Industry 4.0: Now It’s Extrusion’s Turn

Euromap publishes trial versions of standard interfaces for extrusion lines and components.

So far, work on formulating standard Industry4.0 interfaces between devices and computers has focused on injection molding. The first final interface based on the OPC-UA communications protocol is Euromap 77, published in May, covering data transfers between injection machines and MES computers (see prior blog). Next, Euromap, the European association of plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers, published trial or “Release Candidate” versions of three parts of Euromap 82 covering mold-temperature controllers, hot runners, and LSR dosing systems (see this blog).

But this week saw publication of seven Release Candidates on extrusion. These describe the extrusion line as a whole and specific components. They define data exchanges between the components of an extrusion line and MES systems:

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  • Euromap 84.1: General Type Definitions;
  • Euromap 84.2: Extrusion lines;
  • Euromap 84.3: Extruders;
  • Euromap 84.4: Hauloffs;
  • Euromap 84.5: Melt pumps;
  • Euromap 84.6: Melt filters;
  • Euromap 84.7: Dies.

These parts will be validated in test implementations before they are published as final versions. Additional sub-parts of Euromap 84 for additional components of an extrusion line are in preparation.

The introduction to Euromap 84.1 notes that “Different architectures are possible for the information flow between the components of an extrusion line and towards an MES.” Three scenarios cited are these (see accompanying diagrams):

A. Each component has its own OPC server and is connected directly to an MES.

B. A central line control collects all data from the components and forwards these to the MES. The exchange between the line control and components can be realized by OPC-UA, but also by other technologies, such as fieldbus or Euromap 27.

C. The line control is included in an extruder.