Delivering greater process transparency to injection moulders

At K 2022 (Hall 15, D22), Sumitomo (SHI) Demag extends its digital tools, launching its newest smart solution – myAssist. Increasing process transparency, the new tool, which will be displayed on three individual exhibits - the IntElect 75, InElect 220 and El-Exis SP 420 servo – present injection moulders with the facility to gain even deeper insights into process parameters. Distribution of myAssist commences on 1 January 2023, marking the next stage in the company’s journey from process analysis to digital validation and digital product pass. An evolving system, Dr Thomas Schilling, Digital Solutions Product Manager, confirms that further developments are already in the works.

As well as having the facility to access live data collated by individual control systems on injection moulding machines, myAssist also allows for corresponding comparisons to be performed on historical data. ”Through this creation of an interactive database, customers can select, record, trace and analyse the most relevant key performance indicators in much greater depth," explains Schilling.

Referencing the introduction of the digital product passport planned by the EU Commission, and how it aims to simplify the exchange of product-related information between companies, Schilling expands: “It will enable all players in the supply chain to present authorities and consumers with a package of relevant product information, including manufacturing materials, spare parts information, repairs, energy consumption and disposal.”


Leap forward in documenting ecological footprints


When information such as CO2 consumption and recycling rate are recorded during the production of a component, it creates more robust documentation of its corresponding ecological footprint. Additionally, rising shortages of qualified personnel requires greater process transparency and easier operation. With myAssist, machine data becomes more usable when performing subsequent analysis. Also, the product offers complete documentation and a knowledge-based troubleshooting feature. Answering questions such as: How does my process work? Do I have to intervene? What can I do? reports the digital product expert.

“Further transparency also increases efficiency and productivity. By producing less waste, customers benefit from higher machine availability. Producing more parts in the same timeframe,” says Schilling.

Recording real-time series data, myAssist evaluates information held by the injection moulding machine control unit, including pressure, temperature or injection profiles, and always relates this to a shot or injection, a component or cycle. "This level of process transparency enables a customer to understand every single production state," says the Digital Solutions Product Manager.

The corresponding browser application runs within the customer network and can be used on all devices. Highlighting the product’s security, Schilling confirms: "All data remains with the customer. No information is leaked out."

A stand-alone product, myAssist sits alongside myConnect. Yet there are subtle distinctions. “Whereas myAssist provides information about how the process works, myConnect is primarily focused on delivering fast service and support," Schilling notes.


All exhibits connected


At K 2022, the company will also present its well-established myConnect support app, including all the latest updates. “This is a well-functioning system under constant development. This year, we are using the app to connect all exhibits on the main booth,”  states Marco Bott, Head of Global Spare Parts Sales.

The modular platform provides access to a wide range of functionalities, enabling rapid reaction in the event of a production process failure. Additionally, data is always accessible. The fully integrated ‘Hardware Site Control’ allows direct communication with the CPU and HMI of the injection moulding machines using software. Technologically, this means  various machine parameters can be called up and production data can be visualised at any time and from anywhere.

“Using myConnect, many issues in a manufacturing process can be directly solved with this software," says Bott. The application offers full connectivity, enabling customers to integrate their entire production at one site. In the event of faults, a service request can be immediately opened. For maximum security, myConnect connects to the central server via a secure VPN tunnel and places a request in the Sumitomo (SHI) Demag service messaging system. Having TÜV IT certification for the connection safeguards the exchange of data. This is only done with the consent of both parties. "The central server, which acts as an intermediary between the customer and us, only operates in Germany and is subject to the strict GDPR data protection guidelines," assures the expert.


Complete access to our digital service space


Once the connection is established, customers receive full access to Sumitomo (SHI) Demag‘s complete digital service world, including extended support features or the spare parts database.

Summarising the functionalities, Bott explains that the monthly subscription for the basic version of myConnect comprises five support features, plus ‘Hardware Site Control’. With the exception of mySmartVision data glasses (a single purchase), customers have the option to add five additional premium tools to the monthly subscription.

Worldwide service support via mySupport is included in myConnect Basic. This packaging also comprises myDocumentation - digitised and constantly updated machine documentation -  myLiveCycleLog, providing a historic index of activities, plus mySpareParts, presenting customer-specific online listings extracted from the extensive parts catalogue. The myConnectApp gives users mobile control of important key features of the machine park, for instance operating status, order progress, reject parts and reported faults.

Additionally, the latest extension - myConnect Premium – includes mySupport Premium. Offering  24/7 online support and a guaranteed response time of three hours from reporting a problem, the Premium package also introduces myApplicationExpert, providing weekly expert technical support and using  mySmartVision data glasses to visualise individual situations on site. Providing a structured maintenance management program is myMaintenance, while myProduction allows customers to individually configure how they prefer to record and present production diagram and table data.