Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - 24

digitalisation

Moulding
productivity
with predictive
maintenance and
digitalization
Manufacturers in the plastics and rubber industry are facing increasing competition,
higher raw material costs and tighter margins. Fausto Belotti, Global Segment
Manager for Rubber and Plastics for ABB Motion, discusses how adopting
digitalisation can help manufacturers address these challenges through increased
efficiency while also enhancing their sustainability.

A

very significant factor compounding
the challenge of increasing efficiency
is the global footprint of many
manufacturers. This requires
them to optimise production on
multiple lines spanning different
sites in different countries. Because they need to be close to
demand points and sources of
raw material, larger manufacturers may have, for instance,
a presence in 35 countries with
a number of individual plants in
each country. Each plant also
has different production lines,
so to enable proper resource
planning, they need a robust
platform that optimises manufacturing processes and reduces costs.
The end goal for many of
these companies is to create
smarter process equipment
through digitalisation - machines that can self-diagnose,
self-correct and communicate
with over-arching plant control

24

May/June 2020

systems. The benefits of networked machinery are clear:
increased productivity.

Digitalisation is an
essential value driver
The digitalisation of manufacturing is transforming the
operations, processes, and energy footprint of factories and
the management of manufacturing supply chains, just as it
is also changing how products
are designed, fabricated, used,
and serviced. An important value driver is the impact of the
Internet of Things (IoT) in facilitating predictive and preventive factory equipment maintenance, specifically via remote
condition monitoring. New
cloud-based services make the
benefits of condition monitoring
available at minimal installation
cost. This type of monitoring
provides rich data - that enables
fully informed decision making to be collected from equipment

such as extruders, mixers and
mechanical shafts.
Once machines are interconnected and managed by
IoT sensors and actuators, it is
possible to improve asset utilisation significantly by eliminating many of the human and
machine errors that reduce
productivity. An important development in this area is the
new generation of low-cost,
wireless smart sensors that can
be directly attached to motors,
bearings, pumps and gearing.
These smart sensors pick up
data on the changing vibration
patterns, temperature and other parameters, information that
can be used to gain meaningful
insights on the condition and
performance of the equipment.
The collected data is sent via
the cloud for analysis, enabling
users to identify inefficiencies
within their system and to reduce risks related to operation
and maintenance.
Remote condition monitoring

helps to monitor critical health
and operating parameters in real-time. This means users can
identify issues before they become problems, so maintenance
can be planned before a failure
occurs, reducing downtime. Predictive maintenance is especially
important to prevent unplanned
downtime of critical machinery
that can lead to a 'ripple effect,'
where other equipment down
the production line also malfunctions, causing further disruption.
It is therefore advisable to identify
all critical equipment and adopt
appropriate monitoring systems,
such as smart sensors. This also
allows manufacturers to improve
their production scheduling to
provide greater flexibility to meet
changing customer requirements
such as smaller production runs.
Smart sensors can also uncover potential for energy savings by monitoring the energy
consumption of motors. Adding
variable speed drives (VSDs)
to control high-efficiency mo-



Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020

Contents
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - Cover1
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - Cover2
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - Contents
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - 4
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - 5
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - 6
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - 7
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - 8
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - 9
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - 10
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - 11
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - 12
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Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - 40
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - Cover3
Sustainable Plastics - May/June 2020 - Cover4
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