Three questions to…

Tim Aufderheide, Application Engineer – Plastics Machinery

What requirements do our customers place on software for extruders? What challenges does this pose for KEB?

Our customers expect a complete solution for the automation of their machine. The aim is to implement a system with coordinated components. In the field of extruders we at KEB respond to these wishes with our 360° solutions. We supply not only the hardware in form of HMI, control and drives up to the motors, but also the software including appropriate visualization. Nowadays, users of smartphones and tablets are used to finding a clear and intuitive user interface. When creating software for our HMIs, user-friendliness and intuitive operation play an important role. This also includes the development of a modern HMI interface, which not only takes the function into account, but also the design.

What is behind our idea?

The extruder software consists of two project parts: one for the PLC and one for the HMI interface. Both are project frameworks that the customer can use to extend our software project with the desired features, for example simply via our software COMBIVIS studio HMI. This is similar to dealing with open source software. We want to expand KEB's market share in the field of control technology. However, the offer of hardware alone is not sufficient for this. By combining hardware with corresponding software, we offer our customers advantages and set ourselves apart from other solutions in the industry.

What innovation and added value does our solution contain?

In order to save time and capacities in the own software development, the customer can use an existing software core to build further functions on it. Due to the extensibility of the project framework, it is possible to provide the machine with its own "business card". We want to give small and medium-sized companies the opportunity to bring their machines up to date with a multitude of features already implemented in advance and a modern HMI design, without having to create complete control software. In addition, when developing the software solution for extruders, we paid attention to compliance with Euromap standards, so that it is ready for use in industry 4.0 thanks to open interfaces. For example, the machine can simply be connected to the internet via a router, so remote maintenance and online access are no problem.