almost ready for its first series production application. System partner for the PU system engineering is Hennecke GmbH, St. Augustin, Germany. In order to be able to control the whole polyurethane process via the display of the injection molding machine, Engel has integrated the PU process completely into the CC300 machine controller.

Further developments in the materials sector also boost the productivity of the process. The polyurethane employed at the fair already includes a separating agent, thus saving one complete work step, as until now the cavity surfaces had to be sprayed with a separating agent before processing of the PU.

A particular challenge for any system supplier is the process integration. As one example of this, Engel will be presenting a highly integrated, fully automated process – from the raw material through to the fully tested and marked metal/plastic composite parts – for the production of thermostat housings. Thermostats such as those used to monitor electric motors in automobiles or in the white goods industry as conventionally produced in a laborious multi-stage process. The process integration therefore offers huge savings potentials. The system solution developed by Engel together with its partner, MMS Modular Molding Systems GmbH & Co. KG, Berndorf, Austria, with several upstream and downstream process steps guarantees low unit costs (Fig.).

The raw material for the brass backing plates is fed directly from the coil and is prepunched, including the threaded hole. The thread is servo-electrically formed before the backing plates – still on the strip – is sheathed with glassfiber-filled polyamide on an Engel insert 60V/35 single vertical machine. The quality control is performed immediately after the injection molding process. In addition to the camera inspection, a high-voltage test has been integrated into the progressive composite die for the first time that guarantees a short-circuit test still during the production process. In the second press module, the sprue and secondary runners are removed and the finished parts are separated from the strip. Eight ready-to-install parts leave the manufacturing cell every 20 s.

Fakuma Hall A5, booth 5204


[missing link]Engel Austria[/missing link]

Company profile

Engel Austria GmbH

Ludwig-Engel-Straße 1
Tel.: +43 50 620-0
Fax: +43 50 6203009

Hennecke GmbH

Birlinghovener Str. 30
DE 53757 Sankt Augustin
Tel.: 02241 339-0
Fax: 02241 339-204

HIB - Trim Part Solutions Bruchsal GmbH & Co. KG

Ernst-Blickle-Str. 21-25
DE 76646 Bruchsal
Tel.: 07251 722-0
Fax: 07251 722-190

MMS - Modular Molding Systems GmbH & Co. KG

Leobersdorferstraße 26
Tel.: +43 2672 8324-7
Fax: +43 02672 8324-6

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