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Arburg at the Plast 2018: Machine premiere, Industry 4.0 and innovative processes

  • Trade fair premiere: Hybrid Allrounder 820 H in new design and with visionary Gestica control system
  • Industry 4.0: Multi-variant production based on the example of tension straps – flexibly from shot-to-shot
  • Additive manufacturing: Freeformer produces two-component functional parts from original material

Arburg presented a special highlight at the Plast 2018 in Milan, Italy from 29 May to 1 June: to mark the 25th anniversary of Arburg's Italian subsidiary, international trade visitors were able to see the hybrid Allrounder 820 H with a clamping force of 4,000 kN in a new design and with the innovative Gestica control system for the first time outside the company headquarters, in hall 22, on stand C81/D82. Regarding digital transformation and Industry 4.0, a practical example of multi-variant injection moulding was presented, involving "on demand" manufacture of elastic tension straps, as well as the Arburg host computer system (ALS) and numerous features for integrated plastic parts production. In addition to two other injection moulding applications, stand C25 also featured industrial additive manufacturing with the Freeformer.

"This year's Plast in Milan was a very special trade fair for us. We have now been represented by our own subsidiary in the Italian market for 25 years. The trade fair launch of the hybrid Allrounder 820 H in a new design and with the visionary Gestica control system shows that we continue to set trends in the market and that we will be a reliable and innovative partner for our customers in Italy for the decades to come," emphasises Björn Noren, Managing Director of Arburg Italy. "We look forward to being there for our customers, providing them with comprehensive support and continuing to grow with them. At present, this particularly applies to digital transformation and the topic of Industry 4.0, which has gained a lot of momentum thanks to state subsidy programmes in Italy. In addition to the practical example of elastic tension straps, we also have many features to offer in terms of information technology-linked plastic parts production and the individualisation of high-volume parts. In addition, we showedinnovative solutions for industrial additive manufacturing with the Freeformer and numerous functional components."

Third machine size in the new design: The worldwide sale of the Allrounder 1120 H with a clamping force of 6,500 kN began at the Fakuma 2017 in Friedrichshafen; in addition, an Allrounder 920 H with a clamping force of 5,000 kN was presented for the first time in the new design and with the visionary Gestica control system. At the Plast 2018, the next machine size, a hybrid Allrounder 820 H with a clamping force of 4,000 kN, was celebrating its trade fair premiere in a "new look". The exhibit was the highlight on the exhibition stand and used PP to produce a 300-gram bucket with a capacity of nine litres in just 11 seconds. Handling was by means of a Multilift V40 linear robotic system with a load capacity of 40 kilos.

Practical example of Industry 4.0 – elastic tension straps "on demand""As a practical example of Industry 4.0, a turnkey system built around a vertical Allrounder 375 V injection moulding machine showed how customers' requirements can be incorporated online into the ongoing injection moulding process. Elastic tension straps were produced in different variants "on demand" and yet cost effectively in a flexible process from shot to shot without any need to change the machine set-up, thanks to a clever product and mould design. In industrial practice, such an application would be ideal for cable assembly in the automotive industry, for example. In the application demonstrated at the trade fair, visitors could choose between straps of different lengths, colours and end piece combinations and could enter the variant of their choice directly at the terminal. The requirements were transmitted to the central Selogica control system via the OPC UA communication protocol. The strap was cut to the selected length from the roll and handling is by means of a six-axis robot, which was compactly arranged within the machine installation area. The mould had two cavities each for hook and eyelet. The strap ends were placed in the cavities and overmoulded according to the order. This allowed hook/hook, hook/eyelet or eyelet/eyelet combinations to be produced in a cycle time of about 40 seconds. The finished elastic tension strap was finally removed by the robot and removed from the system.

Networked and flexibly automated production: Visitors to the Arburg stand could also get an idea of all aspects of digital transformation: they saw solutions for the smart factory, combinable Industry 4.0 components or for the individualisation of high volume parts in batches of a single unit thanks to the combination of injection moulding and additive manufacturing. At the Plast 2018, all exhibits on the Arburg trade fair stand and on the Sverital partner stand were networked via the Arburg host computer system (ALS). As an important component of Industry 4.0, the ALS, enables the comprehensive traceability of orders and batches. Machines can be networked in a simple, standardised manner by means of interfaces based on the OPC UA communication protocol. The Arburg experts provide detailed information on the connection of this MES system to ERP systems.

Cost-effective automated moulded part production: With two other injection moulding exhibits, Arburg was demonstrating the cost-effective automated production of plastic parts at the Plast 2018. An Allrounder 470 E Golden Electric that produced four 5.75 g switch housings from PA6 (GF 30) for the automotive industry in a cycle time of around 20 seconds, demonstrated that the electric entry-level series is ideally suited to technical injection moulding. A servo-electrical Integralpicker was used for sprue removal. A specially equipped hydraulic Allrounder 370 S was configured for the processing of liquid silicone (LSR). The LSR machine uses a 4-cavity mould to produce a four-gram valve diaphragm (hardness 60 Shore A) in a cycle time of 30 seconds.

Industrial additive manufacturing: A Freeformer and numerous functional components was be used at the Plast 2018 to demonstrate that Arburg Plastic Freeforming (APF) is not only suitable for prototyping but also for the industrial additive manufacturing of functional components in particular. Visitors could handle parts at an interactive station and convince themselves of their functionality and quality. The exhibit used the components PP and elastic high-performance TPE to produce retaining clips in a hard/soft combination. The Freeformer is an open system that allows users to qualify their own original materials in the APF process and optimise the freely programmable process parameters specifically to their particular application. One huge advantage in this context is that original materials certified e.g. for medical technology or aerospace applications can be used. In addition to amorphous standard granulates such as ABS, PA and PC, the ever-expanding range of materials qualified by Arburg includes, for example, elastic TPE, semi-crystalline PP, medical grade PLLA and PC approved for the aerospace industry.

25 years of Arburg in Italy: 2018 is not only the year of the Plast trade fair in Milan, but also the 25th anniversary of Arburg Italy. The subsidiary was established in 1993 under the management of Björn Noren, who is still Managing Director, and has developed very successfully. The subsidiary in Peschiera Borromeo near Milan has 38 employees. Arburg's "Wir sind da." brand promise formulates the company's high standards of quality, reliability and personal proximity to customers and partners. In addition to the efficiency of the machine technology, these groups particularly value Arburg's comprehensive expertise in service and consulting. The extensive range of services includes the hotline staffed by experts, experienced service and application technicians, a well-equipped spare parts warehouse, a 300 square metre showroom for trials with Allrounders and a training programme in either Italian, English or German.

A German family-owned company, Arburg is one of the leading global manufacturers of plastic processing machines. The product portfolio encompasses Allrounder injection moulding machines with clamping forces of between 125 and 6,500 kN, the Freeformer for industrial additive manufacturing and robotic systems, customer and industry-specific turnkey solutions and further peripheral equipment. Arburg is represented by fully owned organisations at 33 locations in 25 countries and by trading partners in more than 50 countries. The machines are produced exclusively at the parent company in Lossburg, Germany. Of a total of around 2,800 employees, about 2,300 work in Germany. About 500 further employees work in Arburg's organisations around the world.

Source: Arburg