M-Tecs product line
Mold Changes in Minutes
Together with increasing part variety and shorter lead times, the trend towards small production runs translates into a permanent challenge in high-volume production. In order to master the frequent mold changes that result from this situation, more and more companies are using universal and flexible mold clamping systems. These allow molds to be changed on injection molding machines or rubber presses in minutes.
The M-Tecs product line from Hilma-Römheld GmbH, Hilchenbach, Germany, offers a range of magnetic clamping possibilities and provides users with a number of benefits. For instance, the clamping time is only 2–3s, which reduces downtime and setup costs considerably. The time required for preheating can be deducted from the setup time, since hot molds can be changed and clamped without being touched. All nonstandard molds can be changed without the need for modification, since standardization is not necessary. Clamping at inaccessible locations is also possible. Because the clamping force acts over the entire surface area, there is no risk of distortion, and the reduced mold wear translates into improved molded part quality.
The technology employed in the clamping plates is based on the principle of a permanent electromagnet, which means that clamping is ensured even in the event of a power failure. Electricity is needed for only a few seconds initially to magnetize (clamp) the system. During operation, the system functions without electricity. Electrical energy is needed again only when the mold is unclamped. The size and shape of the magnetic plates can be varied to satisfy various requirements. The plate thickness ranges from 47 to 55mm. Additional holes for ejectors, locating rings or positioning pins or slots cab be easily incorporated into the plates. Upon request, the system can be supplied for temperatures of up to 260°C and withstands severe soiling, release agents and vacuum conditions.
Hilma-Römheld has also recently had a magnetic clamping system for a vertical injection molding machine tested and approved by the TÜV organization. The safety features of the clamping plates and the interface to the press comply with the latest Euromap recommendation (70.1) with a few supplemental items developed especially for vertical presses. The controls continuously monitor the magnetic force, the position of the mold and the temperature during the entire molding process. At the slightest sign of movement of a mold half, the machine is stopped. An illuminated display on the remote control continually indicates the state of the system. The magnetic clamping system is CE- tested and conforms to the applicable low-voltage guideline 73/23 EEC, EMC 89/336.
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