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Home > News > Events & Exhibitions

CHINAPLAS 2023 to help plastics and rubber industries go smart for Industry 4.0

Source:Adsale Plastics Network Date :2022-12-14 Editor :JK

Industry 4.0 has created a remarkable impact on the production of a huge range of products. Technological breakthroughs, all aimed at establishing the “Factory of the Future”, centered on the use of digital technology to bring about enhanced productivity, efficiency and sustainability. Plastics industry also goes smart with cutting-edge technologies for greater efficiency and cost reduction in the era of Industry 4.0.


Digitalization makes manufacturing systems smarter


Through digitalization, manufacturing systems for plastics industry have become much more intelligent as they can now autonomously operate, diagnose technical problems and safety issues, monitor real-time production data, and ensure high product quality.


The adoption of smart manufacturing process in all aspects of production – from product design, actual production, supply chain, distribution and sales, and delivery – has made it possible for companies to withstand current and future challenges.


Plastics industry works to develop cutting-edge technologies for greater efficiency and cost reduction in the era of Industry 4.0.   

The advantages of a smart manufacturing operation became apparent during the pandemic when disruptions in economic activities occurred in countries around the world.


There were two options for manufacturers during the pandemic: to suspend or close their operations and experience huge losses; or restructure their operations and adjust to changing times.


Many companies modified their operations to produce urgently needed products during the pandemic, while others have embarked on a journey towards smart manufacturing process, a more realistic option, to sustain and ensure their uninterrupted operation.


Plastics and rubber industries gear up for smart manufacturing adoption


While the automotive and information technology industries were noted for their leading role in industrial automation, other industries have also started to upgrade their operations thereby increasing the requirement for smart devices, software, automation equipment, robots/cobot and other products.


The plastics and rubber industries have recognized the advantages posed by smart manufacturing in terms of overall costs reduction, remote monitoring and diagnostics of plant operations, reduced manpower intervention and minimal machine downtime that a growing number of companies in these industries are now setting up smart factories.

It has been apparent that among the various industries, demand for smart manufacturing technologies in plastics and rubber manufacturing has been consistently high to boost competitiveness.


Demand for smart manufacturing technologies in plastics and rubber production has been high.

The plastics and rubber industries have been quick to adopt and are now rapidly transitioning to this goal through digitalization, with augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI), and cloud technology being utilized to meet production challenges.


While investments into smart manufacturing solutions are relatively high, increased availability of 5G connectivity and innovative solutions have been instrumental in spreading this revolutionary breakthrough to the rest of the plastics and rubber industries, as well as related industries worldwide.


Digitalization has been increasingly applied particularly in plastics production processes, such as injection molding where production optimization is achieved through digitally integrated smart machines that guarantee improved precision and efficiency, large volume production, reduced machine downtime, real-time monitoring and quick response to technical issues.


There is growing need for advanced machinery and auxiliary equipment, sensors, process control software and other products to transform a plastics production facility into a smart manufacturing plant.

In plastics extrusion process, smart production has enabled the optimization of energy consumption while ensuring high product quality at reduced material wastage.


Thus, there is growing need for advanced machinery and auxiliary equipment, sensors, process control software and other products to transform a plastics production facility into a smart manufacturing plant.


Asia sees advantages of going smart to overcome future challenges


The growth momentum for smart manufacturing in Asia’s plastics and rubber industries is attributed to the implementation of Industry 4.0 strategy in many countries to convert traditional production into more advanced set-up where connectivity of physical and digitized data enables predictive analytics that can contribute to real-time monitoring and more efficient plant operations.


Companies in Asia are noted to have been more receptive to smart manufacturing usage, according to the 2022 State of Smart Manufacturing Report released by Rockwell Automation, which reveals that adoption of smart manufacturing has accelerated by 50% globally in 2021, a period when the world was battling the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.


The report further showed that the pandemic adversely affected Asia’s manufacturing sector with challenges faced in terms of skilled worker shortages, competition and supply chain disruptions.

In this survey of 300 manufacturers, 93% of Asia Pacific organizations view smart manufacturing as “extremely” or “very” important for future success. Thus, the adoption of smart manufacturing solutions in industries, such as plastics and rubber manufacturing, is considered important to prosper and stay competitive.


China has taken a leading role as reflected in the rapid growth of plastics and rubber producing enterprises with smart manufacturing operation as part of its “Made in China 2025” that aims to encourage technology innovations and transition of industries towards automation, IIoT and smart manufacturing.


Companies in Asia are more receptive to smart manufacturing usage, according to a survey by Rockwell Automation. (Photo: Rockwell Automation)

Korea has entered the fourth industrial revolution era with its goal to set up 30,000 smart factories in 2022, not to mention Japanese companies have been applying smart manufacturing technologies in their production facilities around the world.


India has also been encouraging the deployment of smart manufacturing technologies as part of its Industry 4.0 plans under Make in India (MII) initiative, with many of those engaged in plastics and rubber production pouring investments into smart manufacturing solutions.


Southeast Asian countries are not far behind – with the plastics and rubber industries in this region starting to optimize production processes through digital technologies.


Singapore is accelerating its move towards smart manufacturing with cutting-edge manufacturing solutions, AI, IoT as drivers to achieve this goal.


Thailand has embarked on its own version – Thailand 4.0 – with increased investments in 5G technologies and smart factories through IoT, AI and other more advanced technologies in its key industries such as automotive, plastics, and electrical/electronics.


Smart manufacturing has started to gain acceptance in Vietnam as it aims to embark on modernization by 2030 and become an innovation hub in Asia for smart manufacturing products and services.


In the Philippine, a government-initiated SMART program aims to digitize the country’s industrial sector – among them, food and beverage packaging, household products, etc., which are the major consumers of plastic and rubber materials.


Smart manufacturing solutions showcase under one roof at CHINAPLAS 2023


As the plastics and rubber industries in the region face the prospects of rising manpower and energy costs, high raw material prices and potential disruptions in supply chain, smart manufacturing is the key for companies to overcome current and future challenges.


At CHINAPLAS 2023, Asia’s No. 1 plastics and rubber trade fair, more than 3,900 exhibitors are set to show their innovative technologies and materials. The 18 theme zones covering every aspect of plastics and rubber production also include a zone on smart manufacturing solutions.


Not only international big names like Siemens, Keba, B&R, Beckhoff, Baumaueller, Staubli, Motan-Colortronic, Gimatic, ENGEL, SHI, Demag, Fanuc, Wittmann Battenfeld, etc., but also plenty of leading Chinese suppliers like Innovance, Haitian, Chen Hsong, Yizumi, LK Machinery, Borch, etc., are about to showcase full array of smart manufacturing solutions and machines at the theme zone.

Industry 4.0

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