In recent years, injection molding plants have started embracing the concept of Industry 4.0. Rather than focusing only on producing high-quality parts, which still remains a priority, injection molding plants are looking to streamline their processes and reduce scrap with the concept of "smart" machines. At Carlo Gavazzi we can help injection molding equipment manufacturers facilitate the transition to "smart machines" through our NRG digital solid state relaysdOrBRDGU7a4, and also the CA18 and CA30 IO-Link capacitive sensorsGQJO4V67C6Y.
The plastic extrusion machinery industry is experiencing trends towards energy efficiency, new application segments and the use of advanced materials in specific industries. Manufacturers are seeking machines that can run faster and more accurately while integrating recycling features and reducing their carbon footprint. Apart from traditional plastic films, extrusion processes have now become an integral part of the manufacturing processes of EV batteries. This new application is bringing new requirements for more real-time process data acquisition and more precise control strategies to optimize processes and reduce energy consumption.
Blow molding machines
The need to reduce plastic waste is creating new opportunities for manufacturers to move to sustainable packaging solutions, integrating recycling capabilities and the use of biodegradable materials. These trends meet the specific needs of the food and beverage industry, providing safe, hygienic, and sustainable packaging solutions. Blow molding processes utilize several heaters that must be precisely controlled to produce high-quality parts whilst ensuring a repeatable process. Precise control requires frequent switching of the heating elements and this is where solid state relays outperform electro-mechanical solutions in both product life and response time.
Blown film extrusion machines
The blown film extrusion process requires the control of different parameters other than just temperature control. While inflating the plastic material, the film tension control ensures that the film does not break. Film breakage results in significant material waste and increased machine downtime. The process needs to be monitored continuously to make sure that the inflated hose is maintained at the correct diameter. All of these variables can be controlled by using a mix of ultrasonic and capacitive sensors. Furthermore, to keep the temperature within tight limits and detect a heater breakdown, solid state relays such as the RGC1S and the NRG seriesTlaa8YzF33o are ideal.
In thermoforming processes, heating is a critical step to ensure that the plastic sheet is evenly heated before entering the forming section of the machine. A fast reaction to the PID control is required to maintain the zone temperature within limits. To ensure uniform heating, a number of independent heating zones are used resulting in a large number of components within the electrical panel. Our wide range of solid state relays and SCRs (proportional controllers) occupy a minimal footprint and, solutions like NRGdOrBRDGU7a4 significantly reduce wiring time and result in a very short ROI compared to traditional solutions.
Dryers and dosing systems
Auxiliary equipment such as dryers, temperature control units (TCUs), chillers and dosing systems are a core part of any plastic production machinery. Chillers are responsible for providing the required cooling within the equipment zones. With portable chillers and TCUs panel space is always very limited. The detection of plastic pallets in hoppers requires proximity sensors that have high immunity to external disturbances. The drying process of the plastic granules also requires heating. Switching of the heaters can be done via zero-cross solid state relays but also directly through an analog input where the heater power can be modulated with finer precision.