Everybody is talking about Industry 4.0. This technology makes it possible to network machines and production processes.

Under the umbrella term Plastics 4.0, the KraussMaffei Group is promoting the implementation of the fourth industrial revolution with its three brands KraussMaffei, KraussMaffei Berstorff and Netstal.

Visitors at the trade show booth at K 2016 in Düsseldorf can see the benefits first-hand in numerous live demonstrations.

Three strong pillars for implementing Industry 4.0

Under the name Plastics 4.0, the KraussMaffei Group bundles its solutions into three categories: Intelligent Machines, Integrated Production and Interactive Services. Intelligent Machines represents intelligent, self-optimising machines, which improve productivity and quality.

Integrated Production symbolises seamlessly networked production, in which the individual machines and components communicate with each other and autonomously control the processes accordingly.

Interactive Services must in turn be equated with systems and services based on state-of-the-art communication technologies in the environment of fast and globally active service.

Intelligent machines

An example from the Intelligent Machines area is the new expanded function APC Plus. A great advantage of the APC function (Adaptive Process Control) is that it detects process fluctuations that can be caused by changing ambient conditions or fluctuating viscosity, and takes countermeasures automatically.

Along with the processing of thermoplastics, the APC function is now also suitable for multi-component injection moulding and processing silicone. In the enhanced version, APC Plus, it provides numerous new, intelligent features, such as taking into account the specific behaviour of the raw material.

Networked production processes increase productivity

In the “Integrated Production” category, KraussMaffei, KraussMaffei Berstorff and Netstal are presenting new and intelligent solutions for seamless networking in manufacturing.

The best example is the KraussMaffei CX 300 FiberForm system. All quality-oriented process data, for example, organic sheet heating curves or injection pressure and mould cavity pressure curves, is not only recorded in a KraussMaffei database, but also documented individually using a QR code on the component.

A printer integrated into the machine housing prints the QR codes immediately during manufacturing; the respective QR code is affixed to the component. This makes it possible to seamlessly trace all product and process data for each component – globally, online via mobile phone, tablet or PC.

“This allows us to provide our customers a valuable tool for controlling and documenting the quality of their production in a sustainable manner. Potential troubleshooting, quality analysis and many other evaluations are possible regardless of location and beyond company boundaries,” says Dr. Reinhard Schiffers, Head of Machine Technology at KraussMaffei.

New interactive service platform

To be able to offer customers professional support quickly and globally, KraussMaffei Group is developing a new service tool based on the Euromap 77 and OPC-UA master computer interface.

The E-Service platform, which can be reached at any time using the KraussMaffei, KraussMaffei Berstorff and Netstal websites, provides the customer with all relevant machine data centrally, providing easy handling of any service processes. A user-configurable dashboard provides a clearly arranged overview including machine documentation and guides the user deeper into the respective areas.

“Thus, the customer can access the current machine and production data at any time using the live monitoring function. Information available immediately about the machine history and diagnostic reports enables the smooth flow of communication with the after-sales service department in case of a problem, which contributes to finding a solution more quickly,” explains Renzo Davatz, Vice President Service at Netstal.

KraussMaffei Group at K 2017, Hall 15, Booth B27/C24/C27/D24