Process Improvement on Short Terms
Engel Austria GmbH, Schwertberg, Austria, prides itself in the quality, efficiency, and economy of highly integrated production solutions. For their presence at this year's Fakuma, they have selected the first clearmelt component for an exterior application, an e-mac all-electric injection molding machine in a new clamping force class, a new compact pipe distributor for cleanrooms, and higher precision liquid silicon rubber (LSR) processing.
Glossy finished exterior car panels will be produced on a duo 2460/500 injection molding machine. In the clearmelt method, first a thermoplastic base carrier is produced in the injection molding machine and then flooded with polyurethane in a second cavity. This process can be very easily combined with IML, whereby both decorative and capacitive films can be processed as well as wood veneers. This way, the clearmelt technology makes ready-to-install vehicle components in a single working step that do not have to be painted, nor subjected to any other reworking. The polyurethane cover layer provides the high degree of gloss as well as the required scratch resistance. Exclusive partner in polyurethane processing is Hennecke GmbH of Sankt Augustin, Austria.
Until now, the e-mac series was available in clamping forces up to 1,800 kN. Meanwhile, Engel has expanded the series by a 2800 kN version for the Fakuma 2017. With the production of 40-pole connector housings from glass fiber-reinforced PBT, Engel will demonstrate, how high demands for precision and economy can be combined. In several subsequent processing steps, the power connector housings will be fitted with stabilizer inserts and seals, and the contacts fitted and laser inscribed.
The intelligent assistance systems from Engel’s inject 4.0 program will protect their e-mac machines against process variations due to external influences. Engel is demonstrating three iQ products: iQ weight control for holding the injected melt volume constant over the entire injection molding process, thereby compensating for variations in environmental conditions and raw materials; iQ clamp control that detects the optimum clamping force and adjusts it automatically based on mold breathing; and iQ flow control for demand-regulated mold temperature control. In order to demonstrate the operating principle, Engel will produce inject 4.0 emblems on an e-motion 80 TL injection molding machine. Due to a simulation of fluctuating process conditions with the CC300 control, the automatical readjustment of the assistance systems is visualized at the display of the machine.
In medical technology, cleanrooms are often used for producing sensitive parts. Reducing installation area in a cleanroom increases space productivity and soon pays for itself. On an e-victory 170/80, pin holders for 1 ml safety syringes will be produced in a 16-fold mold from Fostag Formenbau AG. A linear robot (Type: viper 12) removes the filigree polystyrene parts from the mold and passes them to a distributor system. To ensure batch traceability at the individual cavity level, the molded parts are packed cavity-clean in bags. 16 of these bags hang in a wagon that parks directly under the newly developed pipe distributor. For quality control, individual shots can be ejected.
For unmanned cleanrooms – e. g., during night shifts – two wagons can be clocked in series, whereby a buffer system enables an all-automatic changeover. The entire periphery for this is integrated in the control of the machine. The filigree pin holders with only 0.08 g shot weight and different wall thicknesses, as well, require extremely precise process control. Since melt volume variations can immediately result in rejects, Engel utilizes iQ weight control software.
Processing LSR by injection molding utilizes the efficiency potential of the tiebar-less victory machines. Their patented Force Divider ensures that the moveable mounting plate will move precisely with the mold during clamping force buildup and that the clamping force is distributed evenly over the mounting place surface. This way, both the outer- and the inward-lying cavities are held at precisely the same force. This ensures uniform compression on the mold and consistently high part quality. Low-flash, waste-free, rework-free, and all-automated processing are the pre-requisites for manufacturing high-tech products from liquid silicon rubber economically.
Engel will demonstrate this on the production of ventilator valves for drinking bottles using an hydraulic Engel victory 860/160, also equipped with iQ weight control. The ventilator valves are approx. 50 mm in diameter and have a geometrically complex structure with varying wall thicknesses. Their partner Elmet Elastomere Produktions- und Dienstleistungs GmbH supplies the LSR dosing system OP 5000P, the 16-fold mold with cold runners and removal device used in this application.
Fakuma 2017: Hall A5, booth 5204
ELMET Elastomere Produktions- u Dienstleistungs-GmbH
Engel Austria GmbH
Fostag Formenbau AG
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