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Total machine control systems: product lines reviewed.


Company's Modcell Series 2000 multiple-loop control system enables the user to specify combinations of control and I/O, up to 32 assorted analog and digital I/O modules, and a choice of three controller personalities on a single card. Expansion unit supports up to 512 I/O modules per single CPU and mounts in standard Eurocard cardcage.


Offers a "single-window" extrusion process and product control system, with the flexibility of a field-proven distributed control system combined with AccuRay sensor technology. Through the use of the Taylor MOD 300 system, all sensor and scanning functions required for product control are accomplished in one easy-to-configure system. Line-wide control, using AccuRay sensors and measurement technology, combined with Taylor advanced distributed-control expertise, provide an integrated system for extrusion. The coordination of line-wide processing functions, such as recipe management, resin handling, temperature control, motor drive coordination, and product control, are all integrated into one expandable platform.

AEONIC-KGS, INC. See Eurotherm Gauging Systems.


Provides a comprehensive injection molding control system combining process control, sequential control, and a graphic operator interface for the control of machines. Two products make the system possible: the 1771-QDC plastic molding module and Pro-Set 600 injection molding software. The plastic molding module is an intelligent I/O module that performs open- or closed-loop injection process control and is used with company's standard programmable controllers. Adaptable to a wide range of applications, the module enables users to configure an injection process-control system for a one- or two-valve system; proportional or servo valves; open- or closed-loop control for each phase in the cycle; injection/fill control mode choices of velocity vs. position, pressure vs. position, and pressure vs. time; inject, pack and hold, and plastication phase profiles of ten steps each.

Pro-Set 600 injection molding software configures a standard Allen-Bradley PLC-5/40 controller and color CRT as an injection molding total machine control system. Process control, communication, and SQC data gathering are some of the features of the system. Pro-Set 600 software can save engineers development time by providing the ladder-logic program for injection process control, clamp control, barrel-temperature control, and mold-temperature control, as well as alarming, SPC/SQC data collection, and other functions. It is designed specifically for company's Panel View color CRT and works as a system with the PLC-5/40 programmable controller and 1771-QDC plastic molding module.


Offers multiple-loop control systems for thermoformers, extruders, injection molding and other machines. Control-mixed inputs include temperature, pressure, flow, and drive speed. Controllers operate at standalone systems and include serial interface for computer supervision. IBM-PC high-level software is offered, which includes on-line data plotting, data acquisition, graphics, and some SPC functions. Systems are offered to end users and OEM machinery manufacturers. Controllers include:

* 12LS--1/8-DIN with 12 PID heat/cool loops.

* 8LS--1/4-DIN with 8 PID heat/cool and mixed process loops.

* System 32--Thirty-two PID loops and up to 96 data-acquisition inputs. Systems can include automatic heater checking, process and deviation alarms, and ramp-and-soak programming. Digital inputs and outputs provide control of other machine functions.


Company's MACO 8000VA provides total machine control for injection, extrusion, blow molding, or most any plastics or related process. Features include new Lumitech flatscreen, High-Tech Color-Touch or traditional Panel-Trol membrane-type operator stations, Insta-Set solid-state cartridges for recipe storage and fast setup, MACO-Pac dedicated machine-function control modules and the Auxiliary Equipment Integration Module (AEIM) for manufacturing-cell control. An SPC/SQC module gathers and reports production data and provides CIM communications networking capabilities.

For supervisory CIM, up to 32 MACO 8000 systems can be linked to company's Cimac 8000 industrial-hardened computer for factory-floor use. Cimac 8000 is a supervisory network control system concept utilizing IBM-compatible computers and specialized data-gathering software for plastics applications.

Applications start-up is provided to meet the particular requirements of the user. The software provided is user-configurable so that modifications to company's generated screens, or screen packages using color and mouse-driven graphics, can be made by the user.

Company's MACO 4000 closed-loop controller, exclusively for injection molding, is less expensive and more compact than the MACO 8000. Unit has a Lumitech flush-mountable, electroluminescent operator station measuring 11 in. wide, 15.5 in. high and 3 in. deep. Circuit cards for all control functions fit in the sheet-metal enclosure. Six zones of full PID autotuning temperature control are standard. Process control includes ramping and closed-loop control of injection pressure or velocity, pack, hold, and backpressure, and cushion. Communication capabilities include RS485, RS432, printer port and MACO-Net. An internal SPC package is also available.


Supplies custom total machine control systems. Capabilities include cost-effective heat/cool autotune PID control, communications and user-alterable logic (sequence) control. Applications include presses, small injection machines, hot-stamp machines and special plastics processing machines. Non-Recurring Engineering (NRE) costs are minimized by an extensive library of existing functions.


Provides a family of microprocessor-based total machine controls for machinery applications, which include injection molding, reaction injection molding, extrusion blow molding, reheat blow molding, blown film systems, thermoforming, and extruders.

Depending on the application, features of the controls include: electro-luminescent or LCD operator displays, high-speed event detection for real-time response, high-density/high-power digital I/O, analog I/O, closed-loop control, alarm and fault detection and display, on-board diagnostics, Multibus or ISA bus architecture, 386 microprocessors, DOS platform, plotting and graphics, real-time clock, soft keys, printer output, and auxiliary-equipment interface. Controls are programmed with Mechanism Control Language (MCL), which offers complex logical and mathematical functions and English-language words and abbreviations. Ladder Diagram Programming (LDP) is also available.



Remanufactures and converts molding machinery and will retrofit machine control systems to upgrade both electrical and hydraulic systems to meet customer's molding requirements for standardization of all makes and models of machinery. Offers the E-1000 programmable control system for simple molding requirements or the 8000 custom CRT for more sophisticated systems.


Designs and manufactures in the U.S. the EM-2, a completely configurable and flexible multiloop control system for extruder and multiple coextrusion lines. The EM-2 handles temperature, melt pressure and DC drive control in addition to process monitoring, alarm annunciation, interlocking and digital logic control. System is expandable, allowing for the possibility of several operator stations and multiple communications ports for supervisory systems and third-party equipment. Custom operator screens are available.

Company also offers BMACS (blow molding automation and control system), a completely integrated control system for extrusion blow molding installations. System controls the parison formation; temperature of the extruder, head(s) and tooling zones; and machine sequence. Fast and consistent response time of the system results in reportedly high product consistency and reduction of molding defects. The touchscreen operator interface features allow visualization and adjustment of the parison profile, as well as access to the built-in diagnostic system.


Offers a full range of sensor-based systems for on-line thickness, weight/area measurement, and automatic control of sheet plastics processes. Sensor types include nuclear--transmission, reflectance--infrared, laser, ultrasonic, and others. Sensors are continuously scanned across the full sheet width and can also be mounted in a fixed location. Systems can be simple monitor-only, or range up to multiline, plantwide, CIM configurations. Individual line control of product thickness/weight via speeds, temperatures, flow and die control is accomplished with proven algorithms. Advance operator and supervisory interface with summary reporting is standard. Turnkey responsibility from system commissioning, training, and continuing services are available.


Offers for extrusion lines its Dataline 2000 microprocessor control system with all preprogrammed software, Winchester disk drive and memory, and capacity to control 52 zones designated as heat/cool or heat only. Up to 500 recipes and/or profiles can be stored and recalled at will. Particularly useful for blown film coextrusion applications are CRT monitoring of die-zone heating with setpoint, actual and deviation display, melt temperature, melt pressure, extruder screw rpm, extruder motor amperage, main line speed, as well as die-zone amperage and a "high" and "low" pressure alarm. System has large expansion potential.


Company's control systems range from standalone, self-tuning controllers to complete distributed control systems for total plant automation. The Univox control system provides a cost-effective solution for automating plastic processes. The user-configurable system provides feeder, drive, pressure and temperature control; automatic startup and shutdown; recipe handling; graphic displays; trends; and the capability to interface with computers, programmable controllers, and thickness gauges.


The GE Alphix plastic process-control system offers an improved level of integrated control for injection molding machines, extrusion lines, blow molding, and compounding. Hosted on a high-speed programmable-controller (PLC)-based platform with dedicated microprocessor-controlled function modules, Alphix integrates sophisticated closed-loop process-control capabilities with machine sequencing and a color operator interface. This provides advantages normally associated with a PLC-based system: flexibility, broad selection of I/O, industrialized hardware, maintenance-friendly software; and the sophistication of special-function modules designed specifically for plastic and rubber process control. High-efficiency structured hardware and software modules are used throughout the system.

Alphix offers a choice of two Color Operator Interface Systems: the 12-in. Basic Alphix operator terminal with soft function-key control; and the 14- or 19-in. Advanced Alphix Workstation, a multi-tasking microcomputer system, which brings a significant level of data storage/display/analysis, SQC/SPC, and diagnostic capabilities.

Alphix systems are available for both new machines and as fully installed retrofits, and offer both the OEM/retrofitter and the end user better control of machine and process.


Company's system for control of extrusion is a distributed control system. A microprocessor-based Digipanel controller is mounted on the extruder and provides total control of the line, including temperature, using company's three-mode Duosense control loops and Digisynch digital control and synchronization of rpm. In addition, company's Tube-Trol, Sheetrol, or Pipe-Trol provide closed-loop control of melt pressure and melt temperature, monitoring and alarm of differential pressure across the screen, and closed-loop control of product dimensions. A Central Control and Management Console oversees all in-plant activity. It has total SQC and a "Time Machine" capability, which allows reconstruction of any parameter on any line for the previous week.


Offers complete distributed control systems using industry-standard equipment and software. Custom imbedded microprocessor interfaces integrated subsystems with dissimilar interfaces. Systems include graphic process status displays, trending and SPC.


Manufactures a complete line of new and aftermarket electronic control systems capable of data collection, SPC, SQC, trending, and other state-of-the-art applications. Company can tailor systems for any type of extrusion, blow molding and other plastic processing lines, and continues to expand its offering of electrical retrofit packages.

The HES temperature controller utilizes a patented dual-thermocouple design to maintain precise temperature control in critical production processes. Company reports that it is the only extruder manufacturer providing a patented system that uses two thermocouples in each barrel zone. With one thermocouple located in the heater/cooler and the other at the deepest point of the barrel, corrective heating or cooling action can be taken to bring the inner barrel surface temperature to stability quickly, and is done automatically with no adjustments required. In addition, its recipe feature reduces the amount of scrap manufactured, curing startup and grade change operations.

HES Epic I graphical touchscreen supervisory control system has the ability to collect data from each manufacturing run for analysis and review. System permits operator access to almost all progress data on a line, which can be monitored and trended on unit's CRT, making it possible to efficiently fine-tune the entire process from the workstation. Epic enables troubleshooting of alarm conditions, capturing data related to all process conditions. Controls have touchscreen simplicity and "at-a-glance" feedback on all process functions. Statistical Process Control (SPC) charts (X,R) of process data are displayed and documented for statistical quality control.


Provides a complete on-machine control system for injection molding. CNC-1000 system includes machine-mounted terminals, sensors, and appropriate valves. The process control programs with the equipment include the injector-control, pressure-control, shot-control, temperature-control, diagnostic, and process-monitor programs.

* Injection-control program is a self-adaptive, closed-loop position control of the injection ram, which ensures precise shot and decompression control. The injection velocity profile is adaptively distributed over the shot in direct relationship to cavity filling.

* Pressure-control program is a self-adaptive, closed-loop pressure control, which ensures precise repeatability over a wide range of oil temperatures and load vibrations. It provides faster startups and repeatability of subsequent setups.

* Shot-control program is an intelligent three-mode boost cutoff program, which ensures that boost is properly terminated even if melt conditions or mold temperatures change. Program automatically selects the proper mode for boost cutoff and shot correction.

* Temperature-control program includes four zones of temperature control, which can be extended to 20 zones through the addition of two eight-zone control cards. Program is a totally self-tuning system that learns its control coefficients during initial warmup, or whenever the temperature has dropped 80|degrees~ below setpoint.

The CNC-1000 diagnostic program provides maintenance personnel with a sophisticated, easy-to-use instrument to visualize correct functioning of the system to machine interface, as well as correct calibration of all sensors and servo valve connected to the machine.


Offers fully automated extrusion processing systems (Saveomat, Aurex, BDF) based on the gravimetric weight/length control principle. By combining gravimetric technology with monitoring devices or systems, such as blending, temperature, gear pump, diameter/layflat, thickness, etc., company is able to fully automate any extrusion line. Developments such as the patented automatic recalibration of thickness-measuring devices via gravimetrics eliminate downtime related to manual measurements and off-line recalibration techniques. Expanded levels of microprocessor supervisory and control systems are available for management data acquisition and CIM. Systems are used for control of blown film, pipe, profile, sheet, and wire and cable applications.


(Formerly Luwa Corp.) Offers the Smarthopper system for gravimetric output control. System provides screw-speed control for extruders and additive feeders, as well as puller speed for total yield control. Multiple-feeder systems and multiple-extruder systems are controlled through a special communication link. For a single-ingredient system a master/slave relationship is established to control a line to the common recipe. These communication and control features are offered as options. There also is a Smarthopper design for multiple ingredients per extruder, which allows several Smarthoppers to nest together, each feeding a different material to the extruder.

There are three keyboard selectable-control variations to choose from, each maintaining an extruder's output weight to within |+ or -~0.5%: 1) lb/hr via screw speed control, 2) lb/ft via screw speed control, and 3) lb/ft via line speed control. Process information, such as total pounds used and total feet produced are available on the controller display, or can be printed. Smarthoppers range in output from under 2 lb/hr for feeders to over 12,000 lb/hr for extruders. The Smarthopper is designed to meet SPI protocol specifications for communication with a host control system.


Produces its Profitmaster line of process control systems, which includes measurement and feedback control of thickness or basis weight, or moisture for web processing lines such as extruders, coaters, calenders, nonwoven, or composite. Primary sensors include radiation type, infrared, microwave and caliper. On-line control systems can link to temperature controllers and PLCs and other systems. SPC is available and IBM-compatible personal computer captures MIS data and links to plantwide network systems of all types.


Company's Integrated Line Control provides a fully integrated solution for the control of lines producing sheet, film and coated and laminated products. System embraces temperature controls, drive-system supervision, thickness profile, other scanning measurements, and automatic startup and shutdown of line material handling. It provides, through the easy-to-use Dyna View console, a single window on the process, which takes advantage of the integration of all parts of the line to provide the operator a single interface for all process information and controls needed to run the line. The DynaView console provides basic process information such as scanning measurement, process data, trending and current process values, and complete SQC/SPC charting, product/process recipe storage and editing, along with custom graphics.

A wide range of connectivity options ensures compatibility with most programmable controls, drives, etc., and includes communication links to programmable controllers, temperature controllers, personal computers, drive systems, individual transactional computers and industry standard networks.


Offers system controls and control panels for manufacturing polyurethane products. Equipment includes vertical or slope-faced control panels, which include a programmable logic controller and microprocessor. Panels include all controls for foam metering equipment and can include controls for auxiliary equipment such as turntables or fixtures. Additional controls and functions may be added, including support programs to aid operating personnel.

MOBAY CORP. See Miles Inc.


Company's Mopac 22 injection control system provides closed-loop control of fill speed, packing, holding, backpressures, and shot volume. As a microprocessor-based control, Mopac 22 allows for precise setpoint entry, storage of setups for fast and easy startups, monitoring and display of important process variables, part sorting, reporting of production and rejects, communications for networking, and optional temperature control. Each machine is equipped with a controller, which is mounted in the machine cabinet, and a small operator panel, which may be mounted in an easy-to-reach location. The controller is joined to the machine through an interface assembly to which pressure and position transducers and servovalve are also connected. The servovalve is mounted at the injection cylinder to control the hydraulic flow and pressure. The operator panel is available in back-lit LCD or wide-visibility CRT versions with the same small front size.

Mopac 22 controls injection speed during 10 zones of filling and two zones of packing. Slope settings allow customization of the changes between zones. Plastication pressure, shot volume and decompression are also controlled. An important control feature is the change from filling speed to packing pressure. The system monitors process information as it controls the process. The status of 15 process variables for each shot is compared to specified limits, and if any are outside those limits, an output is operated that can be used to divert those parts for inspection. Job information on the number of parts needed and parts per shot may be entered so that time of job completion can be displayed. Downtime may also be counted and one of 11 reasons may be indicated by the operator. When downtime occurs, the time of job completion is adjusted. Temperature of up to 10 zones may be set and viewed from the operator panel. Autotuning controllers operate independently but communicate with the Mopac 22 for setup and monitoring.

All Mopac 22s can be connected to company's MopacNet to provide a complete shop-floor monitoring network. (See also Process and Production Monitoring Systems.)


Designs and manufactures a complete line of extrusion process control systems for small lines to multiline applications, providing closed-loop control of all process and product parameters, and backed by company's Guaranteed Results Program.

Sentry Pro 1000 provides complete control and monitoring for small lines. Suitable for pipe, profile, tubing and simple sheet lines and single extruders, system features operator interface with menu-driven touchscreen and optional real-time tending, along with melt-pump control interface.

Larger lines can be controlled and monitored by the Command Sentry 1500, which offers a high-resolution, menu-driven color touchscreen featuring four-quadrant display that provides information at your fingertips. Housed in a free-standing NEMA-12 enclosure, the system provides real-time trending as standard. Options include real-time SQC charting, melt-pump interface, and sheet/film gauge inspection capabilities.

The Sentry 2000 process control system provides complete control and monitoring of multiple extruders, multiple lines and large process applications from silo to wind-up. System features operator interface with touchscreen for menu-driven command input and separate color screen for data and graphics display, allowing user to view real-time trending and SQC charting.

Sentry Master 3000 Extrusion Host system works with company's other control systems, providing off-line automated data capture and historical analysis of all process and product parameters, with multiline and networking capabilities.

All control systems come standard with full closed-loop, digital speed control; temperature control; total line process control, including product-code recipe subsystem, security codes, strategy-loop system, cold-start protection, alarm functions, PID loop control, and failed or broken thermocouple override.


Company's CIM strategy covers process knowledge in plastics extrusion, PLC programming expertise, PC network expertise, touchscreen graphics, color-graphics monitoring, recipe management, inventory control, major/minor ingredient blending for liquids and solids, historical trending, SPC/SQC data requisition, diagnostics, engineering/design of software packages, field installation crews, complete startup assistance, training, comprehensive and straight-forward documentation, and operator and troubleshooting manuals.

Control system incorporates integration and visibility through multiwindowing user-interface software programming. Multiwindowing operations on multitasking processors allow users to perform more than one activity at a time by viewing entirely different areas of the same manufacturing line.


Gravitrol gravimetric extrusion control system is designed to control the output of any extrusion line by weight. Gravitrol systems are used on coextrusion processes such as blown film, cast film, sheet, tube, pipe, profile, and wire and cable coating. Layer percentages of |+ or -~0.25% by weight can be achieved and maintained on any extrusion line. System consists of:

* A weigh hopper, (available in different sizes) which mounts on the throat of each extruder. A custom-designed computer board on each hopper calculates the extruder mass throughput and sends information over a high-speed serial network to the central computer.

* A central computer and user-interface controls the extrusion process. Operator keys desired layer percentages, total extruder throughput and weight per running length into computer, which monitors actual mass throughput for each extruder and compares it to set rates. Any deviation is accounted for by adjusting the rpm of the extruder screw.

* A drive module for each extruder, designed to be mounted in an existing drive-controller cabinet, which takes speed setpoints from the central computer and provides analog output (0-10 v or 4-20 mA) necessary to drive the extruder screw. Module can also monitor other analog signals such as melt temperature or pressure for recording or alarm purposes.

* A line-speed monitor/control module, which can control line output (in fpm) to maintain constant weight per running length. A high-speed pulse generator is used to provide the control computer with an accurate measure of line speed.

Components are designed for maximum flexibility to control lines of one to eight extruders. Throughput rates of 5 to 10,000 lb/hr can be handled with accuracy of |+ or -~0.25%. Systems can be purchased with new lines, or retrofitted to existing lines made by any company.


Specializes in total machine control for injection molding. Product line includes both standalone models and those that include manual controls for the molding machine and are mounted directly on the machine. Products range from control systems for small machines with limited control ability to systems for very large machines with sequence and process control. Options enable communication with CIM network systems, intelligent production cell equipment, remote processing systems, printers, CRT terminals, plotters, etc. Job setups can be stored internally or in a data cartridge for quicker job changeover and startup. In addition, they may be stored in a software library of a PC and downloaded to the control system. Upgrades are available to upgrade a very basic system to the most sophisticated.

A large part of the company's business involves developing control systems for custom applications. Engineers review the electrical and hydraulic schematics for the equipment to be controlled, then configure the control system accordingly.


The Farex M5E process controller for extruders reportedly reduces the difficult problems often encountered in linking extrusion lines to a host computer. Acting as an interface between the extrusion line and the computer system, Farex M5E provides an abundance of inputs and outputs, and ROM-based control software; simplifies operations; and results in cost reductions and minimal disruptions of production in the automation of extrusion lines, according to the company. Accurate and stable PID control prevents variation of product quality due to unstable temperature, while melt-pressure control provides precision dimensional control. Thickness, outside diameter, width and extrusion output control can be fed back to the system for better control results.

A single Farex M5E can handle plural extrusion lines with maximum control zones of 104 channels, 12 motor drives, and 36 analog inputs; or it can control a multilayer sheet extrusion line. Farex M5E also incorporates a maximum of 144 digital inputs and outputs for alarm inputs and outputs, or other system safety equipment; an autotuning function, which computes and sets optimum PID constants automatically; a job file function or optional memory card, which requires no reentry of set data when product item is changed; and the ability to monitor, print, or send various production management data to a supervisory computer.

The system can be configured to user needs and offers an optional RS422A interface. Compact housing requires less panel space than conventional panels. Easy-to-view screen offers both digital and graphic displays of operations, temperature status, analog input status, motor status, job files and trend graphs. Utility screens are used for setting various functions.


Offers a family of special modules on its series of programmable controllers targeted for injection molding machine control. The special modules are part of company's TurboMold family. The TurboPlastic module, for example, controls the closed-loop motion of injection, pack, hold and plasticate cycles of the machine, as well as the closed-loop control of the clamp end. Additional modules can be used to control pick-and-place robots, conveyors, bar-code readers and other functions. Operator interface software and cell-level controls with SPC/SQC functions are available specifically for plastics.


Develops and manufactures a wide range of sensors, computers, and software for monitoring and control of calender and extruder lines. Company has a background in on-line, non-contact, nondestructive testing of materials for quality standards. Expertise includes ultrasonic detection of delamination and poor bonding, and optical precision-size profiling of sheet and contoured products. Software monitoring and control include high-speed, real-time optimization of process variables. Company maintains a full-field organization of account managers to assist with application requirements and economic evaluation. Factory services include product testing, sensor and software demonstrations, recommendations for system specifications and configuration and economic feasibility assistance.


Offers advanced-technology, high-productivity microprocessor controls for injection molding machines and sheet molding compound presses.

System 230 is a 16-bit, modular-concept microprocessor for new and retrofit plastics injection molding applications. It offers precise open- and closed-loop control of all machine functions, including molding sequence, temperature, proportional devices, and process parameters. It also provides faster setup, startup, cycle times, consistent parts reproducibility, and reduced downtime due to a clear-text color CRT display of malfunctions and process variables.

System 235 provides many of the same features for SMC press applications, in addition to reducing average cycle times from 4 min to less than 1 min. Parallelism and in-mold coating control is included. System offers improved part surface finish and dimensional accuracy, and reduced scrap.
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Title Annotation:plastics machinery
Publication:Plastics Technology
Article Type:Buyers Guide
Date:Jul 15, 1992
Previous Article:Hot-runner components and systems: product lines reviewed.
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