Canadian Plastics

Injection Machine Suppliers See Brighter Days

A number of injection molding equipment suppliers at Plast-Ex said they are seeing positive developments in the market and high buying interest at the show.

June 1, 2004   Canadian Plastics



A number of injection molding equipment suppliers at Plast-Ex said they are seeing positive developments in the market and high buying interest at the show.

Engel Canada president Walter Jungwirth says his company is working with a number of automotive manufacturers to bring the first commercial applications of Engel’s water injection technology, Watermelt, to the North American market. Watermelt gives companies the capability of injection molding hollow, thick-walled parts such as complex tubing and ductwork, components previously made from rubber or metal.

Watermelt is a variation of gas-assist molding which uses water instead of gas to push resin into the mold. The higher heat capacity of water freezes off the resin more quickly, yielding cycle time reductions of up to 75%. The process also saves cost on gas and results in smoother, more uniform wall thickness.

Jungwirth says automotive companies are seriously interested in the technology. “We expect the first commercial applications of Watermelt to enter the North American market within the next 18 months.”

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Toronto-based En-Plas Inc. had “many sales enquiries” about the all-electric work cell it ran at its booth during the recent Plast-Ex show, according to Sandra Rosario, office manager with the company. The cell consisted of 720-ton all-electric Ube molding the body of a tool caddy, a 140-ton Nissei NEX2000 all-electric machine molding the tool caddy handles, a Motoman 6-axis robot and a Yushin 3-axis robot. The robots were used to extract parts from the presses, as well as do final assembly, thus creating a fully automated work cell.

Kingsley Qin, president of Haitian Machinery Canada Co. Ltd. (Mississauga, ON), said the company “had sold more than a few machines” on the floor of the show. Since introducing its line of machines to Canada at the 2001 Plast-Ex, Haitian’s sales have been brisk, according to Qin. “Our machines have been well-received here. They cost half the price and have the same quality as other comparable models in the market.”

Negri Bossi general manager Larry Pascucci reported high interest in the Elma all-electric VE-160 machine featured at its booth. While the show was the official launch of the Elma into the Canadian market, Pascucci said some of the all-electric machines have already been sold here.

Pascucci reported “a big difference” between the company’s first Plast-Ex show in 2001 and this year’s show: “We weren’t known then. Today people know we have technology that separates us from other companies.”

Bucking the view of some industry watchers, Pascucci said he expected a full recovery of the North American injection machine market. In Canada, 2004 machine sales for Negri Bossi are expected to double sales from 2003, he reported.


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