INJECTION MOLDING: New Connectivity Programs For Work Cells

Standardized Ethernet protocol for injection machines, robots, and auxiliaries.

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At NPE2015 last month, Wittmann Battenfeld, Torrington, Conn., demonstrated two new remote connectivity programs for its molding machines and auxiliaries. Wittmann 4.0 is a standardized (Ethernet) communication protocol between all Wittmann machines, robots, and peripherals from a central hub—the Unilog B6 controller of the injection press. This allows visualization of the control screens for robots and auxiliaries on the machine display. This means that teach programs for the robots, as well as settings for Tempro TCUs, Gravimax blenders, Flowcon water-flow controller, etc. will now be stored as part of the complete mold or workcell setup on the molding machine’s controller. Each time a mold is changed, the settings for the entire cell will be downloaded automatically to all the peripherals, reducing chances for error and saving time.

The new WiBa QuickLook is a free smartphone app available from the Apple iOS App Store and from Google Play for Android phones. It allows users to check the status of injection machines and robots from their phone, showing production data and equipment condition, such as alarms. To keep things simple, the app provides only the most important current parameter (or robot program) settings in a given production cell. For more detailed information, users are still required to go directly to the machine or robot.

With QuickLook, equipment settings can be forwarded to others via email, and new equipment can be added simply by entering its IP address.