Technological updates and sustainability

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Collaborative efforts between machine and materials partners and sustainable energy savings will be the main themes of the Fakuma show to be held in Friedrichshafen, Germany, from 14-18 October.

Materials

  • Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) will focus on developments for automotive applications. The DirectCoating/ DirectSkinning technology co-developed by BMS enables the manufacture of decorated components in a single step. Another tie-up with Gerhardi Kunststofftechnik in Germany uses one master mould to create a range of decoration variants with BMS’s polycarbonates, which facilitates customised design for small-volume production. With the development of the customised Desmosint TPU material for selective laser sintering, BMS is working with Lehmann & Voss to produce complex parts with cavities and undercuts that were previously impossible to manufacture using injection moulding.

  • Dutch firm DSM will unveil the next generation Diablo high temperature resistant grades in its Stanyl polyamide 46 aimed at applications in automotive engine compartments, such as air intake manifold, ducts and charge air cooler combinations, where temperatures can reach as high as 250°C. It will also demonstrate the use of Stanyl TC, a thermally conductive grade of Stanyl polyamide 46, in a heat sink for new LED downlights. Also on show will be thermoplastic composite gas tanks for Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) that the company has developed with Covess, a specialist in composite vessels. Thermoplastic tanks weigh around 70% less than steel tanks, besides displaying low gas permeation levels, making them safe for automobiles.

  • DuPont will present its Zytel renewably sourced long chain polyamide in a rigid pneumatic tubing application made by Munkplast, Sweden; flexible and rigid automotive coolant pipes made in Zytel PA612 long chain polyamide and glass-reinforced Zytel PA66. Also on display will be a halogen-free Zytel FR95G25V0NH and recently launched halogen-free Rynite PET, both with enhanced long term heat ageing properties for electrical/electronics applications.

  • Speciality oils supplier Nynas increased its capacity of plasticisers after its takeover of Harburg’s oil plant in Germany in January, making it the biggest European producer of naphthenic oils, with a capacity of 350,000 tonnes/year. This represents a 40% increase in the supply capability. Naphthenic plasticisers are common plasticisers of rubbers such as SBR, BR and NR, where their solvency is used to reach optimal compatibility and enhance mechanical strength. In plastics such as PVC, naphthenics are used as performance additives, improving properties such as tensile strength and thermal stability while lowering total formulation costs.

Auxiliary

  • A bimetallic barrel alloy with enhanced resistance to corrosive and abrasive wear extends the working life of extrusion and injection moulding barrels in generalpurpose applications, says Nordson Xaloy Europe. The key to the corrosion resistance of the X220 alloy is its higher chromium content, double the chromium content of Nordson Xaloy’s own X200 inlay and higher than the standard alloy in Europe. The new inlay also exhibits 64 to 69 hardness on the Rockwell HRC scale, as against 58 to 65 for the X200. In acid immersion tests, X220 alloy exhibited a 55% improvement over other European alloys in sulphuric acid and a 44% improvement in hydrochloric acid. The iron-based X200 and the iron-chromium-based X220 can be used with a wide range of polyolefin, styrenic, and other resins at filler loadings up to 15%.

  • ProTec Polymer Processing will show the new generation stationary module drying systems in combination with a Somos D-Series drying air generator, and a Somos Gramix E gravimetric dosing system, featuring a sample configuration for injection moulding using one main component and two high-precision small-dosing units. The combination of several drying hoppers mounted on a single module table enables a space-saving configuration. One drying air generator can feed up to 12 drying hoppers with dry air at a consistent low temperature of - 35°C. A special feature of the Somos Gramix E gravimetric dosing and mixing system is the integrated small-volume dosing for material output of up to 2 kg/ hour. Because of its highly sensitive weighing electronics, the dosing system can now dose volumes of 200 g/hour for very small amounts of highly concentrated masterbatches.

  • Motan-Colortronic will present its new Metro G range of material loaders, shown together with Metrolink, an automatic coupling station that features its own autonomous control system. Other building blocks forming the “conveying” segment include SilentLine, a patented noise reduction system for material feedlines and a permanent central vacuum system for large material throughputs.

  • LPKF will present its InlineWeld systems where laser sources and the controls are housed in a separate module, and the compact welding head can be integrated. The stand-alone units in the PowerWeld product line are for small, medium or large series production operations. Exhibits include the PowerWeld 2000 for manual individual loading; and the PowerWeld 2600 with a rotary table. The robot-assisted TwinWeld3D hybrid welding system is designed for welding large, 3D free-form components in a thermal field. Finally, PrecisionWeld enables the joining of ultrafine microfluidic components. The new “ClearJoining” laser process enables the welding of transparent plastics without the use of any additives.

Moulds/Tooling/Hot Runners

  • Italian company Gruniverpal Tranchero, which makes systems for handling moulds up to 100 tonnes, will exhibit the new GB series with rotating boom and capacity until 750 kg. Suitable for machines with clamping force up to 180 tonnes, it has been developed for easy mould handling in restricted spaces. Besides the compact dimensions of the crane, it also features automatic rotating boom without use of stabilisers, electronic overloading system, control by wireless remote and battery charger.

  • Under Engel plus, Austrian machine maker Engel will show “intelligent” mould temperature control. As an extension of the flomo compact temperature-control water distribution system it introduced in 2010, Engel has developed e-flomo, which has electric control valves that make it possible to adjust and control flow rates automatically. It keeps the temperature in the mould constant throughout the production period, even where water pressure varies, says the firm.

  • PSG will present for the first time its pipeline hot runners. In conventional systems each operating unit must be connected with four pipes, two for hydraulic and two for cooling. This makes an eight-drop system have 32 pipes. PSG’s system connects the operating units only with two pipes: a pressure line and a return line. It will also display the new nozzle smartFILL for processing of a wide range of plastics, including high temperature-engineering plastics.

Machinery

  • Swiss firm Netsta will be moulding ultralight petri dishes in an 8+8 cavity mould on an Elion 3200-1000 system. The 90-mm-diameter petri dishes will be produced at a cycle time of less than 3.7 seconds using a mould supplied by Schöttli. The medicalgrade PS has a mould flow rate of less than 3.5 g/10 minute. In this collaborative project, process automation is achieved using a handling device supplied by Geku while Motan is handling material preparation; and the cooling device is supplied by Single. Netstal will also demonstrate the production of a 7.3-g PP container on an Elion 2800-1000 with a four-cavity mould and in-mould labelling at Roth Werkzeugbau’s booth; and the moulding of a PC bottle opener on an Elion 800-130 at Geku’s booth.

  • German firm Arburg says it is now the only manufacturer to cover the entire spectrum from additive manufacturing to injection moulding. It will have 11 exhibits including two Freeformers that will demonstrate production of one-off or small-volume batches directly from CAD data, without requiring a mould. Furthermore, the Freeformers will have a three-axis component carrier and two discharge units, to produce parts from two different materials and will be integrated in the Industry 4.0 project (a future project involving the vision of a smart factory).

  • A 400-tonne electric Allrounder 820A will demonstrate production of 24 knives and forks using a 24+24-cavity mould from Fratelli Bianchi. The cycle time of 5.5 seconds, including demoulding, set-down and immediate packaging, corresponds to an output of around 31,500 parts/hour. In micro-injection, Arburg will show a Euromap size 5 unit on an electric Allrounder 270A, producing four 0.03 g micro counter wheel, with a clean room enclosure. A specially configured Multilift H 3+1 horizontal robot will remove the sprue and the micro parts, segregated according to cavity.

  • The production of a lightweight component for the automotive industry will be demonstrated by a hydraulic Allrounder 820S using long-fibre direct injection moulding, with lengths of up to 50 mm, low incidence of fibre damage in the melt and lower material costs. Another lightweight construction process is Particle-foam Composite Injection Moulding, which Arburg will present together with Krallmann and Ruch Novaplast. The foamed part will be produced on the compact foaming system integrated in the production cell. A six-axis robotic system inserts this into the mould, where a thread is moulded on in a positive bond.

  • For packaging, a hybrid Allrounder 520H will produce a SKET cup, a recent development of Uniplast, a company belonging to the Knauer Group. The mould and the Multiflex IML robot are made by H. Müller-Fabrique de Moules. The special geometry of the cup, with spiral-shaped flow aids, enables 0.3 mm thin walls and a thick sealing edge, for reliable sealing in production, in a cycle time of under 5 seconds. Add-ons are peel-off cardboard labels, which can be easily be removed to reveal printed product information on the inside.

  • Japan Steel Works (JSW) and its European sales and service partner Windsor will present the J-AD series machine with 180-tonne clamping force producing a small 550 ccm picnic box on a single-cavity mould. The shot weight is 42 g, wall thickness 1.2 mm, and the cycle time is under 15 seconds. The transparent multi-colour appearance is achieved using clear tint colourant from Milliken Europe, while the PP is from Slovnaft, Slovakia. The multiaxes robot demoulds the open box – both halves are connected with each other by an integral film hinge – deposits the box on a conveyor belt and closes the quickrelease click closure.

  • Small machinery specialist Boy will present 12 exhibits. A 35E will show the moulding of thinwall business cards, and visitors to the booth will become a part of Industry 4.0 when they place their business card in a scanner as the data will be laser printed in an individual business card. Another thinwall part is a model railway frame to be made on a 100 E. After moulding the parts, the preforms will be removed with the SL30 industrial robot and brought to a printing station. A 60E will produce pipettes in a 32-cavity mould with a 6-second cycle time while a 25EVV will show adhesion-modified PA ice scrapers over-moulded with a silicone lip. Finally, a 25E will demonstrate the reproducible marbling of plastic parts. Six additional exhibits will be shown in the booths of partner companies.

  • Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery will show its activeColourChange solution, a liquid colour metering system for injection moulding that adds up to five different colours to the melt-filled metering section of the plasticising unit. This way, upstream screw sections (feed section and compression section) remain uncontaminated, which means that the screw area that needs to be purged during colour changes is significantly shorter. The screw is equipped with a special mixing section to ensure the production of uniform colours, allowing a high opacity even when the pigment content is low. Another benefit of the late addition of colour is that it promotes gentle processing of liquid colour. It also prevents the occurrence of black spots on the product.

  • SHI will also show the production of electric plug connectors with different wall thicknesses on a 100-tonne IntElect 100-340, with each of the machine’s four cavities equipped with a cavity pressure sensor.

  • Engel will have machines on its booth as well as seven partner companies, including the Kunststoff-Institut Lüdenscheid, Ehlebracht Kunststoff-Technik and ROS. The institute will be demonstrating tiebar-less production on the Victory 200/50 spex machine, making business card boxes using the thermoplastic foam process. It will present a passive Greenmold concept that works without an additional active heat source and can fully suppress the formation of streaks even at mould wall temperatures of 60°C.

  • Ehlebracht will use a Victory 200/50 machine to produce parts with complex, 3D structures. An Engel Viper robot will remove the components and place them on a conveyor belt; the parts will then pass to pi4 Robotics’s workerbot with integrated visual inspection system. Following an initial quality test, the robot will place the parts in a PlastiCoater 200 PVD metallisation unit supplied by Impact Coatings for a chrome coating.

  • Meanwhile, ROS will use the E-motion 200/110 machine with integrated Viper 12 robot to produce impellers for use in automobile coolant pumps.

  • In tribute to its 25 years of tiebar-less technology, Engel will also introduce the new all-electric Emotion 50TL. It will produce 15-pin plug housings from fibreglass-reinforced PBT/ASA using a two-cavity mould.

  • Other displays include a centre console component for automotive in PC-ABS on a Duo 2550/550 machine combining Engel’s Foammelt with MuCell foam process developed by Trexel.

  • In packaging, 500 ml food containers will be produced on an E-motion 440/160 featuring a two-cavity mould by Glaroform and IML by Beck Automation.

  • In medical, it will show drip chambers with integrated filter for blood transfusions produced on an E-victory 310H/80W/50V 160 combi tri-component machine with ecodrive and a clean room design.

  • In technical moulding, the E-victory 200H/80W/120 combi machine will be shown producing sensor housings for flow measurement with integrated seals in liquid silicone (LSR), with a mould provided by ACH Solution.

  • Krauss Maffei will launch two new all-electric machines: AX 50 and the AX550, which have an energy efficiency rating of 9+ according to the Euromap 60.1 standard. Against comparable hydraulic machines, energy consumption is often reduced by 50% or more.

  • With its Multinject technology based on the CX, GX, and MX series, the firm claims to be the only provider of small, midsize, and large clamping force options from 35-5,000 tonnes. It has now added on three new models for the twinplaten machine in the GX series: the new GXH, GXL and GXV are for multi-component moulding and add to the GXW (SpinForm reversing plate technology), which was at the K2013 show. Another highlight is the new integrated turntable and the servo-electric drive unit. The H in GXH stands for the arrangement of two or more injection units in parallel. Advantages of the GearX locking mechanism and the GuideX guide shoe developed by Krauss Maffei are fast cycle times with minimal energy consumption. The L in GXL refers to the lateral horizontal positioning of the second injection unit. The GXV comes with vertical positioning of the second injection unit, which allows access to the main injection unit.

Robots

  • Arburg says automation plays a key role in efficient production, noting two trends: complex turnkey systems and demand for highly flexible automation solutions. Arburg will show its electric Integralpicker and the linear Multilift robotic systems, as well as six-axis robots. An intelligent solution will be presented in the form of an interactive process involving human/robot cooperation, in which inserts are transferred manually to the robotic system. Also on display will be a mobile robotic cell with a small six-axis robot from Kuka, which also moves along an additional linear axis. The advantages of this solution, implemented with fpt Robotik, are short cycle times, an increased working area and the option of using the cell on different Allrounder machines.

  • Sepro Robotique will have 14 robots on display, nine at its booth and five at partner booths. Two six-axis articulatedarm units will be shown operating together with three five-axis Cartesian robots in an entertaining i-Pad relay. An MI-20 unit will be shown on a 210-tonne Sumitomo Demag machine with a two-position rotating mould for making ice scrapers with soft-touch gripping surfaces.

  • The MI or Multi-Inject robots (available in two different sizes for machines up to 500 tonnes) are specially designed for applications where the secondary vertical injection unit would interfere with movement of a standard beam robot. A Success 7, the smallest unit in the Success Line of general-purpose robots, will be paired with an S3 all-servo sprue picker to play with jumbo plastic building blocks. Compared to standard pneumatically driven sprue pickers, the new S3 servo unit is faster – operating at 2 m/second speeds on the vertical axis. In addition to conventional sprue removal applications, the S3 picker can be used for simple part removal.

(IMA)

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