K 2013 WRAP UP: INJECTION MOLDING
Research & Development
Injection Molding: Machinery & Equipment
Injection Molding: Technology Advances
Plastics: Technology Advances
PET preform machine allows quick mold changes
The K Show marked the debut on the world stage for the XFORM 150 metric tonne PET preform injection molding machine from Athena Automation, running at the SIPA booth. The machine is branded Athena for SIPA.
The XFORM 150 is ideal for molders who need to make a variety of preform types, and is well-suited to the production of wide-mouth jars. The 150-ton clamp accepts molds up to 48 cavities, including legacy molds, and an innovative post-mold cooling system improves cycle time. Changing the tooling for the robot and cooling station takes only about 15 minutes and a complete mold and tooling change can be performed in about an hour.
At the end of 2012, Athena Automation announced a partnership with Italian packaging solutions specialist SIPA SpA to build a line of automated PET preform injection equipment.
The XFORM 150 is a two-platen machine using 30% less floor space than other systems in the market. With an electric and servo-hydraulic axis combination the show system achieved a world-class energy consumption of under 0.2 kWh/kg. Athena’s hybrid platform is also targeted at other markets beyond PET, such as closures, medical, and other packaging applications.
Athena Automation Ltd. (Vaughan, Ont.);
SIPA SpA, Veneto, Italy www.sipa.it
Redesigned clamp offers advantages
Negri Bossi introduced its Evolution Combio series of injection molding machines at K. The redesigned clamping mechanism on the EV Combio gives a larger tie bar clearance, and the platens are larger.
There are no tie bar bushings, so no lubricating oil is needed. Instead, the clamp is guided on linear bearings on the moveable platen. This allows for faster operation and better mold alignment.
The EV Combio is a hydraulic machine, with smart energy pump flow control. Models from 50 to 500 metric tonnes will be available in 2014.
Negri Bossi S.p.a., Milan, Italy. Negri Bossi North America (New Castle, Del.); www.negribossiusa.com; 302-328-8020
Barway Plastic Equipment Ltd. (Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que.); 450-455-1396
Hamilton Plastic Systems Ltd. (Mississauga, Ont.); 800-590-5546
Closing the metric tonnage gap with new model
Arburg Inc. released its new Allrounder 820 A (400 metric tonnes) at K 2013, completing its all-electric Alldrive series.
The 820 A fills the gap between 320 and 500 metric tonnes, the company said.
The same clamp and injector size will be available later for an additional model of the Hidrive hybrid machine. “The new Allrounder 820 A proved its performance capability at the K 2013 with a high-speed application,” Arburg said. “Equipped with a 48-cavity mold from Fratelli Bianchi, it produced teaspoons with great precision in a cycle time of 4.5 seconds. The molded part weight is 1.3 grams and the material throughput is around 50 kilograms per hour.”
The other partner in this application was Koch, for material feed and coloring.
Arburg Inc. (Newington, Conn.)
Dier International Plastics Inc. (Unionville, Ont.); 416-219-0509
D Cube (Montreal); 514-272-0500
New development in foam injection molding
In cooperation with Schaumform GmbH, Wittmann Battenfeld demonstrated how foamed injection molded parts can be produced with a surface quality described as exactly like the surface of an injection molded part made of solid material.
The part produced is a component formed with structured foam technology with a visible surface. It is actually a tray for depositing a coffee cup or placing a business card on. In this application, Wittmann’s CellMould process was used in combination with variothermic tempering and the HiP-Opening (High Precision Opening) program. Through this high-precision opening process, a reduction in weight of up to 30 per cent was be achieved, the company said.
The components were manufactured on an all-electric EcoPower 240/1330 equipped with the CellMould and Variomould packages and the HiP-Opening program. Parts removal and depositing was handled by a Wittmann W822 robot. An all-electric toggle machine was used for the first time to implement this combination of processes.
According to Wittmann, the parts not only showed a surface completely free of striations, but the foam expansion was controlled with extreme accuracy, allowing for parts that were 30 per cent0 lighter than their compact predecessor models. Typical applications are automobile interior cladding parts, as well as components for sports equipment or housings of electrical appliances.
Wittmann Canada Inc. (Richmond Hill, Ont.);
Fast, energy-efficient hybrid
Engel debuted its new e-speed 650 at K 2013, a 650-metric tonne hybrid with an electric toggle clamp and screw drive and hydraulic injection, designed for injection speeds to 1000 mm/second and less than 2.5-second clamp dry cycle, all of which allows for overall cycles of less than four seconds.
The system uses less energy and lower connected loads, generates less waste heat, and reduces power peaks that would result from high clamping forces applied in short cycles, Engel said.
Also new from Engel was the e-motion 30 TL, all-electric tiebarless press of 30 metric tonnes. Developed for optical and electronic parts, it’s designed for maximum precision and energy efficiency, with low machine weight and compact footprint, plus dry cycles well under one second. Injection speed is up to 800 mm per second (at 3,200 bar pressure), Engel said. The frame provides very high platen parallelism and uniform distribution of clamp force, the compact clamp has a sealed toggle lever, and the servo-electric ejector and mold-height adjustment are integrated into the moving platen.
Engel Canada (Waterloo, Ont.);
Second generation machines take centre stage
Absolute Haitian highlighted its second-generation machines, such as the all-electric Zhafir Venus II series, now available in additional sizes of 300 to 550 metric tonnes.
The Venus II is also offered in a high-speed “p” version for packaging (150 to 380 metric tonnes) with injection speeds up to 350 mm/second. But even standard models have higher speeds and acceleration, the company said – 200 mm/second for up to 430 metric tonnes, and 160 mm/second for larger sizes – as well as wider tiebar spacing.
Also on display at K 2103 were the new second-generation Haitian Jupiter II servo-hydraulic models, updated with new servos and drive technology from the Mars series, new controls, and more compact footprint. Additional models are coming next year, the company said: 550, 750, and 950 metric tonnes, as well as wide-platen versions of 950, 1200, and 1600 metric tonnes.
Absolute Haitian (Worcester, Mass.);
Shadow Automation Inc. (Uxbridge, Ont.); 416-464-2070
Lutek Plastics Equipment (Dorval, Que.); 514-421-8963
New, large two-platen hydraulic machine
KraussMaffei demonstrated the newest and largest model in its year-old GX series of hydraulic two-platen machines.
Two new models extend the range beyond 650 metric tonnes, to 750 and 900 metric tonnes. The GX 900 molded industrial packaging in seven seconds, establishing what KraussMaffei called its claim to be “the fastest two-platen machine on the market.” The GX also introduced the MC6 control, now available also on AX and CX models.
KraussMaffei Corporation (Florence, Ky.);
Dier International Plastics Inc. (Markham, Ont.); 416-219-0509
Three new models to get the jobs done
Netstal introduced three new machines at K 2013.
First up was the all-electric Elion 2200 (220 metric tonnes), which molded one-ml PP syringes (1.54 g) in a 48-cavity mold with a cycle time approximately 9.6 seconds.
Second, the new Elion 4200 hybrid (420 metric tonnes) with EcoPower variable-speed, synchronous pump motor molded HDPE 29/25 water caps in 96 cavities in two seconds. It has the high-performance injection unit of the Evos hydraulic series, capable of speeds to 2000 mm/second.
Third, Netstal introduced the hybrid Evos 4500 (450 metric tonnes) with the EcoPower drive of the Elion series. The machine was molding PS drink cups in 12 cavities in 2.5 seconds. A second cell featured an all-electric Elion 1200 (120 metric tonnes) molding HDPE irrigation drippers in 64 cavities in 2.5 seconds.
Netstal (Florence, Ky.);