Image: Sorting belt with plastic bottles. Two employees can be seen out of focus in the background; Copyright: envato

Sustainability thanks to the circular economy


How does the circular economy work? Focus on sustainable practices and environmental benefits.
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Image: Hands crocheting a yellow round circle with a crochet hook; Copyright: envato

Machine crochet for textiles and components


When it comes to crocheting, many people think of a leisure hobby. However, this technique can be used to manufacture impressive products such as components made from fiber composites. In an interview with K-Mag, Jan Lukas Storck from Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences explains how a newly developed crochet machine works and how it contributes to automation.
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Photo: a man in a gray hoodie and furrowed brow in conversation - image from video clip; Copyright: Messe Düsseldorf

Foxbase: Start-up with a vision


The Foxbase platform makes B2B sales processes more efficient. CTO Carsten Dolch and CEO Benjamin Dammertz explain how setting up the software and integrating AI helps improve customer interactions. Various industries, including the plastics industry, benefit from the flexibility and efficiency of this solution. Find out more in the video.
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Image: red and white industrial plant against a neutral background; Copyright: Wittmann Inc.

"Industrial communication will change”


Industry interview on OPC UA with Dana Ford, Auxiliary Controls Engineer for Material Handling/Auxiliary at Wittmann Inc.
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Image: two men standing in front of the display of a large industrial machine; Copyright: Billion SAS

OPC UA significantly simplifies processes


Industry interview with Georg Kiesl, General Manager at Billion SAS on the spread of the OPC UA standard in the USA.
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PLASTICS and VDMA must work together on OPC UA


Industry interview on OPC UA with Glenn Anderson, Chief Operating Officer at the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) and Thorsten Kühmann, Managing Director of the VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association
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Photo: Martin Weger (center back) with his management team at the St. Valentin plant. A man in the middle holds up the prize; Copyright: ENGEL

ENGEL St. Valentin wins production contest


The ENGEL large-scale machine plant in St. Valentin was named "Factory of the Year 2023" in Austria, winning both the overall award and the "Efficient Factory" category at the factory conference in Bludenz. The award is based on outstanding results in various categories, including a sustainability strategy.
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Image: A 135-ton crane at the Infiltrator plant helps to set up the new large-scale machines; Copyright: ENGEL

Breaking boundaries: Delivering gigantic injection molding machines across continents


8000 tons in weight, a good 30 meters long – how do you manage to ship such a gigantic injection moulding machine across the big pond? In an industry where logistics and size present special challenges, ENGEL has managed to master them with expertise and a cooperative approach.
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Image: Robots at work in the Automated Lab of the Henkel Inspiration Center; Copyright: Henkel AG

Automated Lab: Robots optimise adhesive development


Robots already take over a large number of monotonous, repetitive tasks today – freeing up time and resources for creative and more exciting tasks. Henkel is also automating work steps in its new Inspiration Center Düsseldorf (ICD). In a data-driven laboratory, new adhesive formulations are automatically prepared and tested around the clock.
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Image: Erlenmeyer flask filled with water polluted by microplastics in a laboratory; Copyright: microgen

First comparative study on automated analysis methods of large data sets in microplastics research


The lack of standardized analytical procedures for microplastic data has led to significant deviations, especially for small particles with high hazard potential. Researchers from the University of Bayreuth and the Alfred Wegener Institute have compared two automated analysis procedures and called for standardization to improve the comparability of data.
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Image: interior of a logistics warehouse; Copyright: vanitjan

Parcel logistics: the future belongs to reusable plastic boxes


Cardboard dominates parcel logistics. Shrinkage and return transport costs have so far been too big hurdles for reusable containers made of plastic, even though there is a lot to be said for them in terms of sustainability. BOOXit overcomes these hurdles – and adds one on top: the reusable system is not only sustainable, but also robot-compatible.
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Automated simulation software creates a world map of polymer properties


"Materials informatics (MI), a new branch of materials research that combines materials data with data science, is gaining traction," said co-corresponding author Yoshihiro Hayashi, assistant professor, Institute of Statistical Mathematics in the Research Organization of Information and Science (ROIS).
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Image: an injection molding machine producing an orange cup; Copyright: ssp48

Full speed ahead: Sumitomo (SHI) Demag expands fast-cycle all-electric platform


Engineered specifically for high volume packaging, medical and automotive applications requiring the highest processing precision in the fastest cycle time, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is accelerating its global expansion of the IntElect platform.
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Photo: woman picking a 3D printed object from the printer; Copyright: Cubicure

All tidied up: Customizable cleaning solution for light-based 3D printing


As the saying goes, one cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs – in a metaphorical sense, this is also the case when it comes to the 3D printing process. In most cases, material residue must be removed manually and then discarded. Cubicure delivers a different way that's automated, customizable, and sustainable.
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Image: Electronic three-dimensional plastic 3D printer in a laboratory ; Copyright: StudioPeace

Powered-up plastics


A research team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA has succeeded inadditively manufacture sensors and other electronic devices in a single operation. As part of this research, the conductivity of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) was tested to find out, for example, how best to incorporate electronic components.
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A true all-rounder: with two apprenticeships to become a turnkey expert


Oliver Fuss has completed not one, but two apprenticeships at Arburg: first an apprenticeship as a mechatronics technician and then as a process mechanic for plastics and rubber technology. Now he works in the turnkey division, where fully automated manufacturing cells are designed and built.
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Digitization, automation, networking: "We have the whole wide bandwidth!"


Twenty-year-old Yannick Herzog trained as an electronics technician for automation technology at Arburg and now works in the company's printed circuit board production. Since August 2021, he has been responsible for SPI and AOI for quality control of printed and assembled PCBs, respectively, in a production line. These are used in the control systems of the Arburg machines.
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Product development in Alpla's One-Stop Shop


Those who work meticulously to design a product can hardly await the day they can hold the finished item in their hands. Alpla is a company headquartered in Hard, Austria, that speeds up this process. Customers can convert their ideas into reality and ideally leave Alpla's STUDIOa with a prototype in hand.
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Image: Large fighter aircraft plant with multiple models; Copyright: saoirse2010

3D printing for automated pre-assembly of thermoplastic CFRP integral frames


In the "OSFIT" (One Shot Fully Integrated Thermoplastic Frame) project, automated processes were developed to reduce both the time required and the complexity of the assembly and joining steps in aircraft production.
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Create a quote for plastic testing services in just minutes


Plastics are versatile and come in every conceivable shape, size, color, and function. Yet before plastic products can fulfill their desired function, they are subject to testing to confirm they comply with various standards. It takes testing labs hours, if not days, to create a quote for materials testing.
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Digital watermarks: sort post-consumer waste more intelligently


How can plastic packaging become intelligent? By providing them with digital watermarks that can be read by sorting systems and thus simplify the sorting process. The fact that this technology works was proven in the pioneering HolyGrail 1.0 project with a proof of concept.
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Soft polymers for human-robot interaction


Most people know robots either from science fiction films or from company production halls. There, they reliably perform their tasks. But: they are heavy and rigid – anyone who gets in the way of their fixed motion sequences is in the way. For this reason, robots need to be developed that have a softer surface and are thus better suited for interaction with humans.
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