Drinktec 2017: Netstal presents Industry 4.0 in action at Drinktec

The Swiss injection molding system provider Netstal will produce 38 mm single-piece closures for milk bottles on an ELION 2200-1000. For the first time ever, Netstal and its system partner Intravis will showcase a control circuit link between an injection molding machine and a visual inspection system.

Shoot and cap: The HDPE closures, which weigh just 2.8 grams, are produced in a 32 cavity mold from z-moulds and, thanks to the patented z-slides®, they receive a fully-functioning tamper evident band in the mold. The cycle time is 4.0 seconds. Piovan provides the systems for the drying of the material and dehumidification. The water cooling is made available by EF Cooling. The PET granulate and the colour master batches are supplied by Total Polymers. The CapWatcher III from Intravis is used for the optical inspection that concludes the process.

The most important product characteristics of the 38 mm closures that are being produced live at the trade fair stand will be constantly analyzed by the Intravis CapWatcher III. They will then be transmitted via Euromap 82/OPC-UA to the machine controller of the ELION 2200-1000 in the form of data packages and displayed immediately in the aXos machine controller. If needed, individual characteristics, such as the diameter of the closures, can also be displayed on the individually configurable dashboard, which allows machine operators to always keep an eye on them. That means corrective measures can be taken quickly. If implemented according to Industry 4.0, the operator will no longer have to actively take action since the injection molding machine in a control circuit can self-regulate. Minimal changes to a product characteristic can be performed automatically within a defined process window. This allows for the sustained production of closures with the exactly defined product characteristic.

The Netstal brand, embodied by the Netstal  company with its long engineering tradition in Näfels, Switzerland, has been part of the KraussMaffei Group, suppliers of machinery and systems for producing and processing plastics and rubber, since. They will be available at Hall A4, Stand 321.

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