Three years ago, ENGEL introduced its answer to the challenges of Industry 4.0 with the launch of inject 4.0. This came in the wake of smart machine, smart production and smart service becoming established and well-accepted throughout the entire plastics industry, and in many areas. Thus, the smart factory has arrived in practice.
At the ENGEL inject 4.0 Forum held on June 27 in Linz, Austria attended by our editor, Dr. Stefan Engleder, CEO of the ENGEL Group announced that the time has come for the next step. Marketplaces will connect companies along the value chain and generate new products and services for the injection moulding industry. "The digital transformation is guiding inject 4.0 into a new dimension", Dr. Engleder said during the forum that was attended by 260 guests. The forum started with an overview of inject 4.0 which is ENGEL’s digital vision and where full potential of ENGEL products are highlighted to improve customers’ competitiveness by utilising injection moulding machine (IMM) solutions; optimise customers’ flexibility; and manage customers’ complexity by supplying assistance systems.
The goal: horizontal networking
So far, the path to the smart factory has been focused on the function-related optimisation of individual value creation stages such as production and sales, and on indirect value creation areas such as maintenance management and quality assurance. To this end, machine and process data are collected and analysed, and the shop floor is vertically linked to the operations management level on the basis of digital twins of the machines and systems. As a rule, the classic IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) platforms for this are proprietary solutions. In practice, however, vertical platform structures are unable to meet the requirements of processing data from various provider systems and correlating these with the data from other companies.
The goal of digital transformation is therefore the transition to horizontal platforms that bundle the know-how and offerings of various companies. An open, horizontal networking allows for the cross-functional optimisation of processes along the entire value chain. "The digital transformation is just beginning. We see a great opportunity here. We are inviting our customers and partners to continue actively developing the future of smart production in collaboration with us, and to tailor the new solutions specifically to the requirements of the plastics industry,” says Dr. Engleder. "This way, we will all derive the optimum benefit from these newly arising opportunities."
Read more about this informative event at http://www.industrysourcing.com/article/inject-40%E2%80%93-next-dimension