Plastics News - Show Daily - October 25, 2022 - 13

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Plastics News, October 25, 2022 * 13
Wickert marries tradition, technology with hydraulic presses
By Andrew Schunk
Rubber News
Wickert Maschinenbau GmbH
has come a long way since its humble
beginnings in 1901, when the
Landau, Germany-based company,
under the watchful eye of founder
Jokob Wickert, constructed presses
for the wine and fruit industry.
With about 200 employees and
more than $44.6 million in annual
sales today, Wickert now manufactures
hydraulic presses that range
anywhere from 5-300 tons and has
installed entire press lines weighing
more than 1,000 tons.
At K 2022, Wickert is showcasing
its recent growth in another
way with the integration of a real-time
data system from Siemens,
known as OPC UA, which assists
in determining tolerances and
can troubleshoot potential negative
trends that can affect the
outcome of components. It is an
example of digitization, one of the
main themes of the 2022 exposition,
and it is data that is critical
for hydraulic presses that are
used in the construction of aircraft,
maritime, computer chip
and medical components.
" We have been quite eager to
see how things go for this K show, "
said Stefan Herzinger, managing director
at Wickert. " We have found
that this show, with traffi c quantity
and quality, is equivalent to the
situation before COVID. "
With more than 90,000 square
WICKERT
MASCHINENBAU
GMBH
Hall 14, Booth A41
UA include press
pressure, temperature
and vacuum
levels.
Stephanie Wickert, a fourth-generation co-managing director at Wickert Maschinenbau
GmbH, and Stefan Herzinger, managing director at the Landau, Germany-based
company. Plastics News photo by Caroline Seidel
feet in Landau, Wickert is a mixture
of both tradition and technology,
making presses for molded parts.
Rather than by industry, the
fourth-generation - co-Managing
Director Stephanie Wickert is
the great-granddaughter of Jokob
Wickert - family-owned company
defi nes itself by material, working
in composites, elastomers, powders,
plastics and rubber - all of
which are relevant to K attendees.
And the real-time data system -
the OPC UA (Open Platform Communications
Unifi ed Architecture)
- is an example of next-generation,
or Industry 4.0, manufacturing.
" This is an open interface with
other devices and non-Siemens
devices ... giving us relevant data
within the process, " Herzinger
said. " The task is to defi ne key performance
indicators on a global
network ... to defi ne what is essential
and what is not. "
Metrics measured by the OPC
The OPC UA
comes standard as
part of Wickert's
hydraulic press
sales package, and
in the future, the
company will offer
the cross-platform
data exchange as
an option for all
press systems, in
compliance with
VDMA standards.
The solution
incorporates the
entire installation up to the data
transfer point. From there, the
data can be integrated into production
control systems, Herzinger
said.
" It gives production managers a
clear overview of the most important
machine data, " he said. " This
helps to ensure the quality of the
cycle, that [certain parameters]
are within the correct tolerances.
" It also helps us to realize
trends. If performance is getting
worse, this can tell us something.
And the data should then be available
for quite a long period of time,
putting the customer in a position
to see how a certain product has
been manufactured. "
Most importantly, Herzinger
said, is that the data for a given
product is assimilated before,
during and after the production
process.
" It's not worth the effort if we
do not have the complete picture, "
Herzinger said. " This is critical,
and it is a fi eld of increasing innovation
... where three-dozen smaller
steps can help us fi nd a better
production solution. All of this is
expected to grow. "
As Wickert makes the push toward
more fully automated systems
for its presses, especially as
it relates to pharmaceutical applications,
Herzinger sees fewer and
fewer errors in the mold production
processes.
" The benefi t in realizing automatization
is not only in labor
costs, but in getting rid of errors, "
he said. " The biggest enemy in the
process is the human being, and
this is the main driver for automatization. "
Older
presses can be retrofi tted
with the OPC UA. Typically,
the cost to do so is related to the
age of the machine: The older the
machine, the more expensive the
retrofi t. The company recently
retrofi tted 60 presses " of different
generations " with the OPC UA.
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Hall 6 Stand C43
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Plastics News - Show Daily - October 25, 2022

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