An advanced digital optical inspection system is used on three insert injection-molding machines. These real-time inspection systems prevent improper loading of inserts and ensure that they are loaded. The systems feature three different types of optical sensors for specific applications. One uses fiber optics and infrared light, which filters out interference of ambient lighting; another is a laser-detection system which can focus a split-second light beam on a part less than 0.25 mm in diameter; the third system employs compact digital cameras with built-in processors.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.