battenfeld-cincinnati is showcasing its expertise across the entire product spectrum at K 2019. From perfectly coordinated, modern machine components designed to meet the highest demands in terms of resource efficiency, end product quality, and profitability, through tools to monitor and control them – battenfeld-cincinnati has all bases well and truly covered. Whether manufacturing pipes, profiles, sheets, boards, or pellets, reproducible process settings and quick changeover times have a significant impact on a processor's production success. In line with the demands of a flexible production process that is well-equipped to rise to the challenges of Industry 4.0, the mechanical engineering specialist is offering a complete package of measures, available as optional modules for each extruder system.
The new generation of the BCtouch UX control system, first introduced at the K trade fair three years ago, is now available for use across all applications. The system has won over customers worldwide thanks to its simple and intuitive operation in day-to-day production activities. All system components are clearly visualized on the 21.5″ display, making the machine operator's job much easier. battenfeld-cincinnati is one of the few manufacturers to offer entire lines from a single provider. Combined with the BCtouch UX system and its extensive functionalities, this relatively unique market position opens up a range of brand new possibilities, underpinning battenfeld-cincinnati's expertise across the entire product spectrum. The control system enables all individual components to be linked together. Concrete settings for each component are stored in the formulation management module and are transferred automatically when switching to a different formula, meaning stable production standards can be achieved almost quickly and efficiency. Together with the reproducible product quality, this helps to guarantee maximum efficiency.
In recent months, battenfeld-cincinnati has been developing a comprehensive package of instrumentations, which has been integrated into the control system. Among the available tools is the option to record the position of the vacuum tank during pipe production and to store this information in the formula. There is then no need to adjust the settings for a new production order, saving both time and money as a result. The same also applies for the position of the roll stack during sheet or board extrusion.
What's more, the die set used during pipe production can also be recorded and read in directly via barcode or RFID chip. This information is then used to show the possible dimensions with the installed die set in the display. These dimensions can then be approved, meaning that the correct settings can be made almost automatically.
An online centering aid also helps the operator when it comes to centering the die set. Changes to the position of the die can be displayed on an external mobile device. This feature is particularly useful when working with large pipe heads and dimensions, as the operator often has to change position in order to make the necessary adjustments. The decentering settings can also be stored as a comment in the formula and then set again during the next production run for this product, ensuring maximum reproducibility. Production staff can quickly find the answers they need using the help function in the control system, which includes plain text instructions as well as videos for ease of understanding and process-diagnosis.
Sensor technology considerably simplifies the scheduling and execution of maintenance work. battenfeld-cincinnati offers a comprehensive range of options in this regard. Sensors on the gears, for example, detect vibrations and oil quality, directly indicating potential wear and tear and alerting operators to the need for oil changes early, thereby facilitating predictive maintenance. Another example is the laser-supported fill level indicator in the dosing attachment. This piece of equipment can be used with both conical and parallel twin-screw extruders to reliably record the level of material in the screw filling areas, meaning that process variations resulting from varying fill levels can be effectively eradicated.
The entire system can of course also be monitored via a mobile unit, giving production staff a high degree of flexibility. A particular highlight being introduced for the first time at this year's K is the “Dash” button. If the operator experiences any problems with the system or requires help for any other reason, pressing this button sends a notification to the machine manufacturer's service department and the customer receives a swift response. A particular advantage of the new “Dash” button feature is that all the necessary basic information about the machine is transferred directly, saving the operator from having to provide these details themselves. Problems are resolved much more easily and downtimes are significantly reduced.
As an additional measure, battenfeld-cincinnati has also launched a pilot project to test the possibility of storing process data in a cloud-based system in order to further boost the speed and accuracy of the support provided.