Netstal’s two new Elios models rack up fast speeds

Netstal’s - Elios models

Swiss injection moulding machinery maker Netstal has expanded its Elios series, which was launched for the packaging sector at the K2016 show in Germany. It has added on two smaller versions featuring clamping forces of 450 and 550 tonnes.

"In the first year, we were able to sell more than twice as many machines as originally projected," reports Netstal CEO Renzo Davatz. Now, within the series, customers can now choose between four main variants with clamping forces of 450, 550, 650 and 750 tonnes. With the drive technology of the clamping unit, the smaller models are also said to be the fastest machines in their respective class. For example, the Elios 4500 with a stroke of 574 mm achieves a dry cycle time of 1.5 seconds according to the Euromap norm. The Elios 5500 has a dynamic dry cycle of 1.7 seconds at a stroke of 644 mm.

"Manufacturers of thin-wall packaging know that the shortest cycle times coupled with top availability and quality are the keys to an effective reduction of unit costs. That has been our guiding principle during the development of the entire series," Davatz explains.

The five-point dual toggle lever, which is moved via a central crosshead with drive elements that act simultaneously, is the heart of the machine. A dual toothed-rack drive with a highly dynamic, water-cooled servo motor is used for the purely electrical movements. Two synchronous cylinders, which feature a parallel alignment, assist with building up the full clamping force.

"This concept offers many advantages, because the small mass moment of inertia of the motor allows high acceleration values and dynamic movements of the clamping plate. At the same time, the plate is moved very harmoniously while the mold position is controlled with great precision and in a way that is gentle on the mold," Davatz explains. Thanks to the optimised toggle lever geometry, the clamping unit of the Elios is said to be energy efficient and offers ideal conditions for the recovery of the movement energy. The kinetic energy generated during braking processes flows into the electric motor of the main drive where it is converted into hydraulic energy and stored. That is why, compared to conventional designs, Elios requires approximately 50% less energy.

The injection side can optimally be configured to the demands of the respective application with different injection unit and plasticising unit sizes. The injection units 1000, 2000, 2900, 4200 and 6000, each featuring two or three different screw diameters, are available for the Elios 4500. The user can choose among a total of 12 injection unit-screw combinations.

The selection for the Elios 5500 starts with an injection unit size of 2000 with a total of nine combinations. Across the entire series, customers can select from a total of 33 combinations of clamping force, injection unit and screw diameter. The hydraulic injection cylinder of the hybrid injection unit in combination with the two-valve technology ensures a very high injection performance, while the servo-electric drive of the dosing axis contributes to a low electrical energy consumption. The two servo valves respond with a reaction time of 11 milliseconds and permit dynamic injection with up to 2200 mm/s and an acceleration of up to 20 G. Large flow path/wall thickness ratios of up to 350:1 and over can be achieved effortlessly. The position and speed-controlled movement of the injection unit with torque-free nozzle contact pressure allows total precision and the best shot-to-shot consistency on the market.

All Elios series machines are equipped with the aXos control technology.


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