The goal of this project is to define a radically new concept of plastic injection processes, in which tools will pass from being passive elements to becoming networked active elements with embedded knowledge. This will allow, on the one hand, improving the efficiency of the whole life cycle of plastic parts production, that is, from mould-making to the production process itself, because all process parameters will be able to be monitored and corrected in real time. On the other hand, the actors involved in the total life cycle of plastic product (part designers, mould-makers, injection moulders, final customers, recyclers etc.) will have access to production and process parameters in real time. Finally, the mould will become the link for the knowledge flow, and the knowledge embedded in these "intelligent" moulds will allow to retain the know-how gained by their technicians and also to exploit that knowledge more efficiently, so that moulds will become even more intelligent.
In order to achieve this general goal, this project has established the following objectives:
- To design mechatronic moulds equipped with sensors and mechatronic devices, so that moulds will become "living" and "intelligent" agents of the plastic supply chain.
- To integrate these mechatronic moulds in Networks, so that these intelligent moulds, which may be thousands of kilometres apart, will be managed by a embedded system and will send the required information to the different actors of the plastic supply chain.
- To develop a Knowledge Based System (KBS), so that the knowledge embedded in these intelligent moulds will be retained and will allow to optimise the efficiency of new processes as well as the set-up phase for new processes and the design of new moulds.