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"The packaging industry is one of the especially fast-growing sectors in South East Asia, and is one of the innovation drivers at the same time", states Romain Reyre, President South East Asia for ENGEL. "There is hardly another sector in which the per unit cost is under higher pressure than in the packaging industry." Competitive production is only possible when the highest throughputs, a stable process and a high degree of process integration come together. To allow, for example, ready-to-fill food containers to come directly out of the injection moulding machine, an increasing number of processors are turning to in-mould labelling technology (IML). IML makes high-quality decoration economical and also allows for the efficient production of smaller batch sizes. In order to take full advantage of the efficiency potential of IML integration, the injection moulding machine, the mould and the handling of the labels and finished products must be perfectly coordinated with each other. To this end, ENGEL has developed a worldwide network of partner companies.
For the production of oval bowls – used, for example, for convenience meals –, the e-mac 440/180 injection moulding machine presented at the T-Plas works with Asian partners who are also well familiar with the requirements of local producers and translate these into optimally tailored solutions. The 4-cavity mould comes from CNN Plastic System, based in New Taipei City, Taiwan. The IML-automation is implemented by JET Engine Automation – also based in New Taipei City. "The collaboration with local partners makes it possible for us to guarantee high cost-efficiency for our customers, even for very sophisticated, innovative technologies, and to also keep the delivery times for the complete production cell short," emphasises Reyre.
High productivity requires a reliable and high-performing injection moulding machine. The all-electric e-mac is exclusively equipped with especially powerful servo drives. Ejection and pressing is also handled servo-electrically. This guarantees the best possible precision and process stability while maximising the effectiveness of the machine as a whole. The highly energy-efficient machine ensures a stable production, even at continuous, round-the-clock operation.
With the CC300 control, the e-mac provides full flexibility for the integration of robots and other peripherals, as well as the use of intelligent assistance systems from the inject 4.0 programme of ENGEL.
inject 4.0 – this is the response of ENGEL to the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution, for which the name Industry 4.0 has become established. The goal is a smart factory in which production processes continuously self-optimise through the networking of production systems, the systematic use of machine, process and production data, and the utilisation of intelligent assistance systems. Producers can thus increase the productivity and quality of their production and respond very flexibly to ever more rapidly changing requirements.
ENGEL already offers an entire range of mature products for digitalisation and networking that have been proven in practice again and again, and is continuously expanding its line-up. The modularity of the inject 4.0 approach makes it especially easy for plastics processors to take advantage of the opportunities offered by Industry 4.0. Even small isolated solutions provide huge benefits.
In Bangkok, the e-mac injection moulding machine makes this impressively clear. Equipped with the iQ weight control system, it detects fluctuations in the environmental conditions and in the raw material, and automatically compensates for these shot by shot. Throughout the entire process, it maintains a consistent melt volume, thereby preventing the production of rejects.
ENGEL is presenting two more assistance systems in Bangkok: iQ clamp control and iQ flow control. While iQ clamp control calculates the mould breathing in order to determine the optimal clamping force and automatically adjust it, iQ flow control optimises the mould temperature control. To achieve this, the software connects the electronic temperature control water manifold e-flomo with the temperature control unit, and is thereby able to continuously adjust the pump speed to the actual requirement. This results in even higher energy efficiency.
In order to increase the availability of machines and productions cells, inject 4.0 relies on online support, remote maintenance, and predictive, condition-based maintenance. e connect.24 is the online support and remote maintenance tool through which ENGEL customers can send an emergency call for help to their machine builder partner at any time of the day or night. Via a remote connection, the ENGEL specialists immediately begin to look for the cause. In many cases, they can help directly over the internet, saving the processor a time-intensive and possibly expensive on-site visit by a service-technician. In this way, down times are minimised.
With e-connect.monitor, ENGEL even makes it possible to inspect the condition of process-critical components such as plasticising screws during operation and to establish a reliable prognosis of their remaining useful life. With this condition-based, predictive maintenance, the useful life of machine components can be fully utilised without entailing the risk of unplanned system downtime.
Capacity increased for South East Asia
In order to be able to fulfil the specific requirements of plastics processors in the extremely dynamic developing markets of South East Asia in an even more targeted fashion, in the autumn of last year ENGEL further developed its sales structure in South East Asia. The responsibility for the individual subsidiaries and representative offices was combined, and Romain Reyre was appointed as President South East Asia. At the same time, the service team was reinforced and a regional hub for the supply of spare parts was opened. For the first time, ENGEL South East Asia now has its own service manager with cross-national responsibility, who is based in Bangkok. "The new structure is showing results", reports Reyre. "Over the past months, we were able to further strengthen our position in South East Asia."
On the whole, ENGEL's growth in Asia is especially robust. Among other factors, the machine builder has the consistent investments into its regional sales and service subsidiaries and production plants to thank for this continued success. ENGEL is the only European injection moulding machine builder producing injection moulding machines at three locations in Asia – in China and Korea – and can therefore guarantee its customers short delivery times, fast service, and the flexible adjustment of products and system solutions to regional requirements. The e-mac injection moulding machine presented at the T-Plas was also produced in Asia, at the plant for small and medium-sized machines in Pyungtaek City, Korea.
Since it was founded in 1945, ENGEL has been 100 percent family-owned and independent of external investors, thus guaranteeing both customers and employees stability and a long-term perspective. In the 2016/2017 financial year, ENGEL achieved sales of more than 1.36 bn Euros. ENGEL employs more than 6,000 people worldwide.