Hanover Fair

Checkmate: Arburg plays chess at Hanover Fair 2019

| Editor: Steffen Donath

"Our new 'AM Factory' will showcase fully automated, networked and 100 percent traceable additive manufacturing," explains Heinz Gaub, Managing Director Technology & Engineering at Arburg. As a practical example, the turnkey system built around a Freeformer 300-3X will produce and test individualised gripper variants for chess pieces.
"Our new 'AM Factory' will showcase fully automated, networked and 100 percent traceable additive manufacturing," explains Heinz Gaub, Managing Director Technology & Engineering at Arburg. As a practical example, the turnkey system built around a Freeformer 300-3X will produce and test individualised gripper variants for chess pieces. (Source: © Arburg)

Arburg will be showcasing the production of its vacuum grippers with chess pieces at Hanover Fair 2019.

As an Industry 4.0 and digitalisation pioneer in the plastics industry, Arburg will once again be presenting innovative practical solutions for the "Digital Factory" at Hanover Fair from 1 to 4 April 2019. This year's highlight at stand J10 in hall 6 will be the "AM (Additive Manufacturing) Factory": A turnkey system will produce vacuum grippers in six different versions "on demand", in a fully automated and 100 percent traceable process. The new ATCM (Arburg Turnkey Control Module) Scada system collects, visualises and transmits the relevant process data. Arburg will also be presenting its new customer portal and the ALS host computer system, a special MES solution for plastics processors.

"With more than 30 years of experience in IT-networked production, we are pioneers in our industry in terms of digitalisation and Industry 4.0. I am convinced that a combination of additive manufacturing, automation and digitalisation offers enormous potential and will make plastics processing companies fit for the future," says Heinz Gaub, Managing Director Technology & Engineering at Arburg. "We will present an outstanding practical example of this in our new 'AM Factory': A fully automated and networked turnkey system built around a Freeformer 300-3X for industrial additive manufacturing will manufacture 100 percent traceable, individualised gripper variants."

AM Factory: Gripper variants based on customer requirements

The idea behind the AM Factory is to additively manufacture or enhance small-volume batches or single-unit parts fully automatically – including in autonomous overnight production. At Hanover Fair 2019, the production of vacuum grippers for chess pieces will be demonstrated as an example. There is a separate gripper variant with matching geometry for each piece – queen, king, bishop, knight, rook or pawn. The central elements of the turnkey system consist of a Freeformer 300-3X, a six-axis robot and the Arburg Turnkey Control Module (ATCM) Scada system. In addition, the AM Factory uses a modular and scalable safety controller that Arburg has developed especially for complex turnkey systems in order to meet the continuously increasing safety requirements.

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The instruction to produce the desired gripper variant is initially started at a terminal. In the ATCM, each part automatically receives a unique number (ID). All handling is performed by a Kuka six-axis robot. It removes a gripper base plate from the shaft magazine and forwards it to the "laser engraving" station, where it is marked with a DM code, making it uniquely traceable. The part is placed on a workpiece carrier, plasma-treated in the next station and scanned before it is inserted into the Freeformer build chamber. The Freeformer 300-3X then completes the desired functional shape according to the stored 3D printing order in around three minutes, using the elastomer TPU (Desmopan 9370). The finished vacuum gripper is removed, scanned again and undergoes a tactile functional test while still in the production cell. For this purpose, the desired chess piece is picked up via vacuum and moved onto chess board.

The ATCM handles the recording and merging of process and quality data. Via an HMI (Human Machine Interface) terminal with touch panel, it also visualises the important functions of the entire production cell. Data transfer is carried out via the OPC UA communication platform. Each vacuum gripper is 100 percent traceable via its DM code. After scanning the code, relevant production data such as build time, material, droplet count and build chamber temperature are displayed on an individual website.

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