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processing | Energy management

Right: Piovan’s Winfactory 4.0 allows data to be accessed from tablet devices

them to control the entire operation, including energy use. “Energy costs are controlled significantly by controlling the up time and down time of the equipment as well as scrap. That is the basis of the system and where customers get the fastest payback,” he explains. “We also tie in auxiliary equipment when we do

process monitoring of the moulding machine and have gone to the extent of confirming how long dryers, chillers and other equipment have been on or even if they are truly on if in a remote location. We have had customers have us integrate with weather station systems to analyse the correlation of weather to the moulding process. We have monitored ambient temp and humidity of the moulding room and correlated that data to machine variables,” he says. For the most part, Benedix says that if Plantstar is doing the process monitoring, then variation of machine process data will indicate any problem in the machine that will ultimately impact on energy consumption.

Below: Moretto’s Eureka technology is claimed to cut dehumidifica- tion energy requirements by up to 60%

Auxiliary developments As already noted, injection moulding machines are not the only energy users in a production plant: auxiliaries are also important consumers. Suppliers of such equipment are well-placed to offer energy monitoring and control systems. Piovan, for example, says that with the evolution of its process control and management software (based on Industry 4.0 guidelines) it has created communication networks with an exchange capacity to allow for connections between the various parts of what it describes as the “technological ecosystem.” The company’s Winfactory 4.0 uses the latest OPC-UA (Unified Architecture) protocol. “Thanks to the use of this protocol, Winfactory 4.0 makes it possible to supervise and ensure dialogue between Piovan machines and machines of other manufacturers,” the company says. A similar communication platform allows access and use of the software on tablets and

smartphones. Piovan says that, in parallel with the development of

Winfactory 4.0, it created a group of integrated functions that allow for accurate control of operative parameters used to manage factory energy sources. “Knowing how and why they are used for each individual process based on the production volumes, the efficiency level of their use is determined,” the company says. “The data volumes necessary to identify the KPI [Key Performance Indicator] and best practices to adopt to optimise energy consumption can be collected quickly from various factories that are far from one another.” Meanwhile, at Italian ancillary equipment maker

Moretto, Chief Marketing Officer Benjamin Sutch says: “The critical role auxiliary plastics automation plays in the overall energy consumption and performance of a complete system should not be overlooked. In particu- lar, an important contribution to this combination of energy consumption and performance is driven by the dehumidification phase of plastic resins.” Moretto’s fully integrated Eureka dehumidification

system is designed to optimise this part of the produc- tion process. The company highlights its advantages for processing of PET, which requires reliable and accurate control for material drying in order to prevent material degradation. Sutch cites a system specified by “a well-known American PET preform producer” for handling 5,200kg/h of PET. It incorporates 30 Moretto OTX drying hoppers and nine X-Max 916 modular drying systems to achieve 30ppm PET inherent humidity in just four hours. The new installation has enabled the customer to cut treatment time by 40% and almost halve process air requirements, from 3.5m3

/kg to 1.8m3 /kg.

The X-Max dryer also automatically and constantly manages the necessary air flow through an advanced controller, which allows for optimal management of

32 INJECTION WORLD | September 2016

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