sensXPERT Enables Plastics Manufacturers to Increase their Production Efficiency by up to 30%
Continuous process optimization driven by real-time sensor-based machine, mold and material data
Selb, Germany, September 19, 2022 – NETZSCH Process Intelligence, a corporate venture of NETZSCH Group (Germany), has announced the launch of sensXPERT, a technology business designed to deliver significant productivity and quality benefits to processors in the plastics industry through data-driven manufacturing solutions. The integrated approach builds on the Group’s 50+ years of know-how in the fields of material science and sensor technology.
sensXPERT combines real-time material data from the mold with advanced machine learning software to analyze the material behavior. The smart technology enables continuous process optimization for up to 30 percent increase in production efficiency. Its technological advanced in-mold sensors provide real-time insights and transparency to react to material deviations and eliminate scrap. While allowing a dynamic and adaptive production, thus maximizing throughput, sensXPERT ensures direct in-process quality control of each single molded part.
“There is a growing need for digital technology solutions in the plastics processing industry to meet the challenges of tighter cost control, total quality assurance and enhanced sustainability,” says Dr. Alexander Chaloupka, Managing Director & CTO for sensXPERT. “By using the artificial intelligence of our machine learning software to evaluate critical material, machine and process data, we help our customers optimize their manufacturing efficiency in real time, eliminating the need for time and labor consuming retroactive adjustments.”
At the heart of sensXPERT’s manufacturing solutions, an Edge Device integrates the hardware and software for machine learning models designed to capture even the slightest deviation of material and process parameters. Based on measuring data collected from high-precision in-mold sensors, smart machine learning algorithms are applied to simulate, predict and analyze the actual material behavior on each individual machine. The learning models are trained with key parameters, including standard material and experimental data, such as glass transition temperature, pressure and required degree of curing, and are then continuously fine-tuned depending on the in-situ data measured over time.
sensXPERT lives a ‘customer-centric’ approach enabling plastic processors to have full manufacturing transparency. Next to seamless third-party sensor integrations, the company realized the potential to further link and connect production machines and molds with material science. The result is an exponential output increase that is immediately utilizable. True to the sensXPERT motto: Turning data into quality!
“Industry 4.0 stakeholders need real-time answers to what is happening in their manufacturing processes,” adds Cornelia Beyer, Managing Director & CEO of sensXPERT. “Our unique approach unlocks the potential of fully data-driven productivity, delivering immediate quality and efficiency benefits to our customers in the plastics processing industry.”
The sensXPERT technology adapts to any common thermosets, thermoplastics and elastomers processing technique, from injection, compression and transfer molding to thermoforming, vacuum infusion and autoclave curing. It connects with customers’ existing manufacturing and control systems through standard industrial interfaces and is offered as a cloud-based Equipment-as-a-Service (EaaS) solution. An intuitive Web App is provided for convenient on-site or remote user access.
Use cases in major industry segments, such as in the manufacturing of automotive composite wheels and airplane wing components, have shown significant increases in overall equipment efficiency (OEE), including solid return of investment (ROI). Similar solutions can easily be implemented in other industries.
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