On 22 May 2017, Arburg was honoured with the "100 Centres of Industry 4.0 Excellence in Baden-Württemberg" award. This award was initiated by the "Industry 4.0 Alliance for Baden-Württemberg" network initiative to honour special achievements in the Industry 4.0 sector. 

At the award ceremony at the Neues Schloss in Stuttgart, State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Katrin Schütz, emphasised the outstanding innovative strength of the Lossburg-based machine manufacturer: "The production of 'smart' luggage tags offers impressive proof of how Arburg products can be used to implement Industry 4.0 in practice, customising high-volume parts in batch sizes down to a single unit and thereby adding value during the manufacturing process."

A total of 16 Baden-Württemberg-based "flagship projects for manufacturing of the future" were honoured on 22 May. State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Katrin Schütz said: "Industry, small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups in Baden-Württemberg are leading the way in implementing Industry 4.0, as is impressively demonstrated by today's award-winning solutions. Our aim with this award is to promote tangible solutions from the region, which create added value. The aim is to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises in particular to actively exploit the real opportunities offered by Industry 4.0."

Arburg wins with "flexible high-volume production of single-unit batches"Katrin Schütz pointed to Arburg as a perfect example of a company that has distinguished itself for decades through its innovative strength and, thanks to its 30 years of experience in IT-networked production, counts among the pioneers in the implementation of "Industry 4.0". Arburg's demonstration of "flexible high-volume production of single-unit batches" convinced the panel of judges and received the "100 Centres of Industry 4.0 Excellence in Baden-Württemberg" award in the "New Software/Networking Solutions" and "New Production Process" categories.

With its flexible, automated, IT-networked and spatially distributed production of "smart" luggage tags, Arburg recently showed how high-volume production can be combined with the customisation of individual plastic parts at the Hannover Messe 2017 in April. This example shows the future of modern business models, with the aim of integrating customers and their requirements in the value chain and individualising high-volume parts.

Economically efficient production of "smart" luggage tagsThe "smart luggage tag" shows how such "mass customisation" can be achieved relatively simply by combining injection moulding and additive manufacturing without sacrificing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness offered by high-volume production. An Allrounder injection moulding machine, a Freeformer for industrial additive manufacturing, as well as automation and IT solutions from Arburg form a flexible cyberphysical production system.

Using an individual NFC chip, the injection moulded product produced on an Allrounder becomes the data and information carrier and controls the further production operations to become a one-off part. It communicates with the machines at the various production stations, knows its own history and current status, as well as navigating its own path through the process chain. The individual plastic design is applied in an additive process using the Freeformer.

A central element here is integration with Arburg's proprietary ALS host computer system. This records the product, process and quality data and transmits it to a web server. In the "luggage tag" example, each part has its own website. The data for each component can be retrieved and traced at any time, even after many years. Digital networking through the host computer system promotes transparency and consistency and facilitates the optimum utilisation of the full production capacity, particularly in the case of smaller unit volumes and frequent product changeovers.

"100 Centres of Industry 4.0 Excellence in Baden-Württemberg"The aim of the "Industry 4.0 Alliance for Baden-Württemberg" network initiative is to pool expertise in production technology, as well as information and communication technology, to bring together all key players and to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises in industry to move towards Industry 4.0 through innovative information-sharing initiatives.

The "100 Centres of Industry 4.0 Excellence in Baden-Württemberg" competition seeks to identify innovative concepts in industry that have succeeded in the intelligent networking of production and value-added processes. As well as examining the level of innovation, the panel of expert judges also assesses specific practical relevance with regard to Industry 4.0. To date, a total of 84 companies, institutions and other organisations have been presented with a certificate and a glass plaque in five award rounds. This number is to reach 100 over the course of 2017.

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