Injection Compression Molding (ICM) Days for French Packaging Experts
The three technology partners Netstal, Plastisud and Machines Pagès welcomed more than 120 participants to the halls of French mold manufacturer Plastisud in mid-January. Together, the companies conducted the first ICM Technology Days in the French city of Castelnaudary. "It was our goal to demonstrate the advantages and potential of this technology to interested customers. We managed to accomplish that with this event," said Markus Dal Pian, Netstal's Vice President Sales & Marketing.
Thomas Iten, head of Packaging Application Technology at Netstal, explained the basic principle of the injection compression molding technology and illustrated the main advantages for processors using this method. In addition to the enormous weight reduction and the implementation of high flow path/wall thickness ratios, Iten emphasized the low-stress and therefore warp-free production of components that is the result of this technology. Compared to traditional injection molding, the injection compression molding process continues to allow the use of smaller and therefore more efficient production systems by using lower clamping forces.
In a joint presentation, Stéphane Zoppi , Engineering Director at Plastisud, and Nijaz Husidic, sales manager of Netstal's PAC Business Unit, used realistic case studies to provide a close look at economic and commercial aspects as well as potential capabilities. With specific examples, the great economic benefit and the large potential of the process could be illustrated to the expert audience.
The technology was demonstrated during the event with the production of standard-sized 15 oz (425 g) margarine containers, manufactured on an Elion 2800-2000 Hybrid with a cycle time of about 5 s. The labels were provided by the French company Coveris Decorative. The process took place in a 4+4 cavity stack mold from Plastisud. "The combination of injection-compression molding and a stack mold is an absolute novelty in the industrial production of packaging," said Husidic. Thanks to the fast injection time of just 100 ms, the filling of the cavities is lightning quick yet extremely even while, at the same time, low pressure is applied in order to prevent tensions within the material. The high quality of the plate parallelism guarantees a synchronicity of 99.98% between mold, machine and automation.
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