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Smart thermometer safeguards the quality of plastics

A new solution from the Fraunhofer IPA and gwk helps monitor the condition and process data of temperature control systems in the plastics industry.

01 Mar. 2018
Roland Freist
HMI-ID02-069rf_ UniStuttgart IFF_ Fraunhofer IPA, Foto- Rainer Bez
(Foto: Universität Stuttgart IFF/ Fraunhofer IPA, Rainer Bez)

The right temperature of the machining tools and material plays an important role in plastics processing. The finished products will only exhibit the desired surfaces and properties if the relevant values are adhered to exactly. In collaboration with gwk Gesellschaft Wärme Kältetechnik , the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA has now unveiled a system that monitors the condition and process data of temperature control systems and sounds an alarm in the event of any deviations from the specified standard. The primary aim of Logotherm 4.0 is to decrease production waste. The solution is also suitable for predictive maintenance, where it is used to determine the condition of the most important components, such as pumps and vents, and estimate their expected service life.

Logotherm 4.0 links gwk’s temperature control systems to Fraunhofer IPA’s cloud platform Virtual Fort Knox . Via this link, the system collects the data from all machines and displays it in the form of an overview on a central dashboard. In addition to the temperature, this machine data also includes flow volume, pressure, and performance. The Industry 4.0 approach does not just involve collecting data from production, but also processing it in an intelligent way. With Logotherm 4.0, this happens via a condition monitoring service that runs in the background and that displays errors and deviations on the dashboard. In the event of any problems, an integrated notification service automatically sends those responsible a message.