KraussMaffei presented the new easyTrace at the K 2019 trade show. This new modular system gathers all relevant production data in plastics processing and transfers them to the specific customer systems for evaluation, whether from the extruder, injection moulding machine, automation or peripherals.
EasyTrace thus acts as a central data hub between the individual levels of production, creates more transparency over the entire value chain and thus supports quality assurance.
All state-of-the-art machines communicate with their production environment. They log their manufacturing sequences and provide the information at the proper time for the respective cycle for further processing—whether for the downstream system in the process or for central evaluation. However, the various protocols are not always fully compatible. At K 2019, KraussMaffei presented the easyTrace data collection system, an interpreter between machines of different generations, types, brands and instruments.
Streamlined, customised solution for the plastics industry
Making all data available together for evaluation—for example, by an MES system—is essential, particularly in the age of Industry 4.0. These systems should be as simple as possible and not overloaded with powerful IT systems. However, this is a shortcoming of most solutions. They are not adequately tailored to plastics processing. In response to requests from customers, KraussMaffei is closing this gap with easyTrace.
The data hub is a type of information highway with an integrated interpreter. easyTrace quickly acquires information from material dryers, plastics processing machines, complex automation systems, cameras, printers and scanners. The special feature here is that easyTrace supports nearly all interfaces that exist in the market, including E63, Profinet and E77. This makes it possible to integrate machines from different manufacturers or older machines into digital production.
For example, if your injection moulding machine already has the KraussMaffei dataXplorer analysis software, communication between the machine and easyTrace is direct. DataXplorer sends up to 500 signals per second as continuous curves and acts as a “magnifying glass” for taking an in-depth look into the injection moulding or extrusion process. EasyTrace can be coupled to the customer’s own MES or FFS system, store data there or take over other data, for example, for labelling the individual articles with codes.
Live application at K – connector fabrication
In the application at K—fabricating connectors with metal inserts that are over-moulded on a CX 80—KraussMaffei creates custom reports for the respective article using data from easyTrace. Using individualised QR codes, many specific facts can be called up, for example, if the APC plus machine function has intervened to ensure shot weight consistency, the results of the camera inspections for dimensional accuracy and completeness, or the results of the check of the electrical function. You can even store a photo of each individual connector here.
EasyTrace is KraussMaffei’s solution for complete transparency along the entire value chain. This enables even organically grown production facilities to benefit quickly and easily from the advantages of Industry 4.0 and digitalise the machine pool incrementally.