DOMINANT TECHNOLOGIES IN “INDUSTRY 4.0”
Injection moulding is a widespread method of polymer processing. The annual, global energy consumption for injection moulding is comparable to the annual energy production of different European countries. The most energy-consuming stage of the injection moulding is the plasticization process, which needs the energy mainly for the rotational and reciprocating screw motion as well as the heating of the barrel. Both issues were examined by changing various parameters of the injection moulding process, measuring the process characteristics and calculating the corresponding values of SEC (specific energy consumption). Various thermoplastic polymers were examined. It was found that the optimal conditions from the energy consumption point of view is low value of rotational velocity of the screw. Changes of back pressure do not affect the energy consumption of the plasticizing system of the injection moulding machine. Furthermore, an increase of the SEC value with increasing barrel temperature was shown. It was ca. 15% for the average barrel temperature rise of 20°C.