In response to the current trend of net zero carbon emissions, how can a vendor in the plastics and rubber industry grasp the business opportunities related to the "circular economy" and “stay-at-home economy” in the post-COVID-19 period when we need to co-exist with viruses? The answer is that the vendor must use its own powerful smart manufacturing advantages to conduct comprehensive innovation in fields from upstream material research and development to midstream and downstream equipment manufacturing and processing, so as to stand out and then form a complete circular ecosystem.
Since 2018, Taipei International Plastics & Rubber Industry Show (TaipeiPLAS) has begun to strengthen integration along the upstream and downstream supply chains, e.g., the shoe-making machinery industry. Meanwhile, Fu Chun Shin Machinery Manufacture Co., Ltd. (FCS) has also taken further steps to carry out its company mission of "Shape a Better World", for which FCS vows to assist customers in producing plastic products in a more environmentally friendly and efficient manner so as to save energy, improve yield, and reduce plastic waste. With over 45 years of experience and accumulated R&D energy in plastic injection molding machine, FCS is able to satisfy its customers' various product requirements and to stabilize production quality.
Photo/ A mold with two-component 24-cavity infusion cap
However, end customers of the plastics and rubber industry are currently facing a bottleneck in promoting Industry 4.0. The key problem is that they know how to collect and exchange data but have little knowledge and investment in how to use and interpret the production data. Meanwhile, many system integration vendors lack the knowledge of market segmentation, leading to their inability to identify the reasons for low production efficiency and high costs and making it extremely difficult to promote intelligence and digital transformation. In the end, there must be in-depth cooperation among industry experts in terms of data conversion and application; otherwise, no driving force can be formed alone.
FCS has begun to invest, since as early as 2014, a lot of resources to develop the "iMF 4.0" intelligent ManuFactory Smart Injection Molding Solution, emphasizing that it can automatically adjust the viscosity, density and other conditions of each batch of plastic materials through a large number of sensors, software, and algorithms, so that the recycled materials can be as stable as new materials when used in the on-site production, thus greatly increasing the willingness of processing industry players to adopt recycled plastics.
Furthermore, capitalizing on its over 40 years of expert experience in injection molding to develop the production cycle time management system, FCS is able to provide a complete set of solutions for the clients in their software and hardware planning and their education and training for data use and interpretation. FCS iMF 4.0 system can be mounted on any injection molding machine to exchange data with peripheral equipment to independently adjust and control quality parameters and display the overall equipment efficiency in real time, so that managers can grasp the statistics and analysis of the abnormality in production status in real time; the end customers can use the smart sensing modules to quickly formulate improvement measures to increase product yield and reduce production waste; and they can get reminders and warnings in advance to avoid unexpected downtime losses and solve traditional process bottlenecks through project monitoring and feedback suggestions.
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New machine layout for energy-saving medical material application and comprehensive provision of smart manufacturing and services
During the COVID-19 pandemic in the past two years, many customers have adopted FCS injection molding machines to produce goggles, medical syringes and other products to protect the people in the post-COVID-19 period, when humans must inevitably coexist with the virus. Meanwhile, in line with the trend of high efficiency, energy saving, carbon reduction and circular economy, FCS will release a number of new attractive models featuring "all-electric", "multi-color", and "energy-saving" at TaipeiPLAS DigitalGo in 2021.
Among them, the FCS "All-Electric Injection Molding Machine" (CT-e series)
adopts a European high-end control system, which is comparable to the performance level of Japanese models. The injection speed can reach 300mm/s and the repeatability on the same injection position can reach 0.01mm; fully closed loop control makes the adjustment of the mold faster and more accurate and independent from being affected by oil and temperature. The stable process can produce a mold with 32-cavity pipette tips, which is precise, stable, efficient, energy-saving and environmentally friendly. With all the advantages, the CT-e series is the preferred solution for precision plastic parts and the first choice for precision and stable molding of medical devices.
Photo/ FCS All-electric injection molding machine
In recent years, FCS has become the drafting unit of the industry standard for two-color injection molding machines in mainland China. It has been 37 years since the launch of the FB-R series Rotary Multi-Component Injection Molding Machine. The rotation of the rotary table is controlled by a servo motor, which can shorten the rotation time by more than 50%; servo power system conforms to the Level One of National Energy-Saving Standard (≦0.40kw h/kg); and the patented turntable positioning fixture is accurately positioned to ensure the service life of the mold. The injection part can be matched with a variety of models. With its clamping force ranging from 140 tons to 1,900 tons, it can meet the needs of small to large injection products and can automatically produce dual-color dual-material oxygen masks, drip caps and other products, thus providing the best solution for the medical supply industry.
FCS "Advanced Servo Hydraulic IMM With Electric-Driven Injection Unit" (FA-e series)
is an advanced model with higher specifications and high standards than the toggle hydraulic servo energy-saving model. Not only is it highly efficient, energy-saving, and versatile, but it features design optimization, specification upgrade, aesthetics and human-factors engineering, in line with the CE, GB, ANSI and other international standards. The injection unit is driven by a servo system, with precise control and smooth motion. The injection speed can reach 300mm/s and can be matched with market needs to provide modular injection specifications for selection. The "special sprayer machine" derived from its high-end configuration is widely used in the precision nozzle parts and packaging industry. During the pandemic, it helps customers quickly go for mass production and create a sales boom.
However, FCS also admitted that plastic and rubber injection molding equipment is facing a new wave of challenges, such as the evolution of composite materials in the circular economy and the development of lightweight chemical methods, such as sheet metal plasticization, glass-like, and micro-foam molding. To meet and overcome such challenges and to make it possible to achieve smart manufacturing and provide smart services, FCS should not take the angle of a manufacturer but the perspective of the clients in considering such factors as material management, mold management, process design management, and equipment structure.