Balluff GmbH (Germany) - Molds from injection molding machines are subject to wear and tear and must be regularly maintained as a result. The regularity of inspection often depends on the experience values of individual employees or handwritten notes. However, these are not always accessible. Therefore, in many cases, maintenance and inspections are frequently carried out only if the produced components no longer meet the required standards or if the mold malfunctions. This results in unscheduled stoppages that waste plenty of time and money.
This is where Mold ID from Balluff comes in. It supports condition-based maintenance and provides more transparency in mold handling.
By means of industrial RFID, Mold ID makes the use of injection molds traceable and ensures their optimal utilization. The best part: Mold ID is backed by an autonomous system that can be retrofitted anywhere and at any time on all machines, without the need for the manufacturer or intervention in the controller.
In addition to the mold identity, a rugged RFID data carrier at each mold stores the current shot count and various mold-specific process parameters in non-volatile memory without making contact. This data can be called up via a smartphone or a mobile RFID reader at any time (for an audit, for example). An externally attached inductive or optical sensor, which is mounted at a suitable place on the machine, serves as the shot counter. Both not only ensure that assignment of the molds is unmistakable, but they also return the objective database for condition-based maintenance. This extends the service lives and improves reliability during operation, while also increasing the productivity of the systems and improving their efficiency.
The SmartLight provides direct feedback regarding the current status of the mold to the operators at the machine. The limit values for "Warning" or "Maintenance required" can be individually defined for each mold. The SmartLight displays the status so that it is visible from a great distance and, most importantly, unmistakable.
The best part: All Mold ID systems can be connected to the control level, an ERP system or an MES system via web services by means of LAN, Wi-Fi or Powerline. The result is access to the data and the processes from everywhere. As a result, Mold ID is a clear and practical example for how Industry 4.0 easily finds its way into production.