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Keywords of this article:  injection molding 
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A crowded KraussMaffei booth at Fakuma 2017.
A crowded KraussMaffei booth at Fakuma 2017.
Photo: 12

The KraussMaffei Group is on course for another record-setting year, as orders and sales for 2017 as of the end of August have exceeded the previous high set in 2016 by up to 10%, announced the company at Fakuma 2017.

China, according to Group CEO Dr. Frank Stieler, has increasingly becoming the driver of growth. "China and other Asian markets will increasingly become more important for us in the future. Through our new owner ChemChina, we now have even better access to the market than ever before. That's something we intend to build on."

On account of high demand, KraussMaffei's plant in Haiyan has already doubled its production volume and expects to see an additional increase in 2018. "We're integrating our plants for our supply chain and new products," he said.

As a pioneer project, KraussMaffei and Netstal will initiate a leasing scheme in Germany to offer more flexibility for customers. Together the two companies are offering a comprehensive leasing model for various standard machines up to 3,000kN, that includes service and insurance as options for up to four years.

At the end of the leasing period, the customer can decide whether to lease a new model, take over the existing one or simply return the machine.

"We want to offer our customers more flexibility through this pilot program for the German market. This is one step ahead towards having our customers use our machines for the entire service life. Such flexibility does not exist anywhere yet. My expectation personally is very high," Stieler said.

In an ideal scenario, the monthly leasing fee covers everything that can occur during the life of a productive used machine, according to the company. Besides the customary servicing, which is, of course, carried out by the manufacturer's specialists, an optional machinery breakage insurance policy is available. Besides force majeure, this also includes operating errors by the staff, lack of lubricants and other problems as well.

"Our customers often receive orders with periods from four to seven years. Those who buy a machine specially for this purpose have to get use out of it afterwards. In our program, the customer can have the flexibility to rent production capacity only for the required period," explained Nadine Despineux, Vice President Sales at KraussMaffei.

Another premiere from KraussMaffei is the new MaXecution manufacturing execution system (MES) tailored to the requirements of small injection molding companies.

The new MaXecution offers real-time data throughout the production phase, for example regarding the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), the management of molds and resources and the statistics on machines and rejects, thus facilitating the planning, control and monitoring of the entire production process.

Current manufacturing orders and the respective machines and personnel can be simply transferred to the shop floor level. In event of any malfunctions or deviations, the new MaXecution provides the opportunity to react rapidly and initiate counter-measures.

The new MaXecution from KraussMaffei is based on the well-known MES HYDRA from the Mosbach-based MES provider MPDV Mikrolab GmbH (MPDV), and will in future be offered in three versions.

Meanwhile, Netstal has unveiled two products from the Plastics 4.0 family: its e-service and the cloud-based production monitoring platform AnalytiX, which will be available from the second quarter of 2018.

The new e-service portal will deliver versatile electronic functions that provide information and direct communications to Netstal customers. Key benefits are time saving, enhanced availability and a reduction in costs, with unnecessary waiting periods minimized and the administrative requirement reduced.

A clear example of this is the procurement of replacement parts, where customers are able to check part availability and prices online at any time and then place orders directly. To avoid ordering the wrong part, an integrated, machine-specific parts finder will help identify the correct item.

AnalytiX will be available to support continuous production monitoring. The application is an integral component of the new e-service portal and will also be available as an independent app for smartphones and tablets running the iOS and Android operating systems.

As introduced, AnalytiX enables customers to monitor their machines at any time regardless of location and benefit from automated analysis of the processes and machine conditions. It also enables an in-depth analysis. Analyses of over 60 different production parameters are available for each individual machine.

This enables, for example, the cycle times, metering stroke and injection time to be remotely monitored in real time and used for independent analyses. All the information can be conveniently called up with a few clicks or taps.

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