Pharmaceutical & medical

first instance, so that he could take his time and test everything out. There’s almost always a certain degree of skepticism at the outset, especially in the injection molding sector where so much is based on empirical values,” Jost comments. Thanks to cavity pressure monitoring with ComoNeo, it was possible to resolve this issue quickly and segregate the faulty parts – known as short shots. Since then, ComoNeo has been integrated into all three of the machines used to produce the special closures, and it is also planned for three more machines.

Merhold is delighted with the results:

“As well as enabling automated segregation of short shots, this system achieves a higher level of automation and makes maintenance easier. As the user, you can see exactly what is happening in the mold, which cavity has a problem, how the venting is proceeding, which cavities are lagging behind, and much more besides.” He continues: “I really appreciate how

Mr. Jost of Kistler provided us with a system to test, so quickly and without bureaucratic fuss.” The HMI for ComoNeo is located directly on the machine, so users benefit from a fast overview and full control over the live injection molding process. “And I really have to bang the drum for Kistler when it comes to user-friendly operation. You quickly find your way into the system, and most of our employees can manage on their own after a brief training session,” Merhold adds.

Process data – the basis for Qa and develoPment Kistler’s cavity pressure sensors also prove to be very robust, and they can easily withstand 10 million cycles – an essential attribute, given the huge quantities produced in the plastics industry. “I should also mention that the sensors are fitted with a replaceable ‘single-wire cable’ – and that’s a very major point in their favor as far as handling is concerned,” Jost notes. “That’s because it can happen that a cable is damaged during installation – so in that case, you can simply change it without having to replace the whole sensor.” Insights and valuable process data

gained thanks to ComoNeo also help Merhold and his colleagues at Riegler with developing new molded parts and systems, especially as regards long flow lines in the injection molding process. Another advantage: thanks to the integrated ComoNeoRECOVER Restart Assistant, tried-and-tested settings can easily be transferred to other machines –

Instrumentation Monthly January 2019 51

so plug-and-produce is no longer a matter of wishful thinking for plastics processors. “And just in case something happens: here at Kistler, we accord high priority to good service,” Jost points out. “Spare parts, commissioning or staff training – no matter what the requirements are, we regard service as a key issue and we aim to provide the best possible support for our customers.” Merhold agrees: “I’ve rarely known a

working relationship that runs as well as our collaboration with Kistler. It’s always easy to approach their staff, and we've already worked together to bring about a large number of small improvements.” He concludes by taking a look into the

future for Riegler: “As the next step, we intend to improve the connection to a new MES system. That will allow us to track down the precise cause of parts that might be faulty. Then we shall be stepping up our efforts to improve traceability: for example, the dimensions, cavity pressure during production and other process variables will be available for each part via a QR code. At the end of the day, it’s all about building up the trust of the customers and end users – and making sure that the patients are safe.”

Kistler Riegler

A large proportion of Riegler's ongoing production takes place on highly integrated and fully automated lines

Christoph Merhold (right) assesses the good working relationship between Riegler and Kistler with Peter Jost

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