A look into the lab – R&D at Kautex Maschinenbau
Robotic control via SPC
Robots are used in Kautex machines to make movements precise, reproducible, and faster. In order to minimize the efforts for adjusting robot movements and the mounted EOATs (End Of Arm Tools), Kautex has developed a new robot application. Using the Kautex Robot Application (KRA), Kautex programmers can adjust order-specific settings for the EOAT and the motion sequence of the robot directly via the programmable logic control (PLC) instead of having to use specifically trained robot programmers as was the case in the past.
High-performance clamping units for large products
Especially large products pose great demands on a machine. The larger the blow mold, the greater the clamping forces have to be which hold the mold together. For the US Kayak manufacturer Lifetime (see report above), Kautex Maschinenbau developed the two new clamping units S6 and S8 with clamping platten sizes of up to 2200 x 4000 mm and clamping forces of up to 3000kN. They, too, can be expanded with several additional functions thanks to modular construction.
Simulation tool for recognition of boundary layer instabilities
For scientific studies in cooperation with the Gesellschaft zur Förderung technischen Nachwuchses Darmstadt e.V. (GFTN, Society for the promotion of future technicians), Kautex Maschinenbau has developed a lab tool which can be used to represent flow phenomena. The results serve to develop and verify an algorithm which will make it possible to make early statements about layer distributions and compositions. The cooperative project supported by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy makes it possible to recognize boundary layer instabilities in the coextrusion process without having to perform expensive and time-consuming study series.
Belt-less extruder drives save energy
Extruder drives are among the greatest energy consumers in extrusion blow molding machines. A large portion of the energy is lost in the belt transmission. Kautex Maschinenbau sees potential savings here: in the future motors will be directly flange-mounted to the drive as opposed to being connected via V-belts as in the past. In the future, a special compact drive is to be used for extruders with 120 - 150 mm screw diameter. Instead of one large motor, they will use four smaller motors, thus drastically reducing the size. Both measures lead to improved energy efficiency, lower maintenance requirements, and fewer wear parts.
Modular extruder platform makes construction easier
In the future, Kautex machines can be constructed faster, easier, and cheaper thanks to the modular extruder platform. The required functional modules are mounted on a standard frame and connected via defined interfaces. This not only accelerates construction but also quote generation, forecasting, purchasing and manufacturing times. Kautex Maschinenbau passes the resulting cost benefits directly to the customer.