Operators already using the technology could say Wittmann Battenfeld Inc. is taking charge when it comes to Industry 4.0, but at NPE2018 visitors will get a chance to see the machinery maker's connected capabilities in action.
At Booth W3742, Wittmann Battenfield, the North American unit of Austria-based Wittmann Battenfeld GmbH, will showcase the theme "Pathway to 4.0," featuring six injection molding machine work cells with integrated robots, automation, material handling and auxiliary equipment.
"Our 'Pathway to 4.0' theme will allow us to show off all of the capabilities of our Wittman 4.0 technology, so visitors to our booth can leave with a better understanding of what this tech can really do and how it can help improve their company's processes in ways they might not have thought of before," spokeswoman Crystal Gagnon said in a statement.
The work cells on display include a 180-metric-ton EcoPower press molding a shampoo flip-top lid made from polypropylene with a four-mold cavity, and a 110-tonne EcoPower clean room press molding polypropylene pipettes with an eight-cavity mold.
In another cell — what Wittmann Battenfeld is calling its "most complex example of how Wittmann 4.0 can be used — an 850-tonne MacroPower press will be making a spoiler with a one-cavity mold. The cell will also show its condition monitoring system for preventive and predictive maintenance.
A fourth cell will show Wittmann Battenfeld's newest high-speed injection molding machine, shown in North America for the first time: an all-electric 400-tonne EcoPower Express that will be molding closures with a 96-cavity bottle cap mold. The caps will be made from high density polyethylene.
Another work cell will feature a 110-tonne SmartPower press molding wood-plastic composite building blocks with an eight-cavity mold. The sixth, and last, work cell will feature a 15-ton two-shot MicroPower press with two parallel injection units and a rotary disk molding a plug inside the recording head of a vinyl record player. A built-in camera system inside the machine allows for automatic quality inspection of the parts, the company said.
Demonstrations of the Wittmann 4.0 technology will allow molders to experience its capabilities firsthand and "guide them on the pathway to true 4.0," the company said.
Wittman 4.0 features what the company calls its "Plug & Produce" feature, where as soon an operator selects a given mold data set on the machine's control system, the appropriate settings are applied to all other appliances in the production cell. Communication takes place via an Ethernet network operating with standardized OPC UA protocol.
The Plug & Produce feature — made possible with the Wittmann 4.0 router, which links all the appliances in a production cell and externally assigns the cell an individual IP address — also means machine operators no longer have to sign up for Information Technology 101.