Products & Solutions
Injection Molding Solutions
In manufacturing, unplanned delays due to avoidable human error is frustrating for the busy production managers. Searching for interchangeable parts for machines, such as molds for injection machines, can be time intensive. However, the worst thing that can happen is if the wrong mold is inserted into a machine or the wrong program is executed on a particular mold. In this case, the machine or the mold can be damaged, causing unplanned and expensive downtime. Using an RFID asset tracking system with molds can mitigate all of these risks in one solution.
Benefits of Mold Identification
- Reduction in time spent looking for, scheduling, and inventorying molds.
- Improved process and quality as well as logistics flow.
- Prevention of downtime due to damaged molds or machines.
- Monitor use and life cycle of molds using automatically logged historical records.
The HARTING Solution
Using HARTING’s edge computing MICA device combined with HARTING ruggedized RFID solution, a scalable and cost effective solution can be implemented into injection molding systems with minimal installation and integration efforts.
Unlike other RFID readers, the HARTING solution can both read and process data directly at the machine in real time. This allows for the potential to integrate additional functionalities into the solution.
Energy is a critical resource in manufacturing – every item is manufactured using energy and that energy has an associated cost. Surprises in energy costs caused by price fluctuations or inefficient machinery can have devastating effects on a company’s stability and ability to stay competitive.
In addition, energy usage provides insight into the overall health of the machine, which in turn can signal when maintenance needs to be performed before the machine goes down.
Using sensors to monitor the energy usage of the machine in real-time provides insights that are invisible day-to-day. With the energy measurement solution, as soon as the usages is out of the ordinary an alert is triggered. Maintenance can then be scheduled and performed when the injection-molding machine is not in use.
Benefits of Energy Measurement:
- Simplify cost management through real-time analysis of energy usage.
- Prevent unplanned downtime by detecting energy consumption abnormalities that provide insight into machine health.
- Reduce carbon emissions and comply with ISO 50001 through efficient energy usage.
The HARTING Solution Package
Using sensors that measure current and voltage, the HARTING MICA can record data in a single unit for contextualized energy production information. The solution is highly scalable and can begin with one machine and be expanded upon for minimal investment.
The solution provides immediate access to real-time and historical information that can be connected to already existing ERP systems or analysis tools, such as Excel.
Industry 4.0 is all about maximizing efficiency – efficiencies between machines on a factory floor and efficiencies between people and machines.
In many factories, the only way to get a program created by an engineer at his or her desk to the machine is to put it on a USB and then configure directly at the machine. In turn, the only way for an engineer to get data is to pull directly from the machine, and put it on a USB to bring back to his or her desk for processing.
In the best-case scenario this is only a few minutes of wasted time for each activity. Even so, those few minutes are still compounded daily and add up to several hours or days over the year. For engineers who can’t find the right USB or have to spend a lot of time reconfiguring, this process is a nightmare.
The ability to remotely access, read, write and store data to the machines provides a critical and quick way to overcome inefficiencies so that companies can maximize overall production efficiency. In addition, it becomes possible to access information across multiple machines to generate real-time information.
Benefits of Accessing Machine Data:
Improve overall operational efficiencies by eliminating the need to walk between
machine and desk computer for programming and pulling data.
Easily access process information available in machine controllers and sensors without
disturbing machine operation.
Optimize the production process by continuously recording and storing information for future use in predictive maintenance models, analytics, and quality assurance.
The HARTING Solution Package
Using HARTING’s edge computing MICA device it is possible to remotely access the data in programmable logic controllers or other machine control devices. In certain cases, it is also possible that programs can be remotely written to the machine.
The modularity of the MICA edge device is compatible to a multitude of intermediary protocol formats that allow legacy systems to be integrated with minimal effort. In addition, modern IT protocols can be easily supported on the server side by installation of a container, which supports MQTT or interfaces directly to IBM Bluemix, SAP Hana or Microsoft Azure.
An injection-molding machine is often the most important machine in a manufacturing process. If there is an issue with the machine, production is slowed or halted until the machine is fixed. This results in unplanned downtime and high losses in production and revenue. Scheduled preventative maintenance can help lessen the risk, but doesn’t completely remove it.
Using sensors to monitor the condition of the injection-molding machine in real-time provides insights that preventative maintenance schedules cannot cover day-to-day. With condition monitoring, as soon as a parameter is out of range an alert is triggered. This allows maintenance to be scheduled before the parameter comes close to causing a shutdown.
In a long-term view, a conditioning monitoring system can also extend the useful life of the injection molding system by addressing problems immediately instead of after they cause irreparable damage.
Benefits of Condition Monitoring:
- Avoid unplanned downtime by creating accurate maintenance forecasts using historical records.
- Prevent irreparable damage using real time alerts and notifications.
- Reduce the number of checks and inspections needed through continuous monitoring.
- Extend the useful life of the equipment through operation insights.
By monitoring parameters such as flow, current, and temperature with sensors and the HARTING MICA®, a cost effective solution can be integrated into existing injection-molding machines.
This solution monitors even the slightest changes to parameters and records changes to make sure that everything is operating within nominal thresholds. The MICA® generates automatic alerts whenever an abnormality is recorded. These alerts are sent to existing back-end system where the maintenance team is prompted to take action.