To simplify monitoring of all extrusion line parameters, Battenfeld Extrusions-technik GmbH, has developed a modular concept consisting of three components: energy monitoring, production monitor-ing and maintenance monitoring. The system is integrated in the BMCtouch client-server operating system, so that all relevant data can be clearly shown at any place and at any time. The first system of this type is currently operating as a pilot project at a well-known customer from the PVC window profile industry - with very promising results. Monitoring and visualizing the energy flux in extrusion lines is the most important part of the new system. The energy monitoring module measures the energy flows in the machine and visualizes the distribution of energy. From such measurements, it calculates the specific energy consumption per kilogram of the manufactured prod-uct, so that the processor is provided with a final value for making meaningful com-parisons. In addition, the measurement of partial energy flows facilitates the optimi-zation of extrusion process technology. Last but not least, energy flux monitoring also enables processors to evaluate measures aimed at cutting production costs by increasing energy efficiency.
Maintenance monitoring, the second component of the new system, supports pre-ventive maintenance of extrusion lines by means of maintenance alarm signals. Ser-vice intervals are included in the calculation, and model calculations are carried out for machine components with a load-dependent service life, such as drive systems. Maintenance logbooks ensure reliable documentation of servicing that has taken place. True to the principle of "better safe than sorry", this monitoring component helps processors to carry out preventive maintenance according to a plan, and thus avoid unintended downtimes as far as possible.
Production monitoring, the third system component, automatically collects data about the production status of a line, such as setup times, uptimes and downtimes, and calculates production key figures from these data. Processors are thus able to make direct comparisons between the production key figures of different extrusion lines. On the basis of this information, the extrusion process can be optimized and the line run more efficiently.
Thanks to the various monitoring functions, processors are able to optimize the effi-ciency of their extrusion lines. Here, the calculation of specific key figures is a deci-sive contributing factor, since, in addition to direct comparison between different ex-trusion lines, it enhances and facilitates the optimization of individual lines.