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More than 6,000 invited guests from 54 nations came to Lossburg for the Arburg Technology Days.
More than 6,000 invited guests from 54 nations came to Lossburg for the Arburg Technology Days.
Argurg has successfully held its Technology Days from March 13 to 16, 2019 in Lossburg, Germany. The main focus was on the "Road to Digitalisation", along which the guests were able to gather comprehensive information about Arburg's digital components for production-efficient plastics processing. 

The event attracted more than 6,000 visitors from 54 countries. The share of foreign visitors has steadily increased over the years, reaching 44 % this year. In 2019, the largest groups from overseas were around 140 participants from North America and 110 from China.

“We have been travelling on our 'Road to Digitalisation' since Fakuma 2018, heading for K 2019. During the Technology Days, it was the overarching theme throughout the company. In this way, we have reached another milestone and made a complex topic more tangible,” summarized Michael Hehl, Managing Partner at Arburg. 

“Road to digitalisation” throughout the company

The arburgXworld customer portal with its three central apps is a new digital Arburg product.Arburg presented all that it is currently able to offer in terms of "smart machines", "smart production" and "smart services" along the "Road to Digitalisation". 

One highlight was the "arburgXworld" customer portal which, after registration, can now be used by German customers free of charge with the apps. Arburg bundles its digital services via this service marketplace in the cloud. The apps can provide a quick overview of the machine fleet, enable easy ordering of spare parts with interactive navigation and allow the creation of service tickets around the clock.

On the subject of digitalisation, Arburg's OPC UA solutions were also presented, illustrating how they can be used for the online provision of process information to higher-level systems and digital services. 

Allrounders were equipped with an IIoT gateway, offering great flexibility for the implementation of, for example, Arburg Remote Service (ARS), the Arburg Turnkey Control Module (ATCM), "arburgXworld" and the Arburg host computer system (ALS) through which all exhibits were networked. 

Each Allrounder in the Customer Center contained Arburg's six assistance packages as digital components. They actively support the operator and make it easier to work on the machine in line with the production requirements at hand – from start-up, set-up and optimisation, to production and monitoring, up to and including service. 

From augmented reality to predictive maintenance

The Efficiency Arena provided visitors with an overview of Arburg's digital components.In the Efficiency Arena, Arburg experts demonstrated the virtual maintenance of an injection unit via AR data goggles and video calls. This allows complex maintenance work to be carried out safely and faults to be identified and rectified quickly. 

Real-time monitoring of the condition of wearing components (condition monitoring) and predictive maintenance can prove useful in preventing malfunctions and unplanned downtimes. Among other things, load-dependent toggle lubrication on electrical machines and the detection of contamination on vacuum valves were presented. 

In addition, the control system will in future be able to detect whether the correct cylinder module has been installed via a chip on the injection unit.

Highlights of injection moulding 

Innovative applications in the automotive and lightweight construction sectors included injection moulding of rotor disks for servo-electric drive trains, as realised in the ProLemo research project, fibre direct compounding (FDC) of long fibre-reinforced lightweight components and physical foaming with Profoam. 

In addition, some customer applications from the automotive industry were on display. The largest component – a car front grille made of ABS – was produced on a hybrid Allrounder 1120 H with 6,500 kN of clamping force and Gestica control system.

In contrast, delicate micro dosing valves for medical technology weighed a mere 0.038 grams each. At the heart of the production cell was an electric Allrounder 270 A, equipped with a size 5 micro-injection unit, an LSR cartridge and a clean-air module. 

Another innovative application for medical technology was the production of labs-on-a-chip using assembly injection moulding. Using a Weber 2+2-cavity mould, an electric two-component Allrounder 520 A first produced two plates with connections for the fluidic supply plus two plates with fluidic channels. 

Popular turnkey solutions

The turnkey solutions area with nine machine exhibits and valuable information on the subject of digitalisation proved very popular.The "turnkey solutions" area with nine machine exhibits proved very popular. Two of these exhibits were equipped with the new ATCM (Arburg Turnkey Control Module) Scada system. 

As an example, the production of spirit levels on an electric Allrounder 470 A showed how the ATCM collects and combines the process and test data and visualises the key functions of the complete production cell.

An electric Allrounder 470 A demonstrated how optimum efficiency can be achieved by optimally matching injection moulding machine, mould and automation. The machine produced two 30-ml disposable cups made of medical PP in a cycle time of around 2.9 seconds.

Additive manufacturing: Freeformer and AM Factory

The world premiere of the The world premiere of the AM Factory drew the crowds. During the Technology Days, seven Freeformer 200-3X produced functional components from qualified standard granulates and special original materials, including materials with FDA approval for medical technology. 

One highlight was the new Freeformer 300-3X with three discharge units. It is the machine capable of additively manufacturing resilient hard/soft combinations with support structure from three components. The exhibit produced movable gripper fingers made of ABS, TPE and support material – in a single step and without requiring additional assembly effort.

The added value that the Freeformer 300-3X offers in fully automated and IT-networked production cells could be seen at the world premiere of the AM Factory. 

Side events: Presentations and factory tours

Expert presentations on current trends as well as guided tours of the operating factory rounded off the programme.

Arburg's expert presentations, given in German and English, were attended by more than 1,400 participants this year. In addition, more than 1,900 guests took part in over 200 in guided factory tours.
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