Kautex Maschinenbau makes downstream processes an integral part of its machines

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The manufacturer of blow molding machines, Kautex Maschinenbau, is staying on course for further growth thanks to a multitude of innovative new developments. In fact, the company was able to bring 2016 to a successful close by recording record sales. According to the company's Managing Partner Andreas Lichtenauer, this achievement was the result of its successful machine lineup, its extremely innovative approach and its new high-performance blow molding machines for the packaging sector: "Our all-electric KBB series has been in high demand ever since it was first introduced three years ago." Kautex Maschinenbau is currently extending its main plant in the German city of Bonn in order to meet this increased demand. The new assembly hall, which covers an area of 3900m2 and will be officially opened in the third quarter of 2017, will predominantly be used for the assembly of KBB and KSB machines. The company is also creating approx. 80 new office workstations.

Alongside these developments, Kautex Maschinenbau has also introduced a new and unique solution for the integration of downstream processes using so-called IntelliGate modules, which has attracted global interest. "This solution enables our machines to be digitally networked to form a complete production line in accordance with the megatrend of Industry 4.0", adds Lichtenauer.

The intelligent Connext interface
The newly developed Connext interface plays an integral role in the IntelliGate integration system. It is used to integrate downstream processes such as quality control processes into the machines. Individual modules can be incorporated with machines in the KBB series by the Kautex experts and connected via the Connext interface using plug and play, thus providing Kautex customers with a complete integrated production process from one single source.

By developing Connext, the company from Bonn has created a standard solution that not only helps to ensure that all connected modules are supplied with compressed air and power, but also, and above all, guarantees a standardized data exchange. The solution gives the users flexibility to respond to changes in the production sequence, for example by allowing them to exchange the modules of existing Kautex machines. It also eliminates the need for additional power supply or compressed air connections. As Achim Trübner, the company's Team Leader for Software Development and R&D explains, "a Kautex machine with a Connext interface not only recognizes every module, but also the order of modules, even if changes are made to their arrangement".

The company's Team Leader for Marketing, Christian Kirchbaumer, underlines the fact that the IntelliGate modules are more than just a cosmetic addition to complement the machines' modern design: "We haven't adapted the individual downstream processes to suit the design of our machines so that they look even more attractive, but instead in order to clearly highlight the added value provided. The modules connected via the Connext interface save time and improve performance, thus enabling us to offer a real competitive advantage."

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