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processing | Energy management

also play a huge part,” says Merkert. Arburg’s Gaub says more and more customers are

calling today for energy-saving technologies, which he says is fundamentally attributable to the rising cost of primary energy requirements. “For example, energy costs in Brazil have risen by around 70% in recent times. This situation is made even more dynamic by the internationally active European plastics processing companies, who are looking to integrate energy efficiency aspects in their subsidiaries.” Also of interest, however, are the developments that

result in the increased certification of manufacturers according to ISO 50001. “In this case, it is necessary to measure internal energy requirements, identify well- known consumers and continuously seek and implement ways to optimise consumption,” Gaub explains.

Hydraulic improvements In recent years, Arburg has experienced great demand for hybrid and electric machines (something, of course, that numerous other machine suppliers have also experienced). However, Gaub says that interest in the company’s hydraulic machines also remains strong in terms of increased energy efficiency thanks to further developments and model upgrades. “Arburg is continu- ously working to develop the entire product range according to the latest technical advances and to increase their energy and production efficiency,” he says. “We consider the entire process of part production in


Measuring energy usage on an Arburg Allrounder moulding machine

the context of increased productivity as well as energy and cost efficiency. When the specific energy require- ment of a machine is taken into account – the energy expended per kilogram of material processed – an increase in productivity automatically has a positive impact on energy efficiency. For this reason, it is worthwhile considering the manufacturing process as a whole, rather than just the use of energy, so that an

optimum machine solution is always achieved for the customer-specific production of parts in optimal quality and at minimum unit cost,” Gaub says.

Independent options Development by injection equipment suppliers of energy monitoring systems could mean reduced demand for systems from independent suppliers, but advances continue here too. In something of a half-way house, Husky Injection Molding Systems added an energy monitoring module to its Shotscope NX process and production monitoring system, which can be used on various types of manufacturing equipment from any supplier, a couple of years ago. Shotscope was originally developed by Branden

Technologies, which was acquired by Moldflow in 2001; Husky bought Moldflow’s Manufacturing Solution division, which included the Shotscope product line, in 2007. Since then, it has completely rebuilt Shotscope to allow it to benefit from the latest advances in electronic hardware and software technologies. The energy monitoring module connects to equipment via retrofit- table hardware that monitors analogue and digital outputs. Many machines built today—and this includes the latest Husky equipment—come supplied with such hardware built-in, enabling Shotscope to connect directly. Shotscope Energy Monitoring Module can monitor

not only the injection moulding machine but also auxiliaries such as dryers and mould dehumidifiers, with information being presented in separate data sets or amalgamated into a single set. Combining this information with other data relating to part weight and cycle times, Shotscope can calculate total energy consumption per unit weight of material processed. The module samples energy usage every 15 minutes, which Husky’s Shotscope Product Manager Peter Blenkiron says is frequent enough for data analysis in production control rather than in process control. Users can, however, change the interval if they wish. He also highlights the advantage Shotscope provides in identifying inefficiencies by comparing actual energy use with the energy use in ideal models, and also in being able to identify inconsistencies in equipment operation and energy consumption during start-up and shutdown procedures. Energy information can be presented in several

different report types and charts to enable analysis and data interpretation. A future release is likely to include the ability to trigger alarms if there are critical incon- sistencies in energy consumption. Energy data is also likely to be incorporated into the real-time and shopfloor views of the Shotscope system. Husky plans to show the Shotscope Energy Monitoring Module at K2016.

30 INJECTION WORLD | September 2016

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