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Injection April 2024 | EN

Our customer magazine Injection combines news from the ENGEL world, short news items from our subsidiaries, technology articles on the latest product developments and success stories from our customers.

Our customer magazine Injection combines news from the ENGEL world, short news items from our subsidiaries, technology articles on the latest product developments and success stories from our customers.

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The magazine from <strong>EN</strong>GEL for the plastics industry<br />

<strong>April</strong> | <strong>2024</strong><br />

<strong>2024</strong> <strong>EN</strong>GEL Packaging Day<br />

Less cost pressure and higher<br />

profitability for thin-wall injection moulders Page 6<br />

“A full toolkit” – solutions for contract<br />

injection moulding manufacturers<br />

TechTalk with Patrick Grüner from <strong>EN</strong>GEL Page 8<br />

authentig: transparency creates clarity<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL’s MES software used at<br />

plastics producer Kroschu since 2019 Page 22<br />

High-performance packaging:<br />

Mould and machine working symbiotically<br />

Technology centre at Erwes Reifenberg adds <strong>EN</strong>GEL e-speed 550 machine Page 18


Strengthening our presence<br />

The world is in a state of transformation, and we at <strong>EN</strong>GEL are taking<br />

a serious and structured approach to tackle the resulting challenges.<br />

For some years now, we have been setting our strategic course, which<br />

you – our customers – can rely on to help build your success. We are<br />

continuing to follow this path.<br />

Come<br />

see us<br />

at <strong>EN</strong>GEL<br />

Digital Days<br />

from 18 to 20<br />

June, <strong>2024</strong><br />

Dr Stefan Engleder<br />

CEO, <strong>EN</strong>GEL Holding<br />

In specific terms, this means two things: Keeping our production and<br />

development at <strong>EN</strong>GEL “in the region and for the region”, which in turn<br />

allows us to cater to the local conditions in your markets. Our many<br />

years of experience now enable us to implement local solutions with local<br />

development and manufacturing expertise.<br />

At the same time, we assist global players with managing the machine’s<br />

entire product life cycle based on global standards. Regardless of which<br />

and how many markets you have operations in, you can depend on a<br />

consistent level of quality – we guarantee global standards at local costs.<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL’s hub structure provides the ideal framework for this. Our hubs in<br />

the Americas, Europe and Asia regions are made up of largely independent<br />

units, each spanning sales, order processing, production and after<br />

sales. Where necessary and appropriate, global standards are applied in<br />

collaboration with head office in Austria.<br />

With this in mind, we are already looking forward to the trade shows we<br />

will be attending this spring with great anticipation: Chinaplas in Shanghai<br />

and NPE in Orlando. We will be showcasing new and exciting exhibits that<br />

cater to the relevant market needs. Our goal continues to be for <strong>EN</strong>GEL<br />

to act as a reliable partner for your high-quality and cost-effective injection<br />

moulding production – no matter where in the world you happen to be based.<br />

This issue of the magazine bears testament to that fact. On page 14,<br />

for instance, you can read about a tech-savvy contract manufacturer in<br />

Poland that is benefiting from what <strong>EN</strong>GEL has to offer – from extensive<br />

consulting expertise through integrated production units to staff training.<br />

We can give you everything from a single source, allowing you to lead<br />

the way in your market.<br />

IMPRINT<br />

Publisher: <strong>EN</strong>GEL AUSTRIA GmbH | Ludwig-Engel-Strasse 1, A-4311 Schwertberg, Austria, www.engelglobal.com<br />

Editorial team: Andreas Spicker, <strong>EN</strong>GEL | Katharina Wuschko, <strong>EN</strong>GEL (responsible editor)<br />

Layout: Marion Maria Fürlinger, <strong>EN</strong>GEL<br />

<strong>Injection</strong> is <strong>EN</strong>GEL’s customer magazine. It appears regularly in English, German and other languages. Articles may be reprinted with the editor’s consent<br />

and reference to source. The common names, trade names, product names and similar cited in this issue may also include trademarks and be protected<br />

as such without being specifically highlighted. We ensured that all the photographs captured for this issue were taken in strict accordance with the public<br />

health guidelines in effect at the relevant times in the relevant countries. The health and safety of our employees, customers and partners takes top priority<br />

for <strong>EN</strong>GEL at all times. No longer interested in reading <strong>Injection</strong>? Please write to marketing@engel.at


News<br />

Retrospect<br />

Articles<br />

4 <strong>EN</strong>GEL news<br />

The latest from the world of <strong>EN</strong>GEL<br />

6 <strong>EN</strong>GEL Packaging Day <strong>2024</strong><br />

Less cost pressure and higher profitability for thin-wall injection moulders<br />

8 “A full toolkit” – solutions for contract<br />

injection moulding manufacturers<br />

TechTalk with Patrick Grüner from <strong>EN</strong>GEL<br />

12 The <strong>EN</strong>GEL CC300 plus control unit –<br />

A real plus in terms of ergonomics and haptic features<br />

14 Technologies for the future<br />

SPLAST boosts competitive position with <strong>EN</strong>GEL technologies<br />

18 High-performance packaging:<br />

Mould and machine working symbiotically<br />

22 authentig: transparency creates clarity<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL’s MES software used at plastics producer Kroschu since 2019<br />

24 When speed is of the essence, space and time are key<br />

Wicro Plastics uses Fast Track machines from<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL to fulfil customer requests at pace<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>_3


<strong>EN</strong>GEL news<br />

St. Valentin large machine plant<br />

named 2023 factory of the year<br />

Panel impressed by digital transformation<br />

and consistency within sustainability strategy<br />

Awards for twostage<br />

process<br />

Efficient reuse of<br />

plastic waste<br />

Circular economy project manager<br />

Stefan Fehringer received the award.<br />

Martin Weger (back centre) with his leadership team at the St. Valentin plant.<br />

In a manufacturing competition organised<br />

by Fraunhofer Austria and Industriemagazin,<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL’s large machine plant at St.<br />

Valentin was declared Factory of the Year<br />

2023, confirming it as the best production<br />

facility in Austria. Along with the other<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL production plants, St. Valentin<br />

forms part of a global, high-performance<br />

network for complex and cutting-edge<br />

machine manufacturing.<br />

The accolade was awarded in part due to<br />

the carefully designed manufacturing process,<br />

in addition to the consistent sustainability<br />

strategy and pioneering role in digital<br />

transformation. “Having the right layouts<br />

and the right transport routes is particularly<br />

important when handling part weights of<br />

up to 150 tonnes, and implementation<br />

must be cleanly and carefully planned,”<br />

says plant manager Martin Weger. One<br />

project that lines up with this approach<br />

involved the expansion and redesign of<br />

the assembly line. The assembly principle,<br />

under which the clamping and injection<br />

sides of the machine are manufactured<br />

and assembled separately, is unparalleled<br />

in the area of special machine building.<br />

Recently realised optimisation measures<br />

have raised the plant’s output by 15%, with<br />

lead times cut by 65%.<br />

Having been named Product of the Year at<br />

the start of 2023, the two-stage process<br />

has now impressed in two more competitions.<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL took top honours for<br />

the process at the Recycling Machinery<br />

Innovation Award, which was handed out<br />

at the Plastics Recycling Show Europe. It<br />

also finished second in the regional innovation<br />

award for Upper Austria. Thanks to<br />

the two-stage process, it is possible to<br />

stably process plastic waste as flakes in<br />

injection moulding directly after grinding.<br />

With an entire process step, pelletising,<br />

being eliminated, costs, resources and<br />

energy can be saved – sustainability in<br />

both senses of the word!<br />

4_<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>


<strong>EN</strong>GEL leading on climate change globally<br />

Platinum status in 2023 Ecovadis rating<br />

Headquarters in Schwertberg – and many other locations – feature extensive PV systems.<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL continued to extend its lead in the<br />

global EcoVadis sustainability rankings in<br />

2023. Last autumn, the company was<br />

able to achieve platinum status and now<br />

ranks among the top 1% of the world’s<br />

most sustainable companies due to strong<br />

initiatives.<br />

“We are proud that our sustainability drive<br />

has once again been objectively confirmed,”<br />

says Stefan Engleder, CEO of<br />

the <strong>EN</strong>GEL Group. "It proves that we, as<br />

a company, are sticking to our principles,<br />

even in challenging times."<br />

EcoVadis is the world's largest provider<br />

of sustainability rankings. The rankings<br />

include data from more than 90,000<br />

evaluated companies and focus on the<br />

global supply chains in each case. The<br />

In the global Ecovadis rankings, <strong>EN</strong>GEL<br />

achieved platinum status in autumn 2023.<br />

companies' environmental, social and ethical<br />

performance is evaluated.<br />

"We have been able to improve massively<br />

in the field of climate protection and are<br />

now one of the leaders," says Alexander<br />

Hell, Head of Sustainability Management<br />

at <strong>EN</strong>GEL, pointing out one detail. This is<br />

primarily due to the combination of science-based<br />

greenhouse gas reduction<br />

targets and the large numbers of climate<br />

action campaigns already implemented<br />

both at <strong>EN</strong>GEL locations and in the solutions<br />

portfolio. It was just this summer<br />

that <strong>EN</strong>GEL announced its commitment to<br />

the Science-Based Target Initiative (SBTI).<br />

This means that the company is 100%<br />

transparent in its sustainability efforts, and<br />

verifiably so based on scientific criteria.<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>_5


<strong>EN</strong>GEL Packaging Day <strong>2024</strong><br />

Less cost pressure and higher profitability for<br />

thin-wall injection moulders<br />

Manufacturers of thin-walled packaging solutions currently face major challenges, with increases in the<br />

price of energy and materials putting pressure on profit margins and making it harder to plan ahead. In<br />

addition, the constant growth in requirements with regard to recyclability is making production processes<br />

and products more complex. At Thin-Wall Packaging Day, <strong>EN</strong>GEL exhibited solutions for injection<br />

moulders to produce plastic packaging in a sustainable, profitable and viable manner for the future.<br />

On 8 February this year at Thin-Wall<br />

Packaging Day, <strong>EN</strong>GEL showcased<br />

In recent years,<br />

we have been<br />

hard at work to<br />

continue developing<br />

our solutions.<br />

Christoph Lhota, Vice President<br />

Medical & Packaging, <strong>EN</strong>GEL<br />

the latest in its technology and systems<br />

as well as looking ahead to future<br />

developments in thin-wall injection<br />

moulding. The event combined<br />

presentations by well-known experts and in-depth<br />

insights based on specific best-practice case studies<br />

with interactive workshops on practical examples of<br />

applications, providing a comprehensive overview<br />

of <strong>EN</strong>GEL’s innovations for the packaging market.<br />

“In recent years, we have been hard at work to continue<br />

developing our injection moulding machines<br />

and solutions for thin-wall injection moulding,” says<br />

Christoph Lhota, Vice President of <strong>EN</strong>GEL’s Packaging<br />

business unit. “The needs of the market have always<br />

been key to all our projects.”<br />

From machine supplier to business enabler<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL is strengthening the company’s orientation<br />

as a key contributor to its customers’ commercial<br />

success by offering a multiplicity of innovations, which<br />

have been tailored to address the future challenges<br />

of the market.<br />

Ivica Puskaric, Sales Manager Packaging at <strong>EN</strong>GEL,<br />

characterises the event: “For us on Thin-Wall Packaging<br />

Day, it is not just about showcasing our solutions – it<br />

is also a case of demonstrating that<br />

we are an innovative, dependable<br />

partner for the industry. We want to<br />

We want to<br />

establish dialogue<br />

with our customers.<br />

Ivica Puskaric, Sales Manager<br />

Packaging, <strong>EN</strong>GEL<br />

establish a dialogue with our customers<br />

and position ourselves even closer to<br />

the market.”<br />

<br />

Lively stream of visitors at Thin Wall Packaging Day <strong>2024</strong>.<br />

Visitors at the individual stations were given in-depth insights into the subject<br />

matter, covering the relevant production processes and technologies.<br />

6_<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>


The entire machinery range for the packaging industry at the <strong>EN</strong>GEL Packaging Center.<br />

Ivica Puskaric & Christoph Lhota (left to right), two of the minds behind the<br />

development of thin-wall injection moulding at <strong>EN</strong>GEL. Attendees could see the<br />

pair and ask them any questions both up on stage or right there by the machines.<br />

Reducing<br />

material usage<br />

and cycle times.<br />

Keynote speeches on various topics relating to the packaging industry gave<br />

guests a well-rounded overview of the current situation.<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>_7


“A full toolkit” –<br />

Solutions for contract injection moulding manufacturers<br />

A large part of the plastics processing industry involves third parties being contracted to mass-produce<br />

the relevant products. <strong>EN</strong>GEL offers a whole range of products and services especially for the<br />

target group of contract and toll manufacturers. These meet the particular requirements at hand and<br />

provide the user with a whole host of benefits to increase their own competitiveness. We spoke to Patrick<br />

Grüner, who is responsible for injection moulding business development at <strong>EN</strong>GEL, about what<br />

opportunities exist and what <strong>EN</strong>GEL offers in addition to its range of injection moulding machines.<br />

When we talk about contract<br />

or toll manufacturers in the<br />

plastics processing sector, which<br />

particular challenges confront<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL for this target group?<br />

PATRICK GRÜNER: There are definitely<br />

three major challenges for the group<br />

of contract or toll manufacturers. The<br />

first to mention is the permanent cost<br />

pressure to make products as cheaply as possible.<br />

Another important aspect is flexibility and availability.<br />

For instance, this involves the ability for multiple products<br />

to be running on the same machine and for these to<br />

be available quickly. The third challenge, certainly at the<br />

moment, is the continuing shortage of skilled workers.<br />

What does <strong>EN</strong>GEL offer in<br />

terms of its injection moulding<br />

technology to respond to these<br />

particular challenges?<br />

GRÜNER: <strong>EN</strong>GEL responds to the<br />

particular challenges with a carefully<br />

coordinated range of machines to<br />

provide our contract manufacturing<br />

customers with the most cost-efficient<br />

8_<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>


in question are iQ weight control, iQ<br />

clamp control and iQ hold control. They<br />

very efficiently assist the user with minimising<br />

the machine’s downtime and<br />

getting back into the productive phase<br />

as quickly as possible, which for the<br />

contract manufacturer means the same<br />

thing as earning money.<br />

injection moulding machines possible.<br />

And naturally, that includes a wide<br />

variety of different lines, such as our<br />

Fast Track – our stock machine programme<br />

to meet our customers’ need<br />

for rapid availability. With our core<br />

expertise in machine technology, we<br />

offer flexible solutions both with our<br />

long-running favourite, the tie-barless<br />

machines, as well as with fully<br />

electric machines from our e-mac<br />

series, which are perfectly tailored to<br />

contract manufacturing. The support<br />

we offer does not end with our injection<br />

moulding machines. We also offer a<br />

wide range of solutions, digital products<br />

and automation options – a full<br />

toolkit for our customers’ challenges.<br />

Staying on the topic of challenges, productivity<br />

is a particular issue in volume production.<br />

Speed is of the essence. <strong>EN</strong>GEL has some<br />

different potential fixes to offer here.<br />

Could you describe these?<br />

GRÜNER: Productivity is the biggest challenge for contract<br />

manufacturers on a daily basis. Constant product<br />

changes and the mould set-up work this entails are part<br />

of everyday practice. One of the potential fixes we put a<br />

lot of stock in here, of course, is assistance from digital<br />

products. In this context, I would point to our set-up<br />

assistant and our iQ products. The iQ products are<br />

assistance products that really help to minimise set-up<br />

time and also speed up run-in, i.e. the time it takes<br />

to produce good parts on a machine. The products<br />

How might we picture this at<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL when you are looking<br />

for optimisation potential in the<br />

injection moulding process?<br />

Have the solutions all been<br />

developed in-house, or do we<br />

work hand in hand with the<br />

contract manufacturers and<br />

implement their suggestions –<br />

in line with the motto of “from<br />

real-world use, for real-world use”?<br />

GRÜNER: Yes, that is right. Aligning<br />

ourselves closely with real-world applications<br />

is essential, because the only<br />

way we can grow is together with our<br />

customers. Among other things, we<br />

offer in-house workshops where we<br />

work with the customer, for example,<br />

to simulate set-up processes on our<br />

machine to optimise it or demonstrate<br />

the iQ products in use. We also offer<br />

the same at our customers’ premises.<br />

So indeed, following the “from realworld<br />

use, for real-world use” motto.<br />

And many other products, such as iQ<br />

weight control and iQ hold control, are<br />

based on practical experience along<br />

with feedback from customers and the<br />

challenges they face on a daily basis.<br />

We are hearing more and more<br />

from contract manufacturers<br />

that there is a lack of skilled<br />

and qualified staff. But with the<br />

iQ family of digital assistance<br />

systems, it is possible to save<br />

on human resources. Would you<br />

agree with that statement?<br />

GRÜNER: That is right. In recent years,<br />

we have increasingly seen and heard<br />

that there is a major shortage of skilled<br />

labour in our industry. Our contract<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>_9


Aligning ourselves<br />

closely with realworld<br />

applications<br />

is essential,<br />

because the only<br />

way we can grow is<br />

together with<br />

our customers.<br />

Patrick Grüner<br />

The aim is to<br />

make the entire<br />

process, from<br />

mould set-up<br />

to start of<br />

production, as<br />

simple as possible.<br />

Patrick Grüner<br />

10_<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>


and toll manufacturers are often very<br />

heavily affected by this trend due<br />

to the size of their companies. And<br />

needless to say, I see it as our duty<br />

to offer solutions on the machine<br />

side to counteract this trend. I know<br />

that we have definitely come a long<br />

way in making our machine’s set-up,<br />

run-in and operation as effortless<br />

and convenient as possible with our<br />

assistance systems. Anyone can set<br />

the machine up, anyone can run the<br />

machine in, anyone can operate the<br />

machine. The aim is to make the entire<br />

process, from mould set-up to start of<br />

production to supervision of production,<br />

as simple as possible to offset the<br />

lack of skilled staff. Also increasingly<br />

in demand are complete automation<br />

cells for injection moulding machines,<br />

again saving staffing resources. We<br />

already offer very small and simple<br />

automation solutions that are fully integrated<br />

into the control unit. This means<br />

I only need one person at the machine,<br />

and an expert is not necessarily needed<br />

to programme the automation. The<br />

incorporation of the control unit into<br />

the CC300 is fully integrated as part<br />

of the injection moulding process. No<br />

dedicated programming language or<br />

corresponding knowledge is required<br />

– an extensive array of details that add<br />

up and have significant effects.<br />

If a contract manufacturer has<br />

not yet had any experience<br />

with digital products in plastics<br />

processing, what would you<br />

recommend to them, Patrick?<br />

GRÜNER: My personal suggestion<br />

and what I recommend to everyone is<br />

the menu-guided mould set-up – i.e.<br />

our set-up assistant. It takes the form<br />

of a step-by-step guide in the control<br />

unit – similar to a cooking recipe. This<br />

helps to prevent errors and accelerate mould setup<br />

processes. It also thinks ahead to prepare the<br />

next mould for mounting. Everything is taken into<br />

account: the water, the couplings and much more.<br />

Operating errors are prevented and the speed of the<br />

set-up process is increased. And in terms of digital<br />

products, I definitely see the need for at least a trio<br />

of options from the entire iQ range. The first of these<br />

is iQ weight control. It helps the user when getting<br />

started with a new production process to minimise<br />

rejects and reduce their prevalence in the ongoing<br />

process due to material fluctuations, for example. It is<br />

also well known that contract manufacturers have to<br />

contend with considerations of recycling and material<br />

fluctuations. iQ weight control helps them to minimise<br />

rejects, which means higher productivity and higher<br />

earnings when all is said and done. The second iQ<br />

product is iQ clamp control. This helps the user to<br />

find the right clamping force without having to carry<br />

out lengthy investigations in the process. It becomes<br />

faster and also saves energy, because it does not<br />

always set the maximum clamping force. And a third<br />

option to consider, which I would be remiss not to<br />

mention, is iQ melt control. This smart assistant for<br />

nominal values also plays its part in the context of<br />

the skilled labour shortage and energy efficiency. It is<br />

brilliantly simple and convenient to set the plasticising<br />

time to an optimum level without being an expert<br />

on the machine. In fact, the machine itself finds the<br />

perfect plasticising time.<br />

But how do things look when<br />

it comes to machine running costs?<br />

GRÜNER: Essentially, it is not only the question of<br />

mould set-up that is important – there are also the<br />

running costs of the machines themselves. This is<br />

where we are focusing on energy efficiency and<br />

productivity. I briefly touched on the topic of energy<br />

efficiency in my last answer. For instance, iQ<br />

weight control helps to cut energy consumption. But<br />

the best tool we can use is temperature control or<br />

mould temperature control, which often accounts<br />

for up to 60% of the total energy consumed. With<br />

our intelligent solutions such as e-temp and e-flomo,<br />

we are significantly reducing energy costs on the<br />

machine and playing a major role in contract manufacturers<br />

being able to make cheaper products<br />

for the end customer while having more options<br />

at their disposal. I see productivity, on the other<br />

hand, as a classic matter for iQ weight control, which<br />

I use to substantially reduce the rejects rate, for<br />

example. And, of course, to increase productivity<br />

on the machine after I have already set up faster.<br />

Production runs in contract<br />

manufacturing on a set schedule.<br />

There is hardly any time for optimisation.<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL recognised this<br />

problem and created e-connect,<br />

a digital service that generates<br />

solutions promptly and in real<br />

time. Is this a must-have for<br />

contract manufacturers?<br />

GRÜNER: e-connect 24 offers the<br />

convenient option of immediate assistance<br />

in the event of problems. The<br />

machine operator is immediately put<br />

through to <strong>EN</strong>GEL and can report<br />

these issues to us (for example, in the<br />

event of machine downtime), which<br />

will then be followed by communication<br />

and solution finding. Based on<br />

the principle that “time is money”, it<br />

provides quick support in reaching<br />

solutions. e-connect helps to improve<br />

communication between <strong>EN</strong>GEL and<br />

the contract manufacturer and get<br />

the machine up and running again<br />

in short order.<br />

Last question, Patrick: Are<br />

the services and solutions<br />

mentioned suitable for contract<br />

manufacturing regardless of<br />

the industry? And does the<br />

company’s size play a role here?<br />

GRÜNER: For me, there is no difference<br />

between a small family business, an<br />

SME or a large corporate group. We<br />

offer our solutions to serve anyone and<br />

everyone. The focus for contract manufacturers<br />

is usually on small and medium-sized<br />

companies – stemming from<br />

tradition. This is because it tends to<br />

be smaller businesses that operate as<br />

contract manufacturers in this context.<br />

And our focus here is clearly on looking<br />

after and supporting these customers<br />

to keep developing our solutions with<br />

them and to grow<br />

<br />

together.<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>_11


The CC300 plus was<br />

developed on the basis of<br />

operator feedback for<br />

frequent mould set-up<br />

operations and frequent<br />

manual operation.<br />

The <strong>EN</strong>GEL CC300 plus control unit –<br />

a real plus in terms of ergonomics<br />

and haptic features<br />

The CC300 plus is a further development of <strong>EN</strong>GEL’s successful machine control unit. Supplementing<br />

the CC300 control unit family, it offers improved customisation and optimised ergonomics.<br />

The CC300 plus control unit is <strong>EN</strong>GEL’s response to<br />

user feedback and requirements. It does justice to<br />

what is increasingly becoming the norm in production<br />

unit operation: frequent mould set-up procedures and<br />

more manual tasks. It is for precisely these users that<br />

the new CC300 plus offers the necessary plus in<br />

terms of ergonomics and customisation. The threepart<br />

structure with a double swivel mechanism and<br />

the individually assignable pushbutton panel are the<br />

striking differences from the CC300.<br />

More movement: make three out of one<br />

The ergonomic plus-point is the <strong>EN</strong>GEL CC300 plus’<br />

three-part structure made up of a trio of panels – the<br />

switch-on, visualisation and pushbutton panels. The<br />

switch-on panel has the normal functions for user<br />

login, emergency stop and the swivel mechanism. As<br />

an option, mechanical switches can be housed for<br />

safety-relevant functions, as can individual extensions.<br />

User login is just like on the CC300, relying on RFID<br />

with the typical EUROMAP65 standard. Optionally,<br />

the CC300 plus already supports the new MIFAREbased<br />

login system, which gives administrators the<br />

ability to set up targeted authorisations<br />

for operators. Like the current CC300,<br />

the visualisation panel features a 21.5“<br />

touch screen. This central panel is<br />

intended for navigation, process settings<br />

and general displays. The newly-developed<br />

pushbutton panel is the<br />

core of the new CC300 plus.<br />

New pushbutton panel for<br />

haptic features, visual appeal<br />

and customisation<br />

The striking eight pairs of pushbuttons<br />

on the CC300 plus provide haptic key<br />

feedback, giving the user a great feeling<br />

for safety and transparent control<br />

of an <strong>EN</strong>GEL production cell. Like<br />

with the CC300, all the plus variant’s<br />

pushbuttons can be assigned individually<br />

and in a clear-cut way. Individual<br />

functions are quickly accessible via<br />

touch controls – whether via e-move<br />

or pushbutton pairs. In addition,<br />

several different settings can now<br />

be defined for the pushbutton panel<br />

in order (for example, to be able to<br />

switch quickly between controlling<br />

the robot, the core-pulls and the<br />

injection moulding process).<br />

The newly developed multi-touch<br />

function not only makes it possible<br />

to operate several movements in<br />

parallel, but also supports on-screen<br />

navigation at the same time.<br />

Independent positioning<br />

of the three panels<br />

The three panels – the switch-on,<br />

visualisation and pushbutton panel<br />

– are connected by an adjustment<br />

mechanism which supports granular<br />

adjustment and can be positioned<br />

independently and in an easy way<br />

12_<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>


The <strong>EN</strong>GEL CC300 plus control unit with optimised<br />

ergonomics and improved customisation options.<br />

using keys. The optimum working<br />

position is stored on the control unit<br />

as a function of the user. If the control<br />

unit is not actuated for a certain period<br />

of time or if the machine operator logs<br />

off, it returns to the starting position<br />

and – like the CC300 – melds with<br />

the injection moulding machine. This<br />

function also reliably avoids collisions<br />

with forklifts or the increasingly common<br />

autonomous vehicles used in<br />

production. After the user logs on,<br />

the panels move back to the optimum<br />

position as set by the operator.<br />

More transparency:<br />

the e-move sequence<br />

Visual displays make machine operation<br />

even easier: colours and symbols<br />

show whether a function is in use<br />

in the current sequence, indicating<br />

whether control is or is not possible<br />

at the current point in time of the<br />

process. The end position of the controlled<br />

movement is also indicated.<br />

As soon as a key is pressed, a bar<br />

display for the "actual travel value"<br />

appears and the operator can follow<br />

the movement more-or-less live.<br />

e-move is the special feature of the<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL CC300 control unit family.<br />

The control wheel makes it particularly<br />

easy to manually cycle through<br />

sequences on the production cell.<br />

What is new with the CC300 plus is<br />

the e-move sequence, which is visible<br />

on the display and shows the stored<br />

functions in the order of actuation.<br />

Again, this function sequence can be<br />

edited individually adapted. e-move<br />

is also wear and maintenance free<br />

thanks to a new control technology.<br />

Manual operation made easy<br />

Currently more than 40,000 <strong>EN</strong>GEL production cells<br />

are equipped with the CC300. Every one of them<br />

can be upgraded to the CC300 plus if needed. In<br />

the future, users will be able to choose between the<br />

two control units as the CC300 plus is also available<br />

for all machine types.<br />

The <strong>EN</strong>GEL CC300 plus is an excellent choice wherever<br />

everyday operations often require manual operation.<br />

This can be necessary, for example, due to frequent<br />

mould set-up for small batches, which is typical in<br />

contract manufacturing at times, or in the automotive<br />

industry. The <strong>EN</strong>GEL CC300 plus is also well suited<br />

for production cells used in technology centres as flexible<br />

development partners. And sometimes the most<br />

important reason for the decision may simply be that<br />

the machine operator<br />

wants a control unit that<br />

makes their work easier<br />

by going the extra<br />

mile in terms of smart<br />

haptic features and<br />

customisation. <br />

Control<br />

plus<br />

usability –<br />

the <strong>EN</strong>GEL<br />

CC300<br />

plus.<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>_13


SPLAST is headquartered<br />

in Krosno. The location<br />

is designed for sustainable<br />

production.<br />

Photovoltaics are used to<br />

generate electricity<br />

in-house.<br />

Picture: SPLAST<br />

Technologies for the future<br />

As opportunities grow, so do requirements – and sales revenues. This is a strategy that really works<br />

for SPLAST. The company's own products – cleaning trolleys for professional use – are a kind of<br />

research laboratory for the plastics processor. This is where the latest technologies are tested and<br />

enhanced in order to offer contract manufacturing customers particularly high-quality and efficient<br />

system solutions. <strong>Injection</strong> moulding machine manufacturing partner <strong>EN</strong>GEL provides support in the<br />

form of engineering know-how, system solutions and training.<br />

Green is the predominant colour on<br />

the one hundred metre-long production<br />

floor at SPLAST’s headquarters<br />

in Krosno, southern Poland. <strong>EN</strong>GEL<br />

Green to be precise. “<strong>EN</strong>GEL is our<br />

go-to supplier for injection moulding<br />

machines,“ emphasises CEO Marek<br />

Sanocki, whose company has seen<br />

substantial business growth. 700<br />

employees at four production plants<br />

– three in Poland and one in Hungary<br />

– generated sales revenues of 78<br />

million euros in the fiscal year 2022.<br />

This makes SPLAST one of the largest<br />

plastics processors in Poland.<br />

SPLAST's customers come from the<br />

automotive, electronics, household,<br />

cosmetics and furniture industries.<br />

Marek Sanocki is proud to point out<br />

the most recently delivered production<br />

cell. Two <strong>EN</strong>GEL duo injection<br />

moulding machines with a wide-platen<br />

design and clamping forces of 500<br />

and 600 tonnes – the 500-tonne combi<br />

M machine with a horizontal indexing<br />

table – stand next to one another<br />

and encompass two <strong>EN</strong>GEL easix<br />

We are development<br />

partners and co-designers<br />

with our customers<br />

Dr. Monika Stacel, Head of R&D, SPLAST<br />

articulated robots, two <strong>EN</strong>GEL viper linear robots, an<br />

IR oven and a polyurethane line. Both of the machines<br />

are impressive. Any number of technology packages,<br />

including packages for multi-component and structural<br />

foam moulding, in-mould decoration and in-mould<br />

painting, and composite processing. And beyond this,<br />

numerous smart assistance systems from the <strong>EN</strong>GEL<br />

inject 4.0 range. “We are development partners and<br />

co-designers for our customers and contribute many<br />

ideas for series production ourselves,“ says Dr. Monika<br />

Stącel, Head of Research and Development at<br />

SPLAST. “This is what makes it so important for us to<br />

keep pushing forward. Expanding our own know-how<br />

and conducting our own research.“<br />

In this respect, the company benefits<br />

from close cooperation with universities.<br />

Besides her work at SPLAST,<br />

Dr. Stącel is a professor at Uczelnia<br />

Państwowa w Sanoku University in<br />

Sanok, one hour's drive southeast of<br />

Krosno. Beyond this, there is also a<br />

partnership with the Technical University<br />

of Chemnitz in Germany.<br />

Maximum flexibility<br />

reliably implemented<br />

The new production cell is also<br />

remarkable on account of the difficult<br />

circumstances during project planning.<br />

The first project meeting between<br />

SPLAST and <strong>EN</strong>GEL took place in<br />

spring 2020. One week later, Austria<br />

and Poland entered their first Covid<br />

lockdowns. Meetings continued using<br />

remote technologies, and despite the<br />

massive complexity of the production<br />

cell, <strong>EN</strong>GEL was able to deliver just ten<br />

months after the order was placed.<br />

“The decisive factor in favour of <strong>EN</strong>GEL<br />

was their technological expertise,“ as<br />

14_<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>


Dr. Henryk Majcherczyk, the Technical<br />

Director of SPLAST explains. “We can<br />

group many different technologies on<br />

a single injection moulding machine<br />

and combine their use.“ “We also benefit<br />

from the fact that <strong>EN</strong>GEL supplies<br />

all of the system components from a<br />

single source as integrated production<br />

cells,“ as Production Manager Przemysław<br />

Dylewski adds. “Right down<br />

to training our employees, because<br />

that is our only way to make sure we<br />

leverage all the opportunities the production<br />

cell offers.“<br />

One of the key features of holistic<br />

system solutions by <strong>EN</strong>GEL is that<br />

all of the units, such as the injection<br />

moulding machine, the robot and the<br />

IR oven, use a shared database and<br />

communicate with one another. This<br />

reduces the risk of input errors and<br />

saves time because the robot and<br />

machine can precisely coordinate<br />

their motion sequences.<br />

“The biggest challenge for us was<br />

to design the production cell so that<br />

it could be used in a totally flexible<br />

way while complying with all safety<br />

standards,“ reports Thomas Auböck,<br />

Automotive Sales Manager at <strong>EN</strong>GEL headquarters in<br />

Austria. “Production cells with this kind of complexity<br />

are usually tailor-made for a specific product. But we<br />

have a special case here where many different moulds<br />

are set up and the two duo machines are used in<br />

both interlinked applications and independently of<br />

one another.“ A special feature of the <strong>EN</strong>GEL easix<br />

articulated robots comes into play to make sure that<br />

this works reliably. The prohibited areas can be freely<br />

defined and the robot workspaces safely monitored.<br />

This means that the two injection moulding machines<br />

do not require separate safety guarding, even if they<br />

are working simultaneously with moulds which are<br />

independent of one another.<br />

“The team at SPLAST is very creative when it comes<br />

to combining different technologies. For example, they<br />

were the first to combine the <strong>EN</strong>GEL organomelt and<br />

DecoJect® technologies in a single application – and<br />

they have done so successfully,“ says Adam Marciniak,<br />

who works as a Sales Manager at <strong>EN</strong>GEL Polska.<br />

The main target group is the automotive industry,<br />

which faces the challenge of efficiently combining<br />

lightweight construction with surfaces which offer<br />

a premium appeal paired with functionality.<br />

Efficient lightweight construction<br />

in an integrated process<br />

In the <strong>EN</strong>GEL organomelt process,<br />

thermoplastic fibre composite prepregs<br />

– for example, thermoplastic<br />

sheets – are formed and functionalised<br />

in a single integrated step. For<br />

example, reinforcing ribs or assembly<br />

elements are moulded immediately in<br />

the same mould after thermoforming<br />

using a thermoplastic from the same<br />

matrix material group as the thermoplastic<br />

sheet. This not only enables<br />

a highly efficient, integrated and fully<br />

automated production process, but<br />

also contributes to the circular economy.<br />

The consistent thermoplastic<br />

mono-material approach facilitates<br />

subsequent recycling of the parts.<br />

Parts produced using organomelt<br />

have recently been added to SPLAST's<br />

AquaSplast, ComfortSplast and AssepticoSplast<br />

brand cleaning trolleys.<br />

Depending on the location of use,<br />

whether office building, hotel or hospital,<br />

the trolleys are equipped with<br />

cleaning water containers, laundry<br />

containers, waste sorting systems<br />

and other modules, which means<br />

Picture: SPLAST<br />

All of the <strong>EN</strong>GEL injection moulding<br />

machines at SPLAST are equipped<br />

with smart assistance systems.<br />

Employees are trained by <strong>EN</strong>GEL,<br />

empowering them to leverage the full<br />

potential offered by the machines.<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL is the predominant injection moulding machine brand at the SPLAST plants. There are currently 23<br />

injection moulding machines on the list of machinery at the Krosno location.<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>_15


that they are fairly large. Lightweight<br />

construction technologies contribute<br />

significantly towards making the<br />

trolleys easy to push and steer on a<br />

wide variety of floor coverings despite<br />

having a very rugged design.<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL organomelt technology has<br />

helped to reduce the weight of the<br />

cleaning trolleys' floor plates from 4.5<br />

to 1.3 kilograms. Instead of the previous<br />

4 mm, the new plates are only 0.5<br />

mm thick, but they have become even<br />

more stable at the same time. Another<br />

advantage, and one which impresses<br />

customers in the automotive industry<br />

in particular, is that polypropylene,<br />

which is more cost-effective than the<br />

legacy high-performance thermoplastics,<br />

can be used as the basic material<br />

in these applications. To manufacture<br />

the base plates, thermoplastic sheets<br />

with a PP matrix are moulded on the<br />

duo 500 injection moulding machine<br />

and overmoulded with glass-fibre-reinforced<br />

PP.<br />

To make the thermoplastic sheets<br />

malleable, they are heated in the IR<br />

oven immediately before being placed<br />

as inserts in the mould. To allow this<br />

to happen, the IR oven is set up very<br />

close to the clamping unit of the duo<br />

machine so that the easix robot can<br />

reach the mould cavity via the shortest<br />

route from the IR oven. “This is why<br />

we planned for a mobile IR oven from<br />

the outset. We can move it back and<br />

forth between the two duo machines<br />

and process thermoplastic sheets on<br />

both machines as a consequence.“<br />

Cost-efficiency for premium,<br />

visible components<br />

Decoject is an in-mould decoration<br />

(IMD) process which helps to achieve<br />

the desired surface properties using<br />

a film that is fed to the mould reelto-reel.<br />

This enables special surface<br />

structures or even a soft-touch tactile<br />

experience. SPLAST uses Decoject<br />

technology to manufacture the handles<br />

for the cleaning trolleys and ensure a good grip.<br />

Again, the basic material is PP; with a recycled material<br />

content of 20 percent in this case. The handles are<br />

located on a frame component which neatly seals off<br />

the larger cleaning trolleys at the top. SPLAST relies<br />

on another innovative <strong>EN</strong>GEL technology for these<br />

two-component parts, which are produced on the<br />

duo combi M injection moulding machine: clearmelt or<br />

in-mould painting, as the SPLAST engineers refer to it.<br />

The integrated clearmelt process involves first<br />

injecting a basic thermoplastic carrier, the surface<br />

of which is then immediately enhanced with a layer<br />

of polyurethane in the same mould. The polyurethane<br />

ensures both a high gloss level and excellent scratch<br />

resistance. Thanks to the combi M design with a horizontally<br />

rotating indexing table, the two process steps<br />

take place in parallel on the duo injection moulding<br />

machine.<br />

“Things will start to get really exciting when we combine<br />

clearmelt with an IMD process,“ says Monika<br />

Stącel, outlining the roadmap for projects which are<br />

the subject of talks with customers from the automotive<br />

industry, but also other sectors – for example<br />

domestic appliances. Electronic functionalities and<br />

sensors can be efficiently integrated using a film,<br />

The decisive factor in favour<br />

of <strong>EN</strong>GEL was their<br />

technological expertise.<br />

Dr. Henryk Majcherczyk,<br />

Technical Director, SPLAST<br />

and they are safely protected under the polyurethane<br />

layer in the finished part, even in harsh environments.<br />

Recycled material from in-house production<br />

Weighing in at 12,550 tonnes per year, polypropylene<br />

accounts for the lion's share of raw material processed<br />

at the SPlast Group's production plants. ABS, polyamide<br />

and polycarbonate each account for around<br />

6,000 tonnes. And there are smaller volumes of other<br />

materials, such as TPE.<br />

Across the entire product range, SPLAST has set<br />

itself the goal of successively increasing the share<br />

of recycled material. Individual products are already<br />

made from 100 percent recycled material today, while<br />

the share is currently 20 percent in other products,<br />

and SPlast is looking closely at how to increase this.<br />

Innovative processing technologies play a central<br />

role here, as the Decoject example shows. Another<br />

approach is to embed the recycled material in a shell of<br />

virgin material. The coinjection and skinmelt technologies<br />

make this possible. "There have already been<br />

tests on this at the <strong>EN</strong>GEL technology<br />

centre in Austria," Sanocki reports. The<br />

SPLAST managers have also already<br />

set their sights on the new two-stage<br />

process as a particularly energy-efficient<br />

method of processing plastic<br />

flakes directly.<br />

One special feature of SPLAST in<br />

Krosno is that some of the regrind<br />

used here comes from the company's<br />

in-house treatment plant. Located<br />

directly adjacent to the injection<br />

moulding shop there is a complete<br />

recycling line, including all processing<br />

steps from shredding of plastic<br />

waste to compounding, extruding and<br />

repelletising. “My baby“, says Monika<br />

Stącel proudly. She set up the line<br />

and is responsible for the ongoing<br />

development of recycling capacities at<br />

the location. “We rely on our recycling<br />

plant to be able to genuinely keep control<br />

over the properties of the recycled<br />

materials,“ says Stącel. “In most cases,<br />

the MFI of bought-in recycled material<br />

is higher than that of corresponding<br />

virgin material. But we can set the<br />

value for our own production very<br />

accurately.“<br />

The energy requirement for each kilogram<br />

of pellets processed is dropping<br />

continuously. The ecodrive servohydraulics<br />

of the <strong>EN</strong>GEL injection<br />

moulding machines contribute to<br />

this, as do digital smart assistance<br />

systems by ensuring uniform cycles<br />

and constant temperature control<br />

conditions. The company's commitment<br />

to climate protection is also<br />

<br />

visible to the outside world.<br />

16_<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>


SPLAST and <strong>EN</strong>GEL technology partners with a passion. From right to left: Henryk Majcherczyk (SPLAST),<br />

Anna Durka (<strong>EN</strong>GEL Polska), Przemysław Dylewski (SPLAST), Marek Sanocki (SPLAST),<br />

Thomas Auböck (<strong>EN</strong>GEL Austria), Adam Marciniak (<strong>EN</strong>GEL Polska) and Monika Stącel (SPLAST).<br />

Picture: SPLAST<br />

Picture: SPLAST<br />

The thermoplastic sheets for the organomelt process are heated in the IR oven.<br />

The oven is mobile and can work with both duo injection moulding machines.<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL<br />

technical<br />

moulding<br />

– always the<br />

right solution.<br />

Two <strong>EN</strong>GEL easix articulated robots<br />

were integrated with the new production<br />

cell. Among other things, they are used<br />

for hot handling of fibre plastic<br />

composite preforms.<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>_17


High-performance packaging:<br />

Mould and machine working symbiotically<br />

The introduction and expansion of new business areas has created new challenges for German<br />

mould-makers Erwes Reifenberg GmbH & Co. KG. This has included an expansion in the company’s<br />

in-house technology centre for development, testing, and trials of high-performance moulds. <strong>EN</strong>GEL’s<br />

e-speed 550, a high-performance injection moulding machine, was recently installed. “In the North<br />

American market in particular, the trend is towards larger moulds, so we have been able to reposition<br />

ourselves strategically by making this investment in a new injection moulding machine following our<br />

positive experiences with <strong>EN</strong>GEL,” explains CEO John Erwes.<br />

The demands placed on modern mould-makers are<br />

becoming increasingly complex. Mould-makers Erwes<br />

Reifenberg GmbH & Co. KG also have to contend with<br />

this trend in the market. “We had two major projects<br />

in 2020, which we completed successfully but which<br />

pushed us to the limits of what was possible with the<br />

existing injection moulding machine,” recalls Erwes,<br />

the second-generation chief executive of the family<br />

business. The company had previously<br />

been using an <strong>EN</strong>GEL e-motion 110<br />

T. However, to meet all the technical<br />

challenges with regard to high-performance<br />

moulds for the packaging<br />

sector, machine performance across<br />

a diverse series of dimensions is just<br />

as important. “When it comes to new<br />

investments, we listen to our staff, who<br />

have confirmed to us that they have<br />

had excellent experiences with the<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL machine – especially when<br />

using the control unit,” John Erwes<br />

confirms. Sales Manager Jan Hock<br />

adds: “This machine continues to<br />

manufacture with the highest precision<br />

18_<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>


Working together in partnership:<br />

Rudolf Erwes, Jan Hock and John<br />

Erwes from Erwes Reifenberg<br />

mould-makers, and Stefan Witt<br />

from <strong>EN</strong>GEL (left to right).<br />

and reliability, even though it is in use<br />

every day – truly every day.”<br />

Moulds with low cycle times and<br />

extensive functions for the item<br />

Erwes Reifenberg builds moulds that<br />

work with cycle times of around 2.5<br />

seconds. “From a strategic standpoint,”<br />

says Erwes, “we wanted to<br />

position ourselves more flexibly<br />

with a new machine.” The technical<br />

requirements were agreed in advance<br />

together with Stefan Witt, packaging<br />

specialist and sales manager for packaging<br />

machines at <strong>EN</strong>GEL’s Hagen<br />

location. “Originally, the initial discussions<br />

always focused on a machine<br />

with a lower clamping force, as the<br />

customer’s initial focus was on the<br />

We guarantee certain cycle<br />

times and functionality<br />

to our customer.<br />

Jan Hock, Sales Manager,<br />

Erwes Reifenberg GmbH & Co. KG<br />

production of caps and closures,” Witt recalls. But<br />

much more was required – in particular flexibility: with<br />

regard to both the clamping force to be selected<br />

and the injection moulding machine’s performance.<br />

“In the end, we talked about considering thin-walled<br />

products.” Ultimately, after extensive consultation, the<br />

decision was made in favour of an <strong>EN</strong>GEL e-speed<br />

offering 550 tonnes of a clamping force. The basic<br />

set-up already meets the requirements through the<br />

use of a wide range of moulds. “This model series is<br />

specially designed for high-performance applications<br />

in the packaging industry,” Witt says, outlining the<br />

applications covered by this machine variant.<br />

Hybrid machine with<br />

low energy consumption<br />

The <strong>EN</strong>GEL e-speed 550 has a<br />

high-performance electric clamping<br />

unit, which is the key ingredient in<br />

the electric drive systems’ low energy<br />

consumption. The injection moulding<br />

machine is also equipped with a servo-electric<br />

ejector. The pre-set tie-bar<br />

spacing of 1,050 x 1,050mm enables<br />

Erwes Reifenberg to set up flexible<br />

mould sizes on the machine and also<br />

provides a completely oil-free mould<br />

installation space. An encapsulated<br />

toggle lever prevents the packaging<br />

products from being contaminated with<br />

oil. Another of the machine’s attributes<br />

is that all machine movements are<br />

always carried out in parallel operation.<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>_19


When it comes to<br />

investments, we listen to<br />

our staff, who confirm<br />

having had excellent<br />

experiences with <strong>EN</strong>GEL.<br />

John Erwes, CEO, Erwes Reifenberg GmbH & Co. KG<br />

The equipment the injection moulding machine<br />

comes with now offers Erwes Reifenberg the flexibility<br />

it had desired. “We can now fulfil all of our<br />

customers’ test requirements here,” explains Jan<br />

Hock. This injection moulding machine is designed<br />

for the moulds produced in Finnentrop, Germany,<br />

for consumer packaging, beauty care products and<br />

pharmaceuticals, as well as for thin-walled products,<br />

which have recently been in increasing demand at<br />

Erwes Reifenberg. “At the same time, of course, we<br />

save valuable time by using two machines, enabling<br />

fewer set-up processes,” says Hock, describing a<br />

practical advantage. This should not be underestimated,<br />

he continues, “because quick mould set-ups<br />

are a thing of the past due to overloading of individual<br />

machines.” For smaller mould dimensions, the <strong>EN</strong>GEL<br />

e-motion 110 T continues to be used to lighten the<br />

550-tonne machine’s workload. “By being able to<br />

switch to another machine, we gain time to make fine<br />

adjustments to the mould.”<br />

“We make moulds with a high number of cavities and<br />

extensive functions on the mould, and the customer<br />

requires us to test these functionalities in house and<br />

in advance,” John Erwes explains. This is in line with<br />

the company’s own standards, he explains, as Erwes<br />

Reifenberg’s philosophy has always been to test<br />

moulds out in house. “We guarantee<br />

certain cycle times and functionality<br />

to our customer,” Hock notes, “which<br />

is why the machine performance has<br />

to reflect these challenges in practice.”<br />

Witt delivers the figure to back this up:<br />

The e-speed generates cycle times<br />

of less than two seconds during the<br />

process.<br />

Partnership between mouldmaker<br />

and machine manufacturer<br />

Michael Wiesinger, Head of Medical<br />

and Packaging Sales Europe Central<br />

at <strong>EN</strong>GEL Austria, emphasises the<br />

importance of keeping mould and<br />

machine perfectly coordinated: “Without<br />

the right machine performance,<br />

the mould cannot produce quality<br />

products, just as an injection moulding<br />

machine cannot produce the perfect<br />

result without the right mould.” <strong>EN</strong>GEL’s<br />

experience of working with Erwes<br />

Reifenberg has been highly positive,<br />

he confirms: “To obtain complex and<br />

demanding projects in the future, a<br />

high-performance machine that supports<br />

the mould-makers in their applications<br />

is essential.” Witt summarises:<br />

“The mould and machine have to be<br />

working on the same level.”<br />

“Partnership” is the key word for John<br />

Erwes in this regard. For Erwes Reifenberg’s<br />

CEO, a good relationship<br />

between mould-maker and machine<br />

manufacturer is the only way for a<br />

business to successfully assert itself in<br />

the market and grow. The company is<br />

increasingly developing into a service<br />

partner in the mould-making space.<br />

“This includes fixing up third-party<br />

moulds, for which we have set up<br />

our own department.” By setting<br />

up the e-speed 550 in Finnentrop,<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL will be able to deliver its own<br />

customer projects in partnership with<br />

the family-owned company thanks<br />

to its proximity to the Hagen service<br />

location. “A win-win situation,” says<br />

Michael Wiesinger with confidence. <br />

The mould and machine<br />

have to be working<br />

on the same level.<br />

Stefan Witt, Sales, <strong>EN</strong>GEL Automatisierungstechnik<br />

Deutschland GmbH<br />

20_<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>


Complex and demanding: Stefan Witt is pleased to have received the praise from John Erwes<br />

and Jan Hock for the injection moulding machine’s smooth delivery and start-up.<br />

Technology centre<br />

expanded: With the<br />

new investment in an<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL e-speed 550,<br />

Erwes Reifenberg’s<br />

mould-making shop is<br />

well set up for<br />

the future.<br />

Interested in finding<br />

out more about<br />

our e-speed?<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>_21


authentig: transparency creates clarity<br />

Is every machine running as it should? Are rejects coming out? Have the parameters for the injection<br />

moulding machines changed? The authentig MES software from <strong>EN</strong>GEL has been providing the right<br />

answers since 2019 at Austrian plastics processors Kromberg & Schubert Austria GmbH & Co. KG<br />

(Kroschu for short).<br />

A total of 34 injection moulding machines<br />

ranging from 15 to 700 tonnes of clamping<br />

force produce around 300 million plastic<br />

parts every year.<br />

Before: Where paperwork once reigned, the aim is now to make production completely paperless in the near future.<br />

A series of blue document folders,<br />

filled to the brim with handwritten<br />

notes and printed Excel-based planning<br />

documents, are used on every<br />

single project at Kroschu. These folders<br />

contain the complete mould history.<br />

“From the first mould set-up to the first<br />

good part produced,” explains Robert<br />

Jautz. Every process step is documented<br />

- for over 600 active moulds kept<br />

and maintained in the Austrian town<br />

of Oberpullendorf alone. For production,<br />

which currently encompasses<br />

34 injection moulding machines<br />

with 15 to 700 tonnes in clamping<br />

force, this is an immense burden.<br />

A comprehensive solution was<br />

needed to replace the time-consuming<br />

documentation at Kroschu.<br />

The company first came into contact<br />

with the authentig MES solution at<br />

a trade show. The software-based<br />

application was then introduced in<br />

2019, when manual data maintenance<br />

at Kroschu was phased out by consistent use of<br />

authentig. Step by step, manual process tracking<br />

was transformed into a smart factory set-up.<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL authentig: Modular MES solution<br />

for the plastics industry<br />

The authentig MES software is a modular solution that<br />

has been specially developed for the plastics industry.<br />

The software’s focus is on creating transparent<br />

production, generating data-based knowledge about<br />

the company’s internal processes that was previously<br />

unavailable or only available in part. By interconnecting<br />

all its injection moulding machines, Kroschu<br />

is now able to uniformly record all their operating<br />

and production data. The machine operator uses<br />

the seven monitors installed on the production floor<br />

to interact with the system, where he is shown the<br />

order start and stop times as well as the documents<br />

required for the production project. A<br />

monitor located in the middle of the<br />

production facility also clearly displays<br />

the injection moulding machines’ current<br />

status. “The web terminal has<br />

met with a very good reception from<br />

both me and my colleagues,” says a<br />

pleased Robert Jautz.<br />

In addition to the monitoring module,<br />

the maintenance module is also of<br />

particular importance at Kroschu.<br />

When a project is created, all the content<br />

is available for the mould-making<br />

process at the same time. This guarantees<br />

a high quality standard, high<br />

mould availability and an immediate<br />

response to questions from the auditor.<br />

Thanks to defined maintenance<br />

plans that are stored in the system,<br />

machine downtimes due to unplanned<br />

mould maintenance work are practically<br />

a thing of the past. Thanks to<br />

the relevant production hours being<br />

22_<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>


After: Knowledge available at a glance, with a centrally located monitor<br />

displaying the machines’ current production data on the production floor.<br />

Strong collaboration (left to right): Robert Jautz from Kroschu,<br />

Alexander Ebner and David Kupfer from <strong>EN</strong>GEL, in front of one<br />

of the seven monitors in the production facility.<br />

recorded, these maintenance intervals<br />

can be monitored in a fully automatic<br />

process and announced in good time.<br />

The process steps are always entered<br />

in authentig and the items to be produced<br />

are assigned numbers for<br />

identification. “When customers place<br />

orders, the data from production is<br />

automatically sent to authentig,” says<br />

Jautz, offering his appreciation for the<br />

software’s intuitive operation. <strong>EN</strong>GEL’s<br />

machine operators have been trained<br />

to identify errors in production. Additional<br />

monitoring is carried out by staff<br />

in the quality assurance team – a unit<br />

that is present on all production shifts.<br />

Since Kroschu products have gone<br />

global, there is a possibility that a<br />

complaint will only arise a few weeks<br />

after the batch of items has been completed.<br />

“authentig is a huge help for us<br />

when processing complaints,” Jautz<br />

confirms. Using the existing data set,<br />

it is possible to seamlessly trace back<br />

authentig<br />

is a huge help<br />

when processing<br />

complaints.<br />

Robert Jautz, Head of Planning<br />

and Digital Transformation<br />

Projects, Kroschu<br />

how the deviation from the desired<br />

condition occurred, whether due to<br />

changes in the machine parameters or<br />

faulty material. David Kupfer stresses<br />

that the process values are also monitored<br />

in real time via the quality process<br />

module; warnings in the monitoring<br />

system or push notifications “indicate<br />

that machine parameters or the cycle<br />

time have changed, for instance.” In<br />

this context, Alexander Ebner, System<br />

Engineer/Consultant at <strong>EN</strong>GEL, refers to the specially<br />

developed app, which can be used to conveniently<br />

monitor the relevant processes 24/7. Kroschu can<br />

usually take immediate action if the process data<br />

departs from the pre-defined tolerance ranges, as<br />

technical staff are always available every production<br />

day to remedy errors.<br />

9% increase in OEE:<br />

Kroschu delivering positive results<br />

Robert Jautz takes a positive conclusion from four<br />

years of using <strong>EN</strong>GEL’s authentig software. Overall<br />

equipment effectiveness (OEE) has risen significantly<br />

in recent years. Alexander Ebner explains that three<br />

key performance indicators are<br />

multiplied to reach this figure:<br />

quality, performance and availability.<br />

“By measuring and monitoring<br />

the KPIs on a daily basis,<br />

we have been able to optimise<br />

our outcomes. In three years,<br />

the figure has gone up by 9%.”<br />

Jautz emphasises that this has<br />

had positive cost effects. <br />

Make your<br />

production<br />

transparent<br />

with authentig.<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>_23


When speed matters,<br />

space and time are factors<br />

For traditional contract manufacturers, time windows have shrunk. Customers want finished products<br />

quicker all the time – and generally in small quantities. For Wicro Plastics, a plastics specialist based<br />

in the little Dutch town of Kessel, this presents new challenges every day – challenges that call for<br />

paced production and reliable partners who can offer fast response times. With this in mind, Wicro<br />

turned to <strong>EN</strong>GEL's range of Fast Track machines, which delivers time and costs benefits that add up<br />

to a competitive advantage.<br />

Walking around the spacious production<br />

floor of Wicro Plastics, you get a<br />

sense of organised activity. 44 injection<br />

moulding machines doing what<br />

they do, operated by trained personnel<br />

working in shifts. There is no hint of<br />

haste or panic among the Wicronese,<br />

as the 120 or so staff members are<br />

proudly known. The term started out<br />

as a joke, but has since evolved into a<br />

major feature of the brand, even internationally.<br />

As contract manufacturers,<br />

the Wicronese have to perform a delicate<br />

balancing act every day. “Customers<br />

want their products faster<br />

and faster all the time, and in small<br />

quantities,” confirms Marcel Kessels,<br />

Production Manager at Wicro. “They<br />

expect us to have everything in stock<br />

and start with injection moulding<br />

production the day after they place<br />

an order.”<br />

More than 20 mould changes –<br />

every day<br />

The upshot of a high degree of diversity<br />

in production, characterised by<br />

numerous products in a lot of different<br />

colours and designs, is that only small<br />

quantities of a component, i.e. up to<br />

2,000 items, are produced in a typical<br />

day. “We have 44 different products<br />

on the machines, which means more<br />

than 20 mould changes every day,”<br />

We foresee a<br />

trend away from<br />

PA and towards PP.<br />

Evelien Fassotte, Wicro Plastics<br />

emphasises Kessels. A very high vertical range of<br />

manufacture means that the company produces<br />

everything from parts for children’s furniture (like pushchairs<br />

and high chairs) to toolboxes of all types, washing<br />

machine components and coils for 3D printers, to<br />

give just a few examples. Evelien Fassotte, Director of<br />

Wicro Plastics, cites an example to illustrate day-today<br />

business. She describes an enquiry from a new<br />

client that relocated all of its existing moulds to Wicro.<br />

Normally, a commissioned project like that would take<br />

eight months; in this case, the time window was cut<br />

down to six weeks – six weeks at most to supply a<br />

machine that would meet the production requirements<br />

defined by the customer. “We gave René a call to ask<br />

if he could supply a suitable Fast Track machine,”<br />

recalls Evelien Fassotte. René de Looff being the<br />

responsible account manager for <strong>EN</strong>GEL Benelux: “It<br />

was all very casual, but we managed it – in six weeks,<br />

the machine was producing to the required qualities.”<br />

Large selection of Fast Track machines<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL has a wide range of Fast Track machines<br />

that can be supplied and put into operation at short<br />

notice. Production using these machines is carried<br />

out on an ‘express loop’ in the <strong>EN</strong>GEL factories,<br />

which means fast production and fast deliveries. To<br />

a predefined and limited extent, options are possible<br />

on Fast Track machines to ensure on-time deliveries<br />

to clients. “The Fast Track programme enables us to<br />

respond to short-notice customer demands via three<br />

different series and a range of clamping<br />

forces,” explains René de Looff. In<br />

the case of Wicro, those responsible<br />

got together to consider what type<br />

of machine would be most suitable<br />

for meeting the specific production<br />

requirements. Then they placed an<br />

order for an <strong>EN</strong>GEL duo 1150. “By<br />

the way, this was the third Fast Track<br />

machine delivered to Wicro recently,”<br />

says de Looff. At present, the machine<br />

is being used to manufacture a toolbox<br />

using <strong>EN</strong>GEL foilmelt IMD (in-mould<br />

decoration) technology. “We reached<br />

a decision to make this investment in<br />

less than two days. Production was<br />

up and running in exactly six weeks,”<br />

reports Kessels. “Now we can also<br />

offer our clients Fast Track deliveries,”<br />

adds Fassotte.<br />

Evelien Fassotte does not perceive<br />

any major risk in purchasing Fast Track<br />

machines. “Yes, machine capacities<br />

have to be utilised. On this order, for<br />

example, we hit capacity utilisation of<br />

50 percent straight away. Of course,<br />

we always have the option of adapting<br />

the machines to other tasks.”<br />

Space: Another factor in<br />

short-notice supply capability<br />

Alongside the time factor, space is<br />

another consideration when it comes<br />

to responding to customer requirements<br />

promptly and flexibly. “Thanks<br />

24_<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>


Target-focused collaboration with fast response<br />

times: Evelien Fassotte and Marcel Kessels of<br />

Wicro Plastics with René de Looff of <strong>EN</strong>GEL<br />

Benelux (from left).<br />

For a premium model offered by<br />

the Stokke pushchair brand, 30<br />

different materials are used for the<br />

various components.<br />

Image: Wicro Plastics<br />

44 injection moulding machines are<br />

standing by to handle all manner of<br />

customer orders in the machine park.<br />

Image: Wicro Plastics<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>_25


to its high clamping force, the <strong>EN</strong>GEL<br />

duo 1150 produces correspondingly<br />

large parts. If we need to manage customer<br />

stocks here on site, we need an<br />

appropriately large storage capacity.<br />

The challenges in terms of our supply<br />

capability increase along with the size<br />

of the machines,” explains Marcel Kessels.<br />

With this in mind, Wicro set up a<br />

warehouse to hold a ‘safety stockpile’.<br />

The logistical challenge intensifies in<br />

tandem with the range of products, raw<br />

materials and colours. For example, 30<br />

different materials are needed just for a<br />

premium model on behalf of pushchair<br />

brand Stokke. These include base<br />

plastics like ABS, polypropylene and<br />

polyamide with varying proportions of<br />

fibreglass. It is not unusual for pushchair<br />

parts to be produced on several<br />

machines simultaneously. After all,<br />

as a global player, Stokke markets its<br />

products right around the world.<br />

The materials used are repeatedly<br />

changed at customers’ request. “As<br />

far as the future is concerned, we<br />

foresee a trend away from PA and<br />

towards PP, driven by sustainability<br />

considerations,” says Fassotte. In<br />

future, the proportion of recycled<br />

plastics is poised to rise significantly,<br />

but sufficient quantities of recycled<br />

matter cannot be relied on for every material. “In that<br />

case, it is very difficult to ensure stable material flows,”<br />

believes Fassotte.<br />

On this point, a new Wicro client from Scandinavia<br />

has adopted a wholly new approach for the market<br />

to achieve a closed cycle. “The first high chair made<br />

of recycled PP partially mixed with wood fibres will<br />

shortly be celebrating its debut at an international<br />

trade show,” Fassotte reports. “This customer is<br />

deeply committed to drastically reducing its carbon<br />

footprint,” she explains. “This includes manufacturing<br />

the moulds in Europe and introducing a product takeback<br />

system to recondition the products and recycle<br />

them completely once they reach the end.”<br />

Wicro Plastics is constantly confronted with new market<br />

conditions as the demands on injection moulding<br />

processes also evolve. Currently, for example,<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL’s first assistance systems – iQ weight control<br />

and iQ clamp control – are being tested in production.<br />

During the injection process, iQ weight control<br />

analyses the injection pressure graph with a reference<br />

cycle and automatically adapts the individual injection<br />

profile, switchover point and holding pressure profile<br />

to current conditions for every cycle. Fluctuations in<br />

the environment and the raw material are automatically<br />

compensated for in this way, before even a single<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL is really<br />

helping us to<br />

achieve our goals.<br />

Evelien Fassotte from Wicro Plastics<br />

is proud to be a Wicronese.<br />

reject moulding is produced. Since recycled matter<br />

is naturally subject to greater batch fluctuations than<br />

virgin materials, the assistance system unlocks significant<br />

potential. With the assistance system, Marcel<br />

Kessels is aiming to attain consistently high production<br />

quality in the processing of recycled matter. “I am<br />

confident that by working with <strong>EN</strong>GEL, we can take<br />

another step towards raising both quality and the<br />

flexibility of production.” Another key aspect when<br />

using digital iQ products will be the faster machine<br />

start-ups. “After a colour change, it is important for us<br />

to resume the continuous process quickly.”<br />

“Everyone is proud to be a Wicronese”<br />

Having been active in the plastics processing market<br />

for more than 25 years, Marcel Kessels has decades<br />

of experience. On a tour of the production facility,<br />

an attentive observer will notice an <strong>EN</strong>GEL injection<br />

moulding machine bearing his name<br />

and his likeness beaming out from<br />

the <strong>EN</strong>GEL green. “This is an honour<br />

bestowed on employees who have<br />

been with Wicro Plastics for more than<br />

25 years,” he smiles – less a marketing<br />

gimmick than a big sign of respect for<br />

the employees in question. Indeed,<br />

experienced employees are essential<br />

to Wicro when it comes to meeting the<br />

challenges of the market through innovation<br />

and creativity. “Everyone is proud<br />

to be a Wicronese,” says Fassotte.<br />

Despite the challenges it entails, Evelien<br />

Fassotte believes that highly flexible<br />

production – involving numerous<br />

mould changes, high product diversity<br />

and very short delivery times – adds<br />

up to a distinct competitive advantage.<br />

“<strong>EN</strong>GEL offers outstanding support<br />

to help us meet our goals.” Effective<br />

interplay between reliable injection<br />

moulding machines, quick service<br />

and Fast Track machines is every bit<br />

as important to a company as ‘time<br />

and space’.<br />

<br />

26_<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>


Wicro Plastics supplies a large number of products as fully assembled modules.<br />

Image: Wicro Plastics<br />

Image: Wicro Plastics<br />

Fast Track machines are not only delivered<br />

fast, but go into operation quickly.<br />

Fast Track<br />

machines<br />

from <strong>EN</strong>GEL.<br />

Image: Wicro Plastics<br />

Motivation and respect: employees who have served 25 years,<br />

like Marcel Kessels, get their ‘own’ <strong>EN</strong>GEL machine.<br />

<strong>EN</strong>GEL <strong>Injection</strong>-<strong>April</strong>-<strong>2024</strong>_27


Be the first ...<br />

Get connected –<br />

with our trainers<br />

New solutions require<br />

learning and practice.<br />

I recommend <strong>EN</strong>GEL<br />

trainings to get the<br />

most out of your<br />

machine.<br />

Flavio Venzon,<br />

Manufacturing and<br />

Quality Director<br />

at Sulbras,<br />

Brasil<br />

... to enhance your<br />

production with<br />

trained staff.<br />

Technology is constantly evolving. So are the capabilities of our machines. Get<br />

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