At K 2019 in Düsseldorf, Germany, between October 16th and 23rd, for the first time anywhere in the world, ENGEL is exhibiting its iQ weight control intelligent assistance system for injection moulding processes with a recycled material application, making the great potential inject 4.0 offers for the circular economy a reality.
iQ weight control individually adjusts the quality-related process parameters for each shot during injection to suit the prevailing conditions. Since 2014, the system has been used to great effect to process virgin material. However, recycled material naturally yields greater batch variations than virgin material. The software’s ability to also operate reliably under these circumstances was thoroughly put to the test by ENGEL and recycling specialist Erema. Using different recycling technologies, heavily soiled geotextiles made of polypropylene were salvaged, pelletised and put through an injection moulding process while using iQ weight control. “The tests confirmed that iQ weight control maintains a constant melt volume throughout the production process, even when processing recycled material,” Paul Kapeller, product manager for digital solutions at ENGEL AUSTRIA, says. “By offering this solution, we’re opening the door to a significantly wider range of applications for recycled material, making an important contribution to the circular economy.”
Compensate material fluctuations reliably
At K, ENGEL will be clearly demonstrating iQ weight control’s great potential to close the loop for recyclables by processing fully recycled ABS on an ENGEL victory 120 injection moulding machine. To simulate realistic conditions, it will use recycled material from two different companies, MGG Polymers and Bage-Plastics. “Many processors have multiple suppliers for their recycled material,” Kapeller explains. “As a result, the raw materials’ flow characteristics can vary so dramatically that the part no longer gets completely filled after a material change. iQ weight control steps in at the first shot, adapting the parameters to the new circumstances so that good parts are consistently produced regardless of the recycled material supplier.”
The state of the art in smart production
The victory 120 injection moulding machine represents the state of the art in smart production. Alongside iQ weight control, all other iQ products from ENGEL’s inject 4.0 program are installed. Permanent adaptation of quality-relevant process parameters based on real-time data is an essential feature of the smart factory.
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