Industry 4.0: Wittmann Battenfeld Makes OPC UA Compatibility Standard

Citing the impact of the coronavirus on the need to digitize manufacturing, Wittmann Battenfeld announced that effective April 1, newly ordered peripheral equipment complies with OPC UA communication protocols free of charge.


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Supplier of injection molding machine, auxiliary equipment and robotics Wittmann Battenfeld (U.S. headquarters Torrington, Conn.) is making OPC UA connectivity standard on all Wittmann 4.0 compatible machinery ordered from April 1 onwards. This will allow that equipment to communicate freely with the company’s injection molding machines that feature the B8 control system.

Among the advantages of utilizing OPC UA communications, Wittmann says its auxiliaries can communicate via Wittmann 4.0 using their own graphic operating logic and connecting to injection molding machines with B8 control systems. With this connection, all functions of these auxiliary appliances can also be manipulated centrally on the Wittmann injection machine’s B8 control unit, applying their familiar menu structure.

Wittmann says this also extends the mold data set to not only include the usual process parameter settings for the machine itself, but to also contain the Wittmann 4.0 auxiliary appliances and Wittmann R9 robot settings. The application models and key data are also saved for what the company calls an appliance preview.

With that, the total required set of production equipment to support a given mold can be retrieved at any time from the mold catalog of the B8 control. Using this, an operator can quickly prepare a machine for a mold change, pulling up the required auxiliaries—and their settings—automatically.

Following that mold change and the mechanical and electrical connection of the auxiliaries to the mold and the machine, the parameter settings, formulations, robot sequences, etc. can be transmitted automatically from the mold data set to all the auxiliaries involved. Automating the data transfer to each piece of auxiliary equipment eliminates the risk of human operating errors.

Beyond its own molding machines, the company noted that there is an option to utilize Wittmann 4.0 outside a Wittmann cell. This is accomplished by connecting the machine and the auxiliary appliances to the TEMi+ MES system. In addition to the normal functionalities of an MES system, Wittmann notes that the TEMI+ technology supports the extended mold data set and the appliance preview.

Wittmann 4.0 OPC UA connectivity