CoExCo – Continuous Production Plants for Industry 4.0
Cognitive Polymer Extrusion and Compounding (CoExCo) is a multi-firm project involving the partner companies AZO, Leistritz, Poloplast, Soplar and GAW-Unicor as well as institutes of the JKU Linz and Graz University of Technology which are researching the implementation of Industry 4.0 in continuous processing plants and procedures. To achieve the goal of a self-optimizing plastics processing system, a suitable data basis is essential. To this end, systems are linked as a network and, if necessary, additional sensors installed in order to monitor and record the entire value creation process with regard to product quality, process conditions and machine settings. In subsequent steps, a trial series can be designed with more precisely defined parameters based on the process data by analysing correlation coefficients in the form of a correlation matrix. In this way, more sensitive data, big data analyses and machine learning algorithms can be used to obtain a model for control concepts. Ultimately, this is expected to provide several benefits such as competitive advantages and increased value creation thanks to optimized processing plants and procedures which, for instance, enable faster powering up of plant after a product changeover by means of improved control concepts, and positive effects on the environment owing to lower energy consumption.