Engel Austria has launched its new “Engel Technology Centre. Innovation at heart” at its headquarters in Schwertberg, Austria, featuring 1,700 m² of machine floor space . “We have created our own pilot plant for vertical integration in injection moulding and can thus support our customers even more comprehensively on their way to implementing the smart factory,” says Dr. Stefan Engleder, CEO of the Engel Group. The new customer technology centre is the heart of the latest expansion at headquarters.
Engel already bundles a large number of its products and solutions for the smart factory under the inject 4.0 banner. The portfolio is continually being expanded. “The aim of inject 4.0 is to leverage the full potential of machines, systems and technologies in order to strengthen competitiveness, act more flexibly and master the increasing complexity of production,” Engleder points out.
Vertical integration describes the integration of all machines, systems and manufacturing processes within a company or manufacturing network into a superordinate control system. The Engel technology centre provides practical demonstrations of integration beyond the boundaries of a single location, as it is connected to the technology centres at Engel’s plants and subsidiaries worldwide. Key products for this are the Engel e connect customer portal and TIG authentig. The MES by Engel subsidiary TIG uses a cloud solution to make all machine parks within the production network transparent.
In addition to transparency, intelligent assistance systems make a major contribution towards boosting production efficiency in the smart factory. All the machines in the new Engel technology centre are equipped with a wide variety of assistance systems from Engel’s iQ product family. In addition to iQ weight control, iQ clamp control and iQ flow control, which have been very successfully established in injection moulding companies for some time now, the brand-new iQ systems, which Engel will be presenting at K 2019 in Düsseldorf in October, are deployed at the technology centre at a particularly early stage.
Digital transformation is another forward-looking topic. The individual vertical platform solutions are connected with each other horizontally along the value chain. Where vertical networking is about function-related and mostly domain-specific optimisation of the individual stages in the value chain within a company, horizontal networking allows processes to be optimised across functions along the entire value chain. A pilot factory for this was opened in Linz at the beginning of June. The aim of the LIT Factory is to use digital system models to research and further develop product creation processes along the value chain – from materials to product development, and from production to recycling.