The new Weekly Timer will be integrated as a default setting on KraussMaffei's MC6 Control Software
KraussMaffei has launched a new production timer for injection moulding machines that it says significantly reduces energy costs and waiting times.
The new ‘Weekly Timer’ function is now a default part of the Group’s MC6 Control Software that enables the user to set a precise production start time in advance.
"The MC6 'learns' the boundary conditions of the machine thanks to an intelligent sequence. This tells the control system how long the preheating phase will take, which in turn allows the machine to be ready with pinpoint accuracy," explained Dr. Reinhard Schiffers, Head of Machine Technology at KraussMaffei.
The new timer is also said to respond to changing temperatures (e.g. seasonal changes) or the installation of new plasticising units. It can also detect changes to the process and reconfigure the times “immediately and continuously” says KraussMaffei. Thanks to this intelligence, the machine operator can define the exact start of production intuitively and without calculations, it added, meaning that inconvenient programming is no longer necessary and sources of error are reduced.
By using the Weekly Timer, KraussMaffei says machine waiting times are now “completely eliminated”, meaning significant savings potential in energy costs.
"Let's take an easy calculation example. Even if a GX 650/8100 from KraussMaffei is not yet producing, but has been preheated, it requires energy. If such a machine remains in waiting mode for one hour three times per week, it can incur costs of 450 Euros (approx. £350 GBP) per year. If you calculate this for 20 machines over a 10-year period, you get 110,000 Euros (approx. £86,000 GBP), which our customers could save by using Weekly Timer," said Schiffers.
Finally, KraussMaffei says Weekly Timer is an “excellent example” of how the vision of Industry 4.0 — the complete networking of all processes in production — can be implemented using intelligent machines. Weekly Timer registers changes automatically, responds and optimises the start of production of the injection moulding process through self-directed learning.
KraussMaffei refers to the implementation of Industry 4.0 within its own business as "Plastics 4.0", under the three categories of ‘Intelligent Machines’, ‘Integrated Production’ and ‘Interactive Services’.