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ENGEL AUSTRIA and Werner Koch Maschinentechnik have set the next milestones en route to OPC UA-based communication across the board in injection moulding. The injection moulding machine manufacturer and the peripheral equipment manufacturer have jointly developed an OPC UA interface for the integration of machines for mixing and dosing thermoplastic materials on injection moulding machines.
With immediate effect, dosing and mixing units by Koch can be integrated with the CC300 control unit of the ENGEL injection moulding machines via OPC UA and operated via the control panel on the machines. With its service-oriented, platform-independent and freely scalable structure, OPC UA offers both great flexibility and a high degree of data security. The communications model is increasingly asserting itself as a standard in the injection moulding industry.
Today, the mixing ratio of the base material, additives and master batches are still set manually in many applications. To do this, a separate control unit is typically required on the injection moulding machine. The integration of dosing and mixing units with the machine control unit offers the advantage of being able to directly transfer the parts dataset, and with it the recipe, directly to the dosing unit on mounting the mould in order to automatically configure the mixing ratio. The dosing process is centrally controlled via the machine display, removing the need for the additional control unit. Alerts from the dosing and mixing unit are also output via the CC300 machine panel. As result, dosing becomes a more convenient experience for production employees, and the risk of input errors is reduced. Storing process data together also makes the production batch easier to trace.
ENGEL injection moulding machines can currently use OPC UA to talk to a large range of peripheral devices. They include temperature control units, hot runners and LSR dosing systems, for which EUROMAP recommendations also exist. Dosing and mixing units for thermoplastics have now been added. Standardised interfaces considerably simplify communication with the production cell independently of the manufacturer. This is why ENGEL is joining forces with other companies in the plastics industry to strongly promote standardisation.


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