Austrian injection moulding machinery company Wittmann Group has advanced its smart technology ambitions – Wittmann 4.0 – with a recent investment in MES startup ICE-flex.
Based in Saronno, Italy, ICE-flex is a supplier of MES solutions tailored primarily to meet the needs of injection moulding companies with up to 50 machines per production plant.
As part of the 17-Sept agreement, the Wittmann Group said it was taking up an unspecified stake in ICE-flex.
Wittmann declined to give further details on the size of the deal.
As a result of this collaboration, Wittmann Battenfeld is now able to offer its customers the ICE-flex-developed modular MES package TEMI.
The TEMI software offers a number of easy-to-operate functionalities as standard, similar to other MES products commonly available on the market.
What makes TEMI an ideal interface protocols for the injection moulding industry, is that the software supports various manufacturer-dependent versions and interpretations of Euromap 63, covering “virtually all” machine manufacturers on the European market, Wittmann said in a press release.
Wittmann will also introduce the new Euromap 77 protocol as an additional future communication standard during Fakuma plastic show 16-20 Oct.
Digital I/O (input and output) connections with TEMI will also be available for older machines.
Wittmann Battenfeld is selling the package developed by ICE-flex, which includes modules for production planning, monitoring and data storage, under the brand name TEMI+.
The “+” stands for the support of functions which can only be realised with Wittmann 4.0 production cells, including all auxiliaries.
Using TEMI+, any alterations in the composition of the production cell is recognised automatically within the cell, and the new configuration is subsequently displayed and saved without operator intervention.
With this function, Wittmann claims to be the first manufacturer in the plastics industry to offer the MES functionality not only for machines, but also for mobile auxiliaries in a moulding plant.
ICE-flex and Wittmann have said that they aim to offer an open MES system which can incorporate the entire range of injection moulding machinery of a moulding plant.
“TEMI+ is the first MES software worldwide which supports and integrates mobile auxiliaries in moulding plants through our Wittmann 4.0 technology,” said Michael Wittmann, managing director of the Wittmann Group.
Among advantages of the package, the Wittmann official said, could be central storage of all settings of a given work cell, or the display of work cell OEE and ad hoc KPIs for the auxiliaries.