The focus of this year’s Customer Days at Arburg in Lossburg, Germany was how to study production efficiency as a whole. Michael Hehl, Managing Partner at Arburg, said at the press conference that, as far as Arburg is concerned, production efficiency is more than just an energy-saving injection moulding machine. In the new Efficiency Arena the company sets out all the things that are involved in a 360° study of the process chain and the extent to which the machine manufacturer is able to support the processor here.
Starting from Product Design and progressing to Corporate Strategy, the boys from the Black Forest shed light on each individual step. Sometimes it’s simply a foregone conclusion; sometimes, however, more input is required. For each stage in the process chain Arburg asks approximately ten questions. But the questions are highly practice-orientated and the use of specific examples in particular leaves the processor in no doubt as regards precisely how much excess energy and cycle time we are talking about. All the examples are around 10%!
Product design example
By replacing a PA6 GF 30 with a highly fluid type it has proved possible to reduce the processing temperature by 40°C in the case of a gyroscope weighing 17.3g. In addition to energy savings, this resulted in a reduction in cycle time of 10%.
Mould technology example
With thermal insulation of a mould for PC lenses (mould temperature 90°C) it was possible to save 10% of the energy required for mould temperature control.
Mechanical engineering example
This is where Arburg’s most comprehensive expertise definitely lies. Basically, the maxim that applies here is “the right machine for the right product“.
Peripheral technology example
The use of servo-drives instead of pneumatic drives with sprue picking device saved 10% of cycle time in the case of a chip holder.
Here it has proved possible to accommodate the stringent requirements essential for the injection moulding of buckets and to reduce the cycle time by a quarter compared with the standard machine. To achieve this, they use a combination of servo-electric drives for moving the mould. This use of servo-electric drives reduces the use of hydraulic technology and thus saves energy.
Process integration example
Here Arburg shows that, in the case of a multiple component toy car, the use of robot technology can reduce the time required for the simultaneous removal and insertion of parts and thus the overall cycle time by 15%. In addition, the robot assembles the car.
Process control example
Synchronising the ejector movement and the unloading robot enables cycle time for a modular storage box to be reduced by 10%.
Production planning example
A centralised master computer system records all necessary data relating to the systems. By contrast to manual recording, this saves between 5 and 15min per job, per set up process or machine. But an even more significant factor is that stoppages can be identified (and thus resolved more quickly) because of the centralised nature of the system, on average 3min faster than with the traditional alarm directly on the machine.
Energy management example
During maintenance of the compressed air systems the processor is also required to be alert for small holes. A small hole measuring 4mm will result in the loss of 19.8l of compressed air per second at an operating pressure of 7bar.
Corporate strategy example
Arburg itself has been able to reduce the set up time required for a change of tools on a rotary milling machine by 30min using video analysis. In changing a tool the employee would have to take no fewer than 36 separate actions. Now the sequence has been optimised and the set up time halved.
Press release English and German (zip download)