K 2010 ROUND-UP: INJECTION MOLDING
Tube and cap molded in one step
Research & Development
Injection Molding: Machinery & Equipment
Injection Molding: Technology Advances
Plastics: Technology Advances
Tube and cap molded in one step
One of the highlights at the Engel booth was a production system that manufactures polypropylene tubes and caps in a single step, ready for filling with foods, cosmetics, sealants, etc. This is a world first, according to Engel. The one-step production process has a cycle time of 12.5 seconds.
The system consists of a fully electric Engel e-motion 740 H/440 M/280 T WP injection molding machine running a four-cavity rotating cube mold. Production relies on a rotary cube and a second travelling unit on the moving mold fixing platen. The tubes are produced in the first cycle and the cap injected in the second. Decoration is done with an in-mold labeling system.
In addition to extremely fast cycle time, advantages include design freedom, production flexibility, and short lead times. Since the tube shoulder has been eliminated, up to 40% of material is saved.
Engel developed the system in partnership with packaging designer Plasticum Group BV, Tilburg, The Netherlands. Pl;asticum designed a mold that can handle both the highly flexible body material and the rigid cap, and also developed the modified polypropylene that is used for the body of the tube. This material is being manufactured by Borealis, and will be available in production quantities in early 2011.
Engel Machinery Inc. (York, Pa); www.engelglobal.com/na;
in Canada: 519-836-0220
Cleanroom manufacturing cell trims costs
The new EX CleanForm manufacturing cell from Krauss Maffei is designed for cleanroom applications that comply with the highest cleanliness specifications (GMP Class A), which produce sterile parts without the usual post-mold sterilization processes, for a savings of as much as 25% on manufacturing costs.
At the K show, an all-electric Krauss Maffei EX 160-750 CleanForm injection molding machine produced syringe barrels under sterile conditions, using a 48-cavity mold and a 6-axis KR16 robot. Cleanroom walls and the machine housing enclose the permanently monitored cleanroom zone. All parts of the machine and the robot meet the criteria for use in this cleanroom class.
An encapsulated lubrication system supplies the pivot points of the Z toggle and eliminates the risk of lubricant leakage. Fewer pivot points, all completely encapsulated, and tiebars that no longer act as guides for the moving platen eliminate potential sources of contamination. In addition to minimal particle emissions, the unique Z toggle ensures very fast mold movements, which are the basis for short cycle times. Two linked, water-cooled and hermetically encapsulated servo drives are responsible for plasticizing and injection. The optimized design enables the manufacturing cell to operate virtually without particle or thermal emissions.
Krauss Maffei Corp. (Florence, Ky.); www.kraussmaffei.com; 859-283-0200
Controls retrofit to increase productivity
Control and drive manufacturer Bosch Rexroth is working with systems integrator Kepstrum to offer retrofits of injection molding machine controls and total system upgrades. The two companies shared a booth at K.
The retrofit solution, called Rexroth Controller Indra Motion for Plastics (IMPL), offers up to 20% faster injection from existing injection molding machines, according to the two companies.
Rexroth IMPL features: a universal control system for small to large tonnage injection molding machines; high injection and clamp motion repeatability; and advanced diagnostic, trouble shooting and diagnostic tools.
Bosch Rexroth Canada Corp. (Welland, Ont.); http://www.boschrexroth.com; 905-735-0510
Kepstrum Inc. (Vaughn, Ont.); www.kepstrum.com; 416-904-2129
Arburg extends its’ Allrounder range
The new Allrounder 920 H hybrid machine from Arburg is designed for fast, accurate parts production in the higher clamping force range.
Featuring a newly designed servo-electric toggle-type clamping unit, the H model has a clamping force of 5,000 kN and a distance between tie bars of 920×920 millimetres.
The high dynamics of the machine movements is achieved in part thanks to the use of innovative computational procedures and simulations during the design stage. For reducing the weight of cast parts, for example, simulation models and FEM analyses were employed, which permitted structural optimisation before production of the machine even began. This enabled reinforcements for the mounting platens, for example, to be integrated precisely where they are actually required. In terms of dimensioning of the cast parts for the Allrounder 920 H, this approach has saved a significant amount of weight, which no longer needs to be moved during operation. As well as maintaining the dynamics on the electric clamping side, this also has a favourable impact on the energy balance of the machine.
Arburg Inc. (Newington, Conn.); www.arburg.com; 860-667-6500
Dier International Plastics Inc. (Unionville, Ont.); www.dierinternational.com; 905-474-9874
D Cube (Montreal) www.dcube.ca; 514-272-0500
Modular machines to replace existing ranges
A highlight at K2010 from Ferromatik Milacron Europe (FME) is the launch of a new F-series machine range that will gradually replace existing all-electric Elektra, hydraulic K-TEC and even the hybrid drive Vitesse range.
Available as electrical, hydraulic or hybrid drive versions, the modular design machines will first start to be introduced in the market in 2011 and will finally consist of a range of machines in 10 clamping forces between 50 and 650 tonnes that can be configured to individual customer requirements.
The F-series machines are aimed primarily at the packaging, consumer goods, and medical technology industries.
Milacron Canada Inc. (Burlington, Ont.); www.milacron.com; 905-319-1919
Largest model in the new EcoPower line
The new EcoPower 240 from Wittmann Battenfeld, the largest and most recent of the company’s EcoPower series, offers the benefit of an extremely large distance of 670 mm x 620 mm between tiebars. This enables the use of bulky molds with a high number of cavities as standard, as are frequently required in the production of electronic components or parts for the medical industry.
The braking energy of the drives, normally returned to the power supply network by an elaborate process, is completely utilized by the EcoPower within the machine to provide the necessary voltage for the control system and for barrel heating – making the 240 very energy-efficient.
The unit is also compact – with a small footprint – and is open at the top, allowing for the addition of robots without having to make any alterations to the machine.
The EcoPower 240’s high precision and repeatability are achieved by the injection unit’s direct drive via a circulating ball spindle, which minimizes transmission loss and enables exact control and
repeatability of the metering and injection processes.
(Battenfeld) Wittmann Canada Inc. (Richmond Hill, Ont.); www.wittmann-canada.com; 1-866-466-8266
Small, energy efficient unit
With a clamping force of 350kN, Boy Machines has significantly enhanced its Boy 35E injection molding machine to make it more energy efficient and smaller.
The newly-enhanced unit now comes equipped with a servo-motor pump drive. At the heart of the machine is a synchronous servo motor with gear pump; an electronically controlled converter regulates the motor.
The pressure and quantity nominal values are set via the Procan Alpha control, and the actual values are measured simultaneously and regulated in a closed loop. The pump speed is always matched to the requirements of each cycle step – between the end of dosing time and the end of cooling time, the motor and pump stand still, using no energy.
For many applications, the energy consumption level is so low that additional oil cooling is not required.
Also, the footprint of the machine has been reduced to only 1.9m squared.
Boy Machines Inc. (Exton, Pa.); www.boymachines.com; 610-363-9121
Barway Plastic Equipment Inc. (Vaudreil-Dorion, Que.); www.barway.ca; 450-455-1396