Arburg’s technology event focuses on digitalisation

Around 6,300 plastics specialists attended the Arburg Technology Days

Claiming it as the world’s largest in-house event for the plastics industry, machinery maker Arburg had around 6,300 invited guests from 54 nations to its headquarters in Lossburg, Germany, for the Arburg Technology Days, held from 14-17 March 2018.

A highlight was the focus on the digitalisation of Arburg’s products and services, with numerous examples on view under the slogan "for digitalisation" in the Efficiency Arena 2018. The focus was on six new assistance packages that actively support the machine operator and that are now available for purchase:

  • "4.set-up" for guided set-up,

  • "4.start-stop" for easier production start-up,

  • "4.optimisation" for reduced unit costs,

  • "4.production" for greater freedom during programming,

  • "4.monitoring" for process and quality monitoring and

  • "4.service" for fast online support.

Under the slogan "for assistance", Arburg presented the Arburg host computer system (ALS), as well as the new Gestica control system, including a mobile version and Selogica in the new design (ND) at two additional stations in the Efficiency Arena.

"for connection" was the theme of the Connectivity Café, where experts from Software Development and the Turnkey department were available to provide information on the data exchange between machines, robotic systems, peripheral equipment, moulds and workpieces. In personal conversations, visitors learned more about issues such as the current status of the Euromap interfaces 77 (MES systems), 79 (robotic systems) and 82 (peripheral equipment) or for the synchronisation of machines and robotic systems in turnkey systems.

The for visions exhibition area offered a glimpse into the digital future at the Technology Days 2018

The "for visions" exhibition area offered a glimpse into the digital future. Also likely to be of interest in the future is the opportunity to work with a "digital twin" – a virtual simulation of a real machine. Under the heading of Augmented Reality (AR), an example was shown of how service can be improved in the future using computer-assisted augmented reality with virtual additional information or objects. In the Virtual Reality (VR) area, visitors were able to gain an insight into the clamping unit of the hybrid Allrounder 1120 H large machine and the production of the famous Arburg folding step stool in an interactive environment that cannot be seen in the real world. This is especially interesting in product development.

Meanwhile, the hybrid Allrounder 1120 H, which celebrated its world premiere at the K2016, has now been successfully deployed by the first customers. The new large machine, which with 6,500 kN extends the range of clamping forces by 30%, was also awarded the prestigious "iF Design Award" for outstanding design on 9 March 2018.

he hybrid Allrounder 820 H with a clamping force of 4,000 kN

At the Fakuma 2017, a hybrid Allrounder 920 H with a clamping force of 5,000 kN was presented in the new design and with Gestica control system, which is now available in the market. A "new look" hybrid Allrounder 820 H with a clamping force of 4,000 kN was on display for the first time. The premiere machine produced 48 screw caps from PP in a cycle time of around 12.7 seconds.

As well, five different processes and solutions for lightweight construction were exhibited at the Technology Days 2018:

  • Fibre Direct Compounding (FDC),

  • physical foaming with Profoam,

  • a turnkey Mucell production system,

  • gas injection moulding technology (GIT) and

  • processing of filler-optimised material consisting of hollow glass spheres.

Two technically interesting applications relating to the processing of liquid silicone (LSR) were presented:

  • an electric Allrounder 520 A used highly transparent LSR (Shore hardness 70 A) to produce napkin rings in a faceted optical design with crystal look.

  • In the case of an electric Allrounder 470 A, which produced seals for household appliances, the LSR dosing system was integrated in the machine control system via OPC UA.

A total of eight Freeformers produced functional parts from original material in the Arburg Plastic Freeforming (APF) process. An innovative application was presented involving the processing of PMMA and medical-grade SEBS with a hardness of 28 Shore A (Cawiton PR13576). Moreover, closure caps made from standard PP were on view, as well as parts made from PC, PA10, ABS and from two components.

Arburg presented its full range of products and services

The turnkey area also showcased simple pickers and linear Multilift robotic systems to a six-axis robot featuring the Selogica user interface and customised turnkey systems. The focus in service was on the new Arburg Remote Service (ARS) and preventive maintenance, as well as the current training programme.

Michael Hehl, Arburg Managing Partner and Spokesman for the Management team summarised the event, "Our concept has proven its worth, making the Technology Days the world's largest in-house event for the plastics industry. Overall, between 1999 and 2018, we have welcomed more than 87,500 visitors to our Technology Days in Lossburg.”

He also said the share of foreign visitors had steadily increased over the years, reaching 43% this year, with around 160 and around 100 participants, from the US and China.

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