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Outlook 2020: Resource efficiency and digitalisation

Source:International Plastics News for Asia

Date Published:12/14/2019 08:12:36 PM

Digitalisation, resource efficiency and green production are key concerns for the plastics industry, according to Gerhard Böhm, Managing Director-Sales, ARBURG  
Digitalisation, resource efficiency and green production are key concerns for the plastics industry and ARBURG  has been clearly focusing on those trends and responding to the needs of the various industries relying on plastics – such as automotive.  
As Gerhard Böhm, Managing Director-Sales at ARBURG said: “In the automotive industry, we can sense the forthcoming change. Investments at the present time - with the exception of special projects - are restrained because there is no clear and definitive vision of the technology of the future. Having said that, it is already possible to state that plastic will continue to play a significant role in automotive construction because it is such a versatile material.” 
Mr. Böhm also stressed the significance of plastic as an important material and valuable commodity for the future, and this leads to the matrix of topics associated with circular economy and resource efficiency. At K 2019, ARBURG presented two applications that demonstrated how recyclate materials can be processed in a practical context.  
Gerhard Böhm, Managing Director-Sales, ARBURG
                                              Mr. Gerhard Böhm, Managing Director-Sales, ARBURG
“For the injection moulding of cups made of PP on the packaging version of our new hybrid ALLROUNDER 1020 H, clear evidence is emerging that the addition of PP recyclate does not cause any fluctuations in quality,” Mr. Böhm explained. While at the exhibition, the proportion of recyclate was only about 30%, in the ARBURG Customer Centre, higher proportions were successfully processed. The application proves that if it is possible to collect plastics in segregated grades, it is economically viable to introduce these back into the value-added chain.
Improvements in the processing of post-consumer recyclate (PCR) has also been achieved. ARBURG demonstrated the manufacture of a safety door handle on ALLROUNDER injection moulding machines. On an electric two-component ALLROUNDER 630 A, the PCR is processed after physical foaming with the ARBURG ProFoam process. After that, the two handles are installed in the tool and, in a third stage to the process, are then coated with TPE. This application proved that PCR made from domestic waste plastics is ideally suited to the production of high-quality, durable industrial components for functional uses, which constitutes a very important step, according to Mr. Böhm.  
Mr. Böhm also explained that the innovative Film Insert Moulding (FIM) process is a growing segment in the automotive, electronics and medical technology sectors. For this application, the electric ALLROUNDER 470 A running IMSE technology (Injection Moulded Structured Electronics), has been able to coat the back of a 3D film with integrated electronic functions and LEDs.   
“In the area of digitalisation, the new filling assistant for the GESTICA control unit is a highly complex piece of kit that provides a 3D graphic animation of the fill level of a component in relation to the current position of the screw. This delivers decisive benefits in terms of tooling time, safety, component quality and process stability,” according to Mr. Böhm.  The plasticising assistant involves a memory chip integrated in the cylinder module. This makes it possible to perform preventive maintenance on an as-needed basis, and it improves troubleshooting for Service. “In the future, all ALLROUNDER machines will be equipped with what we call Basis Connectivity. With this so-called IIoT Gateway, our machines can be networked to higher-level software tools and arburgXworld easily and in a standardised manner,” Mr. Böhm added.  Customers can configure and order this compact machine online using an app on the “arburgXworld” customer portal in a few simple steps - and can enjoy fast delivery lead times and attractive prices.  
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