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Keywords of this article:  injection molding 
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Frigel’s Microgel units can capture energy consumption, and review temperatures, pressures and flow rates.
Frigel’s Microgel units can capture energy consumption, and review temperatures, pressures and flow rates.

Optimum mold temperature control is the key to stabilizing molding quality and shortening molding cycle. As Industry 4.0 is becoming the standard for plastic processing machines, auxiliary equipment manufacturers are upgrading their new generation temperature controllers with more “smart” functions and higher connectivity, so an even more efficient production process can be achieved.

Newly developed for use in smart factories

As most major plastics processing machinery manufacturers emphasize their commitment to Industry 4.0, the new generation products of Piovan are designed to be used in the smart factories.

The new line of temperature controllers, Easytherm, is set up for use in environments with open standards, such as the integrated OPC-UA server. And thus it can interact with the control panels of machines manufactured by different suppliers by incorporating the OPC-UA platform.

In addition, Easytherm can be used with Winfactory 4.0, the Piovan supervision software that allows communication between different machines within the plant.

As a versatile machine that guarantees reliability, accuracy and an intelligent management of consumption, the Easytherm mould temperature control unit is made with high-end components, and coupled with new interior and exterior layout and redesigned ergonomic control.

Frigel is one of the leaders in intelligent process cooling.The 3PR controller has been proved to be very successful on the Ecodry line of cooling systems, thus Frigel extends the technology to other product lines, including the Microgel machine-side combination chillers and temperature control units.

Key features of the intelligent process control system include an intuitive, 7-inch full color touchscreen through which users can access data in real time to optimize their equipment and improve productivity.

3PR technology also enables Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, allows users to access crucial operating data, including temperature, pressure, flow rate and energy consumption. Other remote monitoring capability includes the ability to connect to a higher building-wide monitoring system via Modbus RTU over Ethernet TCP/IP network.

The latest advancement in the Microgel line with digital controls now also lets users capture energy consumption data to further increase productivity and profitability. The ability of the Microgel units to display and record historical process cooling energy data marks an industry first, according to Frigel.

Now for the first time, plastics processors can capture and record energy consumption data for extended periods with machine-side chiller/TCUs, which is critical given that energy use for cooling is considerable. That data, in turn, fuels opportunities to lower operational costs and increase product profitability,” says Al Fosco, Frigel North American Marketing Manager.

Universal and Industry 4.0 compatible

GWK’s new expansion versions of temperature control units are built with controllers that are compliant with Industry 4.0.GWK has just introduced the new models of the teco c type series with a contemporary industrial design and modern control technology.

The series includes teco cs 90e.1, teco cs 90t 36.1, teco cd 120t and the cold water temperature control unit teco cw 25.1, and the brand new teco cs180e.1 has been added to the product portfolio.

GWK described the series as it meets all essential criteria that are required by global producers of universal temperature control units for general purpose applications.

The new development offers high-quality, yet affordable technology in a modern design with a high availability, simple operation, ease of servicing and potential individualization as well as the adaptation of expansion stages for comprehensive process monitoring and the requirements of Industry 4.0.

The first model of the new series developed was a 95-°C water version that can be globally used for 75% of all injection molding applications with standard plastics.

It can be said that the new product is not cut-price but a high quality temperature control unit built with our new 32 bit controller that is compliant with Industry 4.0 in the expansion version,” said Helmut Gries, Sales and Marketing Manager at the company.

There are e- and t-devices for the new series. Models such as the teco cs 90e.1 and the new teco cs180e.1 form the basis. Basic equipment includes the gwk basicControl microprocessor controller with display of set and actual temperatures, an automatic water refill, automatic mold draining and an energy-saving continuous heat control.

For individualization there are different interfaces, an individual colouration and lettering, mounting on rollers, rubber buffers or rails and other important options.

Adding new option to save energy cost

Wittmann Group’s TEMPRO plus D series temperature controller is operated via its touch-screen display. The latest single zone water temperature controller TEMPRO plus D120/1-L can also be integrated into the control of the processing machine, following the Wittmann 4.0 concept.

Using water as a tempering medium, TEMPRO plus D120/1-L is designed for a temperature range of up to 120°C. The "L" in the product name stands for "large" – in reference to this model's large heating and pump capacities. The pump is rated for 4kW with a maximum pressure of 5.9 bar and a flow rate of 280L/min. The heating capacity is 36kW.

Wittmann took important step by introducing the newly developed SpeedDrive option for the TEMPRO plus D temperature controllers. With SpeedDrive, the motor speed or pump pressure, or the differential temperature are additional parameters which can be preset without having to purchase any additional optional equipment for the temperature controller.

These parameters have a decisive influence on the injection molding process. With each one of these additional parameter settings provided by SpeedDrive, process reliability can be increased and, depending on the application, it also becomes possible to save energy and consequently costs.

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