Moulders getting smallerâ€¦and smarter
ERJ staff report (PR)
Ternitz, Austria - Rubber injection moulding companies increasingly require machines that are easier for workers to operate, and the capability to monitor and control their production units remotely, according to Wolfgang Meyer, managing director and CEO of Maplan GmbH.
“Ergonomics are becoming more important, so we are trying to get our machines to a working height of less than 1 metre,” Meyer explained in a media presentation during the recent ‘technology days’ event at the machine maker’s Ternitz base.
“In the past, this did not matter so much,” said Meyer. “Many customers said ‘okay, I will build steps around it’. But nowadays with [safety issues] coming up, more and more people just want to put their machine on the floor and [have] people going in and taking out the parts.”
Meyer said height-reductions would “definitely happen” on the company’s smaller machines, and added that Maplan also aimed to reduce working height on its bigger units as much as possible.
“For the bigger machines you still have steps, but there is a difference if you are 2 metres up or only 1.5 metres,” he commented. “The challenge here is that you have big plates and a cylinder at the bottom. You have to do something with the cylinder or make special mechanical constructions.”
Another focus for Maplan, meanwhile, is on the ease-of-operation of its machines. From 2015, then company will introduce a new touch-screen operated controller with functionality to enable remote monitoring of machines, including via smartphone from any location around the world.
A technical manager, said Meyer, will be able to use an iPhone browser to see what the worker views in production, how the machine is running and check the production statistics and the efficiency of the machine from anywhere, worldwide.