Faster and more efficient machines at the K Show

In keeping with the tradition, injection moulding machine makers will showcase new technology processes at the upcoming K2013 show in Germany. The focus is on all-electric and large machines with processes for composites, LSR moulding, lightweight construction, catering to the packaging, automotive and medical sectors. Automation will round up the displays.

Arburg goes all-electric

German firm Arburg’s focus will be on electric and large Allrounders, with ten exhibits at its stand and another ten at partner stands. The Allrounder 820A completes the electric Alldrive series and will make its premiere at the show with a newly developed 400-tonne toggle-type clamping unit and size 2100 electric injection unit.

An Allrounder 370E from the Edrive series will be integrated together with a six-axis robot and an inline printing system from fpt Robotik into a production cell. An Allrounder 470A will use a 64-cavity mould from Männer to produce dosage units in a cycle time of 2 seconds.

The use of cleanroom electric machines in the medical sector will be demonstrated by an Allrounder 520A, producing pipettes in a 4.5- second cycle time on a 64-cavity mould from Tanner. A Vario-TIP automation system by Waldorf Technik has been specially designed for the handling of pipette tips.

Engel hones into efficiency

Austrian firm Engel’s new 650-tonne hybrid e-speed for the packaging sector features an electric toggle clamp and screw drive and hydraulic injection, for injection speeds up to 800 mm/second and 4 second-cycle time. The new electric drive uses a patent-pending flywheel to store the braking energy from the platen movements and transfers this energy back to the motor when required to re-accelerate clamp motions. Thus, it uses less energy and lower connected loads, generates less waste heat and reduces power peaks resulting from high clamping forces applied in short cycles.

Also, the encapsulated toggle with closedloop lubrication and special bushings with patented seals are said to reduce lubricant consumption by 90% and provide a clean moulding area. The machine will be moulding thinwall tubs in an 8 + 8 cavity stack mould.

A brand new entrant is the Emotion 30TL, an all-electric tiebarless for the optical and electronic sectors. The firm says it has the highest precision of platen parallelism and even clamping distribution, is compact and caters up to 100 tonnes. It will develop 50 and 80 tonnemachines next year, while a 30-tonne model will be shown moulding 60-pin electronic connectors in 16 cavities.

The next-generation Duo hydraulic twoplaten, available from 350-700 tonnes, features an improved clamp that runs on linear guides, is faster and has a lower nozzle centre. Also new are the ergonomic safety-gate design and the CC 300 control. The latter is designed to be operated with one hand and has a 21-in. touchscreen with both task and component-oriented navigation.

More from Haitian, Ferromatik, Boy, Netstal, KraussMaffei and Sumitomo Demag

China-based machine maker Haitian International Holdings will roll out larger all-electric and two-platen machinery. Having shown a next generation 550-tonne Zhafir Venus 11 at Chinaplas, of which it has sold nearly 3,000 since its launch in 2009, the firm will introduce a 190 tonne machine at K show.

Updates to the machine include increased tiebar distances to meet international standards for machines with clamping forces of 2,000 tonnes and more; up to eight injection units; motors in the Haitian drive systems that now provide faster acceleration rates, improved energy savings and rapid reaction times. The new injection unit is also more compact while a swiveling injection unit permits rapid replacement of the screw and easier access for maintenance.

In its Jupiter II series, it will debut the 550 model with a new tiebar design, moulding engine covers on a two-cavity mould. The drive system has a direct connection between the servomotor and the gear pump, to regulate rotational speed and fast response times.

It will also show a Zhafir Mercury machine running PA12 cable ties on an eight-cavity mould; the servo-hydraulic-driven Mars II eco moulding a PP transparent case in a 24-second cycle and a Venus II moulding coffee stir sticks on a 24-cavity mould and a 2.9-second cycle.

Meanwhile, German compatriot Ferromatik Milacron will show an all-electric F200 with a size 50 Advanced Performance (APe) electric injection unit. Using a four-cavity mould and an IML system by H. Müller from Switzerland, it will produce thinwall rectangular lids with labelling, in a 3.1-second cycle.

An F350 hybrid will drive a 64-cavity mould by Corvaglia (Switzerland) to produce 33 mm 2.6 g beverage closures every 4.5 seconds. Quality will be monitored by a vision system from IMD Vista (Switzerland). The third machine will be the 270-tonne all-electric F270 CUBE, boasting generous tie-bar spacing of 750 x 750 mm, an electric rotating mechanism and an 8+8 cavity cube mould with four sides, both made by Foboha. Ferromatik will also introduce a 30-tonne new machine, to round up its F series. It will produce 1.6 g applicators for 1 ml medical ampules on a four-cavity mould made by Braunform (Germany), in a cycle time of 9.1 seconds.

Germany-based small machine maker Boy will introduce the 25E to replace the 22E. Also new will be the 25EVH insert moulding machine that will be equipped with a horizontal injection unit for parting line injection. Insert moulding of hexagonal pencils with a T-handle in a two-cavity mould will be demonstrated on this newcomer.

Swiss machine specialist Netstal will showcase its all-electric Elion 1750-530 model producing PC infusion devices in a cycle time of 16 seconds. The PC material will be provided by Sabic Europe, mould by Italy-based RB/ HRS and materials handling by Italian Piovan. Besides the encapsulated joint, closed drag chains, water-cooled electric motors and clean room cladding, the machine boasts up to 70% lower energy use, with the braking energy fed back into the internal electrical circuit.

Another energy saving unit to be showcased by Netstal will be the EVOS 4500 featuring the new energy-optimised Eco Powerunit drive that is already available on the Elion. Using a 12-cavity mould from Italian company Bianchi, PS drinking cups will be manufactured in a cycle time of 2.5 seconds. Automation will be provided by another Italian-based company Campetella and material handling by Motan.

Meanwhile, Netstal’s sister company KraussMaffei will showcase the two-platen GX series, launched on the market a year ago, in a new size of 900 tonnes. With a cycle time of 7 seconds, the machine will produce a packaging product, with the German firm saying that this is the fastest time for a two-platen. It will also demonstrate a dual platen CX300-1400 forming and back-moulding organic plates using the FiberForm composites process.

Moving the MuCell foam process away from the automotive sector, the German firm will show the all-electric AX CellForm producing technical moulded parts and household goods using the process. The firm says the AX series is ideal for the process, with its high precision and shot weight consistency and also since the compensatory holding pressure phase is not required. At the show, a new space-saving metering system from MuCell provider Trexel will be used for the first time on the machine.

KraussMaffei will also showcase the multicomponent technology with its GX 550 SpinForm encompassing a swivel-plate design to produce components made from thermoplastic/PU with a quality lacquer surface.

Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery will show its Systec SP, a 280-tonne packaging machine, producing IML-decorated PP buckets. With the double mould used for this and an injected weight of 84 g, the cycle time is 5.3 seconds. Parallel removal of the decorated bucket and the insertion of the IML label into the mould for the next cycle are performed by linear robots developed by Sepro Robotique and Machines Pagès.

Another demonstration on a 210-tonne Systec will be the manufacture of a 5 in. touch display, with functional foils developed by PolyIC. The PET-based coating foils with thin metallic conduction structures are spray-coated with PMMA using the IML process. The narrow frame, which is also injected, is decorated at the same time using In-Mould Decoration (IMD) in black lacquer finish.

All the processes, from insertion of the IML foil in the tool cavity to the finishing, take place in a cleanroom environment (ISO Class 7). The conductive IML foils can be used for touchscreens to replace indium tin oxide (ITO) foils, since indium is a rare heavy metal that is becoming expensive. Furthermore, the expensive laminating process of the foil on the carrier is not required.

Technology extensions from Arburg and Engel

Arburg will showcase a further development of its Particle-foam Composite Injection Moulding (PCIM) process on the Allrounder 470S. This relatively new process, which was developed jointly by Ruch Novaplast, Krallmann and Arburg, opens up possibilities in lightweight construction. A plastic wheel rim will be injected onto an inserted particlefoam tyre. Transfer of the pre-moulded part to the mould is followed by overmoulding of the tyre with TPE. The six-axis robot will undertake insertion of the foamed tyre until transfer of the finished parts to the packaging system, which features printing of the bags.

Another lightweight construction process is the long-fibre direct injection moulding to be demonstrated on the hydraulic Allrounder 820S with a mould from Swiss firm, Georg Kaufmann Formenbau. For the first time, 50-mm glass fibres will be added directly to the liquid melt, where they will be homogeneously distributed. The fibre length, fibre content and material combination can also be individually adjusted. The new process allows for cost savings because plastic and fibreglass rovings are cheaper than finished long glass fibre granulates, says Arburg.

A further highlight from Arburg will be the fully-electric cube-mould application for the production of container closures, to be presented jointly with Foboha. On the 320- tonne electric two-component Allrounder 720A, the large size 800 injection and small size 400 injection units will be arranged horizontally, on the moving mounting platen of the machine, with both rotation of the cube and the linear sliding motion of the 12+12-cavity driven electrically. This results in advantages in terms of precision and cycle time.

Further, together with partner Rico, thermoplastic and liquid silicone (LSR) suction cups, such as those used for moving bulky or heavy loads in logistics, will be produced on a hydraulic Allrounder 570S with two injection units in an L-arrangement. A metal threaded bushing will be inserted by a Multilift V robotic system and overmoulded with the two components.

Meanwhile, Engel will show a new method of multi-component, soft-touch moulding of dashboards for Hyundai Kia, utilising the new Varysoft process developed by Georg Kaufmann Formenbau. A decorative, grained TPO film is preheated and preformed in one station of the automated cell while the ABS/PC substrate is moulded in Trexel’s MuCell process. The TPO film is then transferred to the mould on a rotating table, PU foam is injected between the film and substrate, using Germany-based Hennecke’s system.

In the medical sector, Engel will demonstrate three-material (ABS, TPE and PP) plus insert moulding of a drip chamber for blood transfusions. The process uses a cleanroom E-victory 310 combi tiebarless hybrid with three electric injection units and servo-hydraulic ecodrive.

Another automotive composites display will feature the new V-duo 700-tonne vertical two-platen hydraulic machine with ecodrive. It will produce latch covers for the KTM X-Bow GT sports car using a carbon-fibre skin and glass fibre core. The HP (high-pressure) RTM liquid reactive moulding process will use a new “snap-cure” PU resin from BASF and a Hennecke metering system.

A third composite display will showcase cases for mobile electronic devices, with preformed carbon-fibre organic sheets to be overmoulded with PC/ABS on a new 170-tonne E-mac. Roctool variothermal (hot/cold cycling) moulds will be used to preform the sheets. The automated cell will also demonstrate in-line vacuum metallisation of parts for EMI shielding.

Meanwhile, Engel’s 110-tonne E-motion T machine will produce acrylic automotive headlamp lenses using a three-layer process. The 30 mm-thick part will be moulded in two steps, with the core moulded/demoulded while the centre is still molten. After cooling outside the mould, it will be returned to the mould and overmoulded with thinner layers of the same material on both sides. The result is a 440-second cycle instead of 1,550 seconds for a single-layer moulding.

Automation rounds up processes

For the automation segment, Arburg will jointly present with its partner fpt Robotik an Agilus six-axis robot system from Kuka, with integrated Selogica user interface. The system is suspended from a linear axis arranged transversely to the machine. The combination of the six-axes with a linear axis permits more dynamic movements and faster entry into the mould. Furthermore, the small robot can move on the axis and the floor space below can be used without restriction, allowing the robot to perform a wide variety of moulded part production tasks. It is designed for load weights between 6-10 kg.

Engel will show the Viper 120, its newest and largest linear robot. It has a payload of 120 kg, a demoulding stroke of 3,000 mm and reach of 3,550 mm.

French robot maker Sepro Robotique will showcase 23 robots, with another six on booths of partner companies. These include two sixaxis articulating-arm robots that will operate together with three five-axis Cartesian robots. The five-axis 5X line is based on Sepro’s threeaxis beam robot and a two-axis Stäubli servo wrist. The 6X Visualline of robots combines a Stäubli six-axis articulating robot with a Sepro Visual 3 controller.

Sepro will also premiere its Multi-Inject 20 robot that will operate on a multi-material, in-mould labelling application on a 210-tonne Sumitomo Demag machine, moulding ice scrapers with a soft-touch grip. Other Sepro robots will run on the Haitian, Romi Sandretto, Billion and JSW Windsor booths.


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