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6 scenarios show you the core of smart production

Injection molding production management is a production activity with organized planning and supervisory regulation. The traditional injection molding production management is based on handwritten records, which easily leads to many risks and problems that cannot be solved in real time. Therefore, the improvement effects of production management are not obvious. 
FCS Group PIM laboratory adopts the intelligent injection molding machine controller and collects the necessary interface device and process sensor information by OPC-UA communication protocol, and the manufacturing resource database is constructed in real time with Ethernet. The intelligent manufacturing factory system (Intelligent ManuFactory 4.0) in the cloud converts resource database data into OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) production trends, automatic production statistics, and molding process parameters records. Then, the Industry 4.0 action computing, analysis and optimization are performed to improve production efficiency and reduce production waste.

Figure/ Concept of iMF 4.0 intelligent manufactory system

Scenario 1: 
The patrol personnel check the equipment utilization and production capacity one by one through the equipment control panel. The information on equipment utilization and production capacity cannot be effectively collected, and the production management is time-consuming and laborious. In addition, it is impossible to concentrate resources to solve the production problem.

Solutions: 
The production capacity status of each production line, equipment OEE production trend warning, abnormal shutdown and production abnormality classification statistics are aggregated on the production execution billboard. Through the visual management based on production management billboard, the patrol personnel present temporary countermeasures on the production problems in a quick and real-time mode to improve production efficiency and reduce the production of defective products.


Figure/ Production administrator in FCS Intelligent ManuFactory

Scenario 2: 
The OEE is composed of equipment utilization rate, production efficiency and yield rate. The traditional OEE relies on the handwritten production operation data by the inspectors, which is then submitted to the production management unit (situation room). After the classification and statistics translation process, the abnormality countermeasures can be developed. Omissions or errors are frequent in the collection of operation data while the translation process is time-consuming and laborious. Consequently, it is impossible to quickly analyze the real cause, resulting in low production efficiency and increased production cost.

Solutions: 
The OPC-UA communication function module of iMF 4.0 obtains the information of the injection molding interface device and the environmental monitoring sensor, and automatically uploads the information to the cloud system, thereby reducing the risk of omission and error in manual operation.

The OEE function module of iMF 4.0 is equipped with OPC-UA communication function module to perform automatic data collection and statistical analysis, which eliminates the possible errors in the manual operations. In the meanwhile, it is equipped with the production execution management function module to quickly analyze equipment utilization rate, production efficiency and yield rate, thereby assisting the situation room in quickly formulating the countermeasures.

The production execution management function module of iMF 4.0 quickly selects backfilling shutdown reasons and production abnormalities through mobile devices, uploads and classifies the cloud records, outputs statistical reports, assists the situation room in the online control of operation state and judgment on the abnormality cause, thereby realizing patrol management and real-time prevention of production abnormalities.


Figure/ Concept of iMF 4.0 intelligent manufactory system

Scenario 3:  
The external environment, raw material variation and equipment aging affect the flow behavior of the injection molding melt in the cavity, which causes drifts in the molding capacity. The parameter changes of the monitoring machine molding process cannot directly and effectively ensure the quality of the molded products.

Solutions: 
iMF 4.0 is equipped with the quality and environment sensing function modules to directly and effectively monitor the flow behavior of the melt in the cavity. Through the sensor feedback, the production operators are able to quickly detection the deviations in the process capability and make quick responses.
Scenario 4: 
At the production site, the robot arm is used to take out the molded product to reduce the manpower requirement. However, the robot arm cannot identify the quality of the molded product in real time. Therefore, manpower input should be increased at the production site to perform the edge inspection, which cannot really achieve the purpose of reducing manpower input.

Solutions: 
The quality and environment sensing function module of iMF 4.0 can identify the molding quality, and automatically detect the suspected NG product with the robot arm to reduce the input cost of production manpower.

Scenario 5: 
Although the quality and environment sensing function module of iMF 4.0 is equipped with the process capability monitoring function module to provide direct and effective feedback on the flow variation of the melt in the cavity, it is still necessary for the operators to adjust the machine equipment according to the analysis result.

Solutions: 
The melt viscosity suppression control module of iMF 4.0 is equipped with quality and environment sensing function module, which can finely adjust the molding parameters according to the flow variation feedback of the melt and ensure the consistency of product weight.

Scenario 6: 
Multi-cavity molds are frequently subject to filling imbalance due to mold processing, assembly precision or rheological behavior of the melt. Production operators need to monitor the flow behavior of each cavity in real time, and manually adjust the hot runner temperature of each cavity to ensure the filling balance. This operation relies on the manual operation and the technical experience of experienced personnel.

Solutions: 
The multi-cavity melt flow control function module of iMF 4.0 is matched with the quality and environment sensing function module, which can automatically adjust the melt flow according to the flow imbalance feedback of each cavity, thereby making the melt flow uniform.


Figure/ Step into industry 4.0

Different from the general remote monitoring system, the iMF 4.0 intelligent manufactory system not just monitors and records the injection molding actuation parameters (machine parameters). Instead, it extends the view angle to the monitoring and recording of molding process parameters (material parameters), and strengthens the effectiveness of molding parameter monitoring. In addition, statistics, variable analysis and artificial intelligence (AI) methods are applied to perform numerical classification and analysis, which improves the real-time properties of the formulation and implementation of abnormal elimination countermeasures, and greatly increases the added value of data reutilization, simplifies the production management, and reduces the management labor costs.

 
Figure/ Application for intelligent factory

 Compared with the traditional manufacturing execution systems (MES), the iMF 4.0 intelligent manufactory system effectively integrates the Operation Technology (OT), Information Technology (IT) and Communication Technology (CT) for the planning of injection field, which means to extract the field production characteristics by means of OT, and connect the information of equipment by virtue of IT and CT. The system is featured by a simple and practical framework, convenient maintenance and low cost. It is suitable for the management applications of small and medium-sized enterprises, and also retains the data exchange interface for large-scale enterprises by quickly linking with its MES system under operation.


 
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