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New era of heavyweight machines

Source:International Plastics News for Asia

Date Published:10/15/2019 10:10:24 PM

The demand for injection moulding systems capable of producing bigger containers and parts has taken innovators beyond boundaries.  
The demand for injection moulding systems capable of producing bigger containers and parts has taken innovators beyond boundaries.  At K 2019, many new developments in injection moulding can be witnessed as this type of production systems continue to evolve to serve the needs of the markets the world over. 
KraussMaffei, for instance, has been known to meet the plastics market’s needs with its range of injection moulding systems. From the manufacture of bumper elements or small caps from high-cavity moulds—the hydraulic GX series from KraussMaffei masters packaging as well as medical technology and automotive. But this year, the GX 1100, the new heavyweight of the series, sees its market launch at the K 2019 trade show.
"With the new clamping force size of 11,000 kN, we are expanding the range of our successful GX series with a specific target. We see great opportunities particularly in the areas of packaging and logistics," according to Hans-Ulrich Golz, President of the Injection Molding Machinery segment of KraussMaffei. 
The most recent member of the GX series has the well-known space-saving two-platen design, the GearX and GuideX clamping elements, the modular configuration and a wide variety of equipment options, for example the particularly energy-saving BluePower servo drive.
High productivity, more options
The trade show application of the GX 1100-12000 at K itself is something special. Buckets of polypropylene with a capacity of 20 litres each are injected in two cavities and decorated by in-mould-labeling (IML). The shot weight is about 1500 grams with a cycle time of just 14 seconds. The available speed option ensures outstandingly fast injection speeds (up to 700 mm/s depending on the injection unit) as well as fast clamping movements. “We thus offer our customers an additional option to improve their opening and closing movements of the GX machine, especially for large packaging opening widths of more than 350 mm”,  Mr. Golz explained. The dry cycle time is shorted by almost half a second. The benefit comes clear when calculating with 8000 production hours a year – in total almost 130.000 buckets can be produced with the speed option. 
The HPS barrier screw for polyolefins that is used here allows for particularly fast melting and high shot weights thanks to the high L/D ratio of 26. The HPS barrier screws deliver a plasticising performance up to 40% higher than the conventional high-performance screws from KraussMaffei.
Smart control of the entire operation
Digital services control and monitor the entire manufacturing process of the IML buckets. The APC Plus machine function ensures extreme consistency in component weight and thus high product quality by controlling the changeover point from injection pressure to holding pressure, as well as the holding pressure level, from shot to shot. Additionally, the dwell time of the polypropylene in the plasticising unit is monitored for the first time, which ensures a high material quality.
The DataXplorer, in turn, provides a detailed view of the depth of the process by storing up to 500 signals every 5 milliseconds as continuous graphs—for instance, signals from the machine itself or special signals such as the mould cavity pressure. The digital information from the injection moulding process and the information from the automation and peripherals flows converge in a new data collection point, which enables the customer to control and monitor its production flow specifically. Connection to an MES system is also possible.
The GX 1100 at the K trade show is the first KraussMaffei machine equipped with the Smart Operation control option of the product brand NETSTAL. Presented at the Fakuma 2018 trade show, the function allows for a separation between the application development and the later operation of the machine in production. The user benefits from a simplified operation and further increases in the efficiency of its production system. "The integration of Smart Operation into the KraussMaffei machine portfolio is an excellent reference of how we use synergies together to increase the added value of our customers. We will further advance this in the future," according to Mr. Golz. 
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