iPM stands for intelligent power meter. It is a unit on wheels that can be connected to an injection moulding machine to measure energy consumption as the machine produces. Meaningful results could be obtained in 10 shots.
iPM could also measure the energy consumption of blow moulding machines. In fact, even equipment that does not operate in cycles, like peripheral equipment, can have their energy consumptions measured.
The iPM is made up of a digital power meter connected to an injection moulding machine controller which provides the intelligence. The intelligence comes from the program.
The user only needs to fill in data for the parts, e.g. part number, shot weight, material, and some injection moulding machine data. When the start button is pressed, energy consumption is measured starting from the next mould close. Energy consumption is measured in an integral number of cycles.
iPM was developed by Tat Ming internally to study energy saving in injection moulding machines. Now it is offered to our customers.
The power meter has a 0.0001 kWh resolution. This is a thousand times higher than that of a pointer power meter used to determine your monthly electric bill at home. Even data from 3 minutes of moulding give useful results, including the effect of changing injection parameters on energy consumption.
The energy consumption of up to 7 barrel heaters could be measured individually. As an option, up to 14 heaters could be measured for big machines or two/three component machines. This is on top of the total energy the machine consumes.
Several heater technologies have emerged that claimed to be energy saving, vs the standard mica resistance heaters + barrel cover. They include induction heating by Xaloy and infrared heating by Chinese suppliers. The energy saving of each technology could be measured more accurately when heater power is separately measured.
ON % is the percentage of time each heater is turned on. It is distributed unevenly as the screw generates heat by friction differently along its length. There is also heat loss at the water collar.
Please see some research results in the Articles section.
The metrics of energy consumption in Euromap 60.1 and 60.2 recommendations are measured by iPM. They are
- Average power, in 0.001 kWh/h resolution
- Energy consumed per 50 shots, in 0.0001 kWh/50 shots resolution
- Energy consumed per kg of parts made, in 0.0001 kWh/kg resolution
All of them are calculated and displayed as soon as the test stopped.
The screens could be recorded in an USB drive.
The opening and closing of valves in a hydraulic machine are monitored to measure motion times up to 0.01 s resolution. This is useful when optimizing motion times by adjusting injection parameters.
380 V or 220 V three-phase voltages are options.
There are 4 choices of phase current from 100 to 800 A to suit small and big machines.
Four combinations of valve and heater active voltages are allowed (turned on at 0 V or at 24 V) so all controllers are covered.
There is also an option for 2-/3-component machines up to 14 barrel heater zones.
Please specify the options when ordering.
Hybrid or fully electric injection moulding machines cannot use the full features of iPM as some valves are missing.
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