Engel revamping plasticising systems division


The plasticising unit is key to the quality and performance of injection moulding machines according to Engel in its press statement. The screw, non-return valve and barrel are critical to the melt quality and repeatability of the injection moulding process as well as the service life and cost-effectiveness of a machine. In response to its clients’ requirements, Engel has reorganised its Plasticising Systems division and is investing EUR17 million in expanding capacities and introducing new technologies.

Demands on plasticising units are rising: innovative additives and higher filler content, economising on weight and material, tighter dimensional tolerances and increasing requirements for higher surface quality. All these factors are constantly driving development. “The challenge for us is to ensure that even new materials can be processed faster and to a higher quality standard despite the increasing stresses on mechanical components,” says Günther Klammer, head of the Plasticising Systems division.

Meanwhile, the recently established process of Concurrent Development ensures that the experience and ideas of users are applied to the development of new products, and that Engel can continuously improve its production concepts. “Our aim is to increase the benefit to the customer,” says Klammer. “Therefore, we work closely with our colleagues in the application technology and service divisions, and even consult with customers at their production facilities. This is how we can offer ideal solutions to highly individual requirements across many different sectors.”

To analyse the plasticising unit itself, as well as in interaction with other components of an injection moulding machine, the team around Klammer has pooled a whole range of skills – from metallurgy and welding technology to rheology, plastics engineering, design, NC programming, manufacturing technology and support. Experts are researching the complex physical and chemical influences in the plasticizing process while optimising the company’s own manufacturing processes. Engel combines a high vertical integration of manufacture with lean and resource-efficient production processes to guarantee high quality and fast delivery.

Currently, Engel produces some 6,000 screws and barrels with diameters from 15 to 170 mm annually – a figure set to double by 2020. Investing in new machine tools, heat treatment equipment, material flows and new technologies, Engel also explains that a fully integrated CAx process chain will raise productivity even further.


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