Injection Moulding Plan A for circular economy, resource efficiency and digitalisation

Source: Press release MA Alexander Stark

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Excitement is mounting in the run-up to the K 2022, the world’s leading trade fair for the plastics industry. Under the motto of “There is only a Plan A” the machine manufacturer wants to underline its committed to sustainability, the circular economy and carbon reduction.

Sustainability on show: in the Arburg Green world pavilion in the VDMA Circular Economy Forum, an electric Allrounder 370 A with recyclate package produces “Greenline” plugs from Fischer.
Sustainability on show: in the Arburg Green world pavilion in the VDMA Circular Economy Forum, an electric Allrounder 370 A with recyclate package produces “Greenline” plugs from Fischer.
(Source: Arburg)

At its trade fair stand A13 in hall 13 and with the Arburg Green world pavilion in the VDMA Circular Economy Forum, Arburg wants to showcase its role in resource conservation. “With 'Plan A', we want to show visitors of the K 2022: we have understood these contexts and, as a machine manufacturer, we are making our contribution by tackling these issues on both a strategic and an operational level,” says Dr Christoph Schumacher, Director Marketing.

At K 2022, the company will illustrate how highly networked, digitalised manufacturing helps to conserve resources and increase production efficiency. It is all about the synergy between the circular economy and high-tech with the help of targeted digitalisation.

How exactly can digitalisation deliver sustainability? For example, through targeted sorting and recycling of plastics. Tools include the R-Cycle initiative and marking technologies such as watermarks or QR codes that are applied to products during the manufacturing process. Or equipping the Gestica control system with various digital assistance systems to make it easier for customers to manage the problem of fluctuating material quality of recyclates. The machine manufacturer tackles these issues both at its stand 13A13 and the Arburg Green world pavilion.

Circular Economy Pavilion: sustainability in theory and practice

The Arburg Green world pavilion is all about concrete sustainability measures in production and products: in other words, about what Arburg does within its own company to conserve resources and what its products do for customers. Greenline plugs from Fischer, one of the market leaders for fastening systems, will be produced on an electric Allrounder 370 A with recyclate package and Multilift robotic system. The give-away is a prime example of a successful circular economy in the field of post industrial recyclate (PIR). The sprue is deposited directly in a mill. It is then returned straight back into the process as regrind and reused.

Technologies for more sustainability and production efficiency

The main stand 13A13 will showcase corresponding technologies that enable sustainable, efficient manufacturing. Exhibits will include solutions with a small footprint, process control and networked peripherals, as well as completely new technologies, configurations with compact automation or the series production of mass-produced articles. A total of eight hydraulic, hybrid and electric Allrounders with a clamping force of between 350 and 6,500 kN and two Freeformers for industrial additive manufacturing will be on show at the trade fair stand. All injection moulding machines will be automated with robotic systems, in some cases integrated into complex turnkey systems and connected to the Arburg-X-world customer portal.

Visitors will be able to see for themselves the potentials of the Gestica control system and its assistants, such as the aXw Control Fill Assist. The Varimos plug-in from Simcon will be shown for the first time, which displays the effects of changes to machine parameters based on AI.

Another eye-catcher will be the production of a high-quality tool case in Arburg design on a hybrid Allrounder 1120 H with a clamping force of 6,500 kN.

No less than three exhibits are equipped with the recyclate package: an electric Allrounder 470 A produces PP handles from post-consumer recyclate (PCR), while a hydraulic Allrounder 270 S compact uses glass-fibre-reinforced PPS recyclate to make tweezers. The exhibit also has secure 5G mobile connectivity — a pilot project by Arburg and Telekom.

Another networked, compact turnkey system is based on an Allrounder 375 V with a six-axis robot and Arburg Turnkey Control Module (ATCM) and produces a bicycle tool from recycled PA66/6 (GF50).

A further smart exhibit is a hybrid packaging Allrounder 630 H in a cleanroom design that produces around 18,000 transparent PET blood tubes per hour: the injection moulding machine communicates with the mould, hot runner controller, material dryer and automation via the Gestica control system and OPC UA. The Moldlife Sense computer system is integrated into the 32x tool provided by Arburg’s partner Hack and enables monitoring across the complete life cycle.

With an electric Allrounder 720 A, the machine manufacturer will present an alternative to deepdrawing. Its new size 1300 injection unit enables high injection volume flows thanks to precise AMK motion servo motors. The exhibit manufactures thin-walled, round IML cups.

An Allrounder More 1600 manufactures Luer lock connectors for medical technology. The application will be the first to show handling with a Yaskawa robot, which can be directly programmed via the Gestica control system.

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A definite highlight in terms of mould technology will be the Allrounder Cube 1800 with a 8+8+8-cavity cube mould with new CITI technology of Arburg’s partner Foboha. The three-component cube mould produces a functional component from PP, TPE and POM. A six-axis robot simultaneously fills the mould, cools it and removes the parts.

Apart from Arburg’s own products, products from two sister companies will also be on show: two 3D printers from Innnovat iQ as well as the components from AMK motion for the Allrounder powertrain. After all, the powertrain is the hallmark of a state-of-the-art injection moulding machine. Thanks to the acquisition of AMK motion, the company now has complete control over the development and production of the entire powertrain, including servo motors and servo inverters.