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show review | 2016


Right: ProTec promoted its “one-stop


shop” for LFT production technology


Piovan’s key focus for K2016 was on Smart Manufactur- ing, with four new products on display that allow customers to make the move into Industry 4.0 production. The first, and perhaps the most immediately


significant, is its Winfactory 4.0 production supervision system. This is designed to allow processors with existing equipment to make the move into the Industry 4.0 environment without the need to reinvest. It uses OPC-UA interfacing to allow connection between Piovan and third party equipment, whether it be a moulding machine, robot or a smartphone. Winfactory 4.0 is built on the expertise gained from


the existing Winfactory software, Piovan Chief Market- ing Officer Giorgio Santella says the company has 1,500 systems in operation, but extended and shaped for Industry 4.0 application. It supports up to 800 inputs, for instance, compared to 80. However, he emphasises that it is industrial – and hence affordable – software. The system is available in four basic configurations


tailored to specific industry requirements: automotive, medical, PET and film. These can be supplemented with additional modules such as energy management and mobile reporting. The company also introduced three new items of equipment with fully integrated OPC-UA interfacing and enhanced on-board process evaluation and auto-adapt capabilities. These include a Digitemp EVO thermochill- er, Genesys high efficiency PET dryer, and Quantum E blender.


“These are our first cyber-physical models,” said


Santella. “To turn any equipment into a cyber-physical system is not easy. We have to rethink them and decide what is the benefit. These first three systems have a real benefit.” ❙ www.piovan.com


Mixing technology company Promixon introduced two new ranges for polymer blending and powder mixing at the show: The Xblend-MC and FX series. The Xblend-MC models are intended for production


of PVC dry-blends, WPCs, thermoplastic resins, masterbatches, additives, powders and powder coatings. Key features of the new models include shorter mixing, cleaning and maintenance times, which are said to allow a 30% increase in system output. New mixing tools are also claimed to provide more efficient mixing, reducing energy use and allowing preparation of even the most difficult material blends. The machines also use Promixon’s latest interface and SCADA system for production data collection. FX series mixers are primarily designed for master-


batch, compound, powder coatings and premixed powders applications and include new lifting and rotation


82 COMPOUNDING WORLD | December 2016


units and sealing system. Again, new mixing tools have resulted in a 30% reduction in typical mixing times. The new models also feature redesigned mixers to simplify cleaning and minimise risk of batch contamination. ❙ www.promixon.com


Germany-based ProTec Polymer Processing was presenting its capabilities as a one-stop supplier of long fibre thermoplastics (LFT) production systems for the first time at K2016. “Right now we are the only company offering all the component parts – a one-stop shop operation,” said Protec Technical Expert LFT Brigitte Littwitz.


The acquisition of the former PolymersNet LFT


production systems business last year together with the non-exclusive partnership agreement with Coperion covering twin screw compounding machines has positioned the company well to target what it sees as growing demand for LFT production technology. “I have never seen such high demand for LFTs since


the automotive industry started using them – this demand is coming from the need to save weight,” said Littwitz, who has more than 20 years’ experience in LFT production. She said that Protec had 10 LFT systems in operation and had taken an order for a system for a Chinese customer during the first days of the show. Protec’s LFT technology is suitable for production of


LFT pellets with up to 65 wt% fibre content in a wide range of polymers – including up to 10% recycled content – and in fibre lengths from 7 to 25mm. Systems for production of PP/glass LFTs offer output rates up to


www.compoundingworld.com


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