Present in all industrial sectors, from electronics to automobiles plastics are used every day in a wide variety of processes. IoT technology increases energy efficiency, enables industry 4.0 in all machines, and makes them more powerful and sustainable.

The processing of plastics is one of the fundamental pillars of Italian and European manufacturing companies. In fact, plastic is a material that is widely used in all sectors, and if the production used is not properly monitored, there is a risk of significant environmental impact.

Economics as well as Environmental Sustainability: the possibility of controlling the environmental impact of production is a great managerial asset, and from an economic point of view forecasts the possibility of reducing energy and production costs which are essential for efficiency in energy overhead and processes. Let’s take a look at the role Industrial IoT plays in this context.

The plastics sector: needs and consumption

Speaking about the plastic industry is too general, Included should be numerous types of processes, with different types of machinery, such as the use of cutters, lathes, and other machines that start with solid blocks, bars or metal rods, or plastic rods for modeling through cutting, drilling and grinding processes.

These processes consume a lot of electric energy:

  • Mixing systems
  • Compounding systems
  • Pneumatic transport
  • Treadmill transport systems
  • Pressing, lighting, etc.

In addition to energy efficiency and electric consumption, it is important to consider thermal consumption from the use of hot water/air or process steam, which can cause a significant impact on cooling process lines, such as in mixers.

Why and how to use IoT technology

Using IoT technology in the plastics sector allows:

  • Energy and production cost monitoring
  • Energy efficiency and production processes
  • Intervention points
  • Tracking of working hours and machine statuses
  • Maintenance management based on machine operation
  • Tracing and comparing costs and consumption of processes

Monitoring energy consumption is essential in order to control a machine’s general consumption, establish the necessary hours to work, and identify the relative costs and machinery status for each work phase.

Furthermore, knowing how much each product costs from an energy point of view allows you to track the working hours of the plastic molds, which guarantees processing sustainability.

Implementing energy and production efficiency measures result in a more effective business, with more controlled and competitive products at the market level.

How to enable Industry 4.0 in the plastics sector

Today’s transition to Industry 4.0 allows us to quickly adapt to market demands by relying on agile cutting-edge strategies for digitizing industrial machinery. The interconnection of entire fleets of machines allows, in fact, rapid and effective data communication.

Circular economy principles are based on energy, production, and resource efficiency: transforming production models in such a way as to recover and reuse raw materials, reducing the use of pollutants, and, simultaneously, being compliant with waste and non-waste products.

Enabling Industry 4.0 in the plastics sector allows you to:

  • Integrate data and trends for energy consumption with all automation tools
  • Optimize consumption and operating costs
  • Reduce downtime
  • Manage maintenance
  • Enable efficient data integration in industrial processes

Armal: industry 4.0 for bathroom molding and plastic furniture

Zerynth’s Industrial IoT AI Platform lets our customers improve energy efficiency and reduce production costs, by optimizing production processes and interconnecting legacy and new-generation machinery

Our customer, Armal, a manufacturer of portable plastic toilets and toilets, reduced their energy costs for injection molding machines by 40%, thus recovering their investment in IoT technology in only 4 months. Read the entire case study.

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About the Author: Angelica Puddu

Angelica Puddu
Angelica works in the Zerynth Marketing Team. She graduated in Digital Humanities, so she has a critical perspective of how digital technology is increasingly part of everyday life. She likes to manage and organize projects and, in her free time, she likes to attend theater workshops and play sports.

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