The WITTMANN Group takes up a stake in ICE-flex
Effective September 17th 2018, the WITTMANN group has entered into a joint venture with the MES producer ICE-flex.
Effective September 17th 2018, the WITTMANN group has entered into a joint venture with the MES producer ICE-flex. With this move, WITTMANN has taken another important step to offer its customers optimal solutions as an extension of WITTMANN 4.0.
ICE-flex, based in Saronno / Italy, is a supplier of innovative MES solutions tailored primarily to meet the needs of injection molding companies with up to 50 machines per production plant. With the WITTMANN Group taking up a stake in ICE-flex, WITTMANN BATTENFELD is now able to offer its customers TEMI, an innovative modular MES package.
The TEMI software already offers a considerable number of easy-to-operate functionalities as standard, such as are also known from other MES products commonly available on the market. In addition to this, ICE-flex has very successfully made a name for itself in the market as an expert in interface protocols for the injection molding industry. The TEMI software supports various manufacturer-dependent versions and interpretations of Euromap 63, which cover virtually all machine manufacturers on the European market. At the Fakuma 2018, the new Euromap 77 protocol will be introduced as an additional future communication standard. Of course, digital I/O connections with TEMI will also be available for older machines.
WITTMANN BATTENFELD is selling the package developed by ICE-flex for production planning, monitoring and data storage under the brand name TEMI+. The “+” stands for the support of functions which can only be realized with WITTMANN 4.0 production cells. In this way, it has become possible to connect not only injection molding machines with TEMI+, but simultaneously – and automatically – also all auxiliaries which, together with a WITTMANN BATTENFELD machine, form a production cell via WITTMANN 4.0. Any alterations in the composition of the production cell are recognized automatically within the cell, and the new configuration is subsequently displayed and saved correctly by TEMI+ without operator intervention. With this function, the WITTMANN Group is the first manufacturer in the plastics industry able to offer the MES functionality not only for machines, but also for mobile auxiliaries in a molding plant.
TEMI+ was developed on the basis of a web browser architecture, to enable all users to retrieve and process the data saved in TEMI+ using their personal access data from anywhere on the corporate premises. For example, this includes access to the TEMI+ program from every WITTMANN BATTENFELD B8 operating terminal.
The goal of ICE-flex and the WITTMANN Group is to offer an open MES system which can incorporate the entire range of injection molding machinery of a molding plant.
Michael Wittmann, Managing Director of the WITTMANN Group comments: “TEMI+ is the first MES software worldwide which supports and integrates mobile auxiliaries in molding plants through our WITTMANN 4.0 technology. Of course, this provides innumerable advantages for customers. For example central storage of all settings of a given work cell, or the display of work cell OEE and ad hoc KPIs for the auxiliaries. With our stake in ICE-flex we have thus taken an important step in the further development of our WITTMANN 4.0 integration concept.”
Fig. 1: from the left: Marco Ravazzani and Giorgio Pigozzo from ICE-Flex, Michael Wittmann, Managing Director of the WITTMANN Group, and Marco Pelagatti, ICE-Flex, after signing the joint venture agreement.
Fig. 2: from the left: Marco Ravazzani and Giorgio Pigozzo from ICE-Flex, Michael Wittmann, Managing Director of the WITTMANN Group, Marco Pelagatti, ICE-Flex and Lugiano Arreghini, Managing Director of WITTMANN BATTENFELD Italia in front of the Milan Cathedral
Fig. 3: dashboard – WITTMANN 4.0 work cell
The WITTMANN Group
The WITTMANN Group is a worldwide leader in the production of injection molding machines, robots and peripheral equipment for the plastics processing industry, headquartered in Vienna/Austria and consisting of two main divisions: WITTMANN BATTENFELD and WITTMANN. They jointly operate the companies of the group with eight production plants in five countries, and its additional sales and service companies are active with 34 facilities on all important plastics markets around the world.
WITTMANN BATTENFELD pursues the further expansion of its market position as an injection molding machine manufacturer and specialist for state-of-the-art process technologies. As a supplier of comprehensive, modern machine technology in modular design, the company meets both present and future market demands for plastics injection molding equipment.
The WITTMANN product portfolio includes robots and automation systems, material handling systems, dryers, gravimetric and volumetric blenders, granulators, temperature controllers and chillers. With this diversified range of peripheral appliances, WITTMANN offers plastics processors solutions to cover all production requirements, ranging from independent production cells to integrated plant-wide systems.
The syndication of the various segments under the umbrella of the WITTMANN Group has led to complete connectivity between the various product lines, for the benefit of plastics processors with an increasing demand for seamless integration of processing machinery with automation and peripherals.