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New era in high-speed all-electric systems

Source:International Plastics News for Asia

Date Published:3/4/2019 10:03:49 AM

Injection moulding has become more precise, with powerful all-electric systems packed with additional support devices and tools to make them more responsive to market demands.    
Injection moulding has become more precise, with powerful machines packed with additional support devices and tools to make them more responsive to market demands. Industry-leading injection moulding technologies integrated with other control systems and features are increasingly being offered by leading companies.
Milacron Holdings Corp., for instance, provides its range of injection moulding machines, along with Mold-Masters hot runners and control systems, DME mold technology solutions and industrial supplies as well as TIRAD high precision mould bases. At last year’s FAKUMA, the company launched several firsts as it expanded its offerings to various regional markets. 
Another company, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag introduced the all-electric high-speed IntElect S machine that is compact and high-speed, with upgraded motor design and a host of other features. 
Connected services for intelligent production 
Milacron’s workhorse model, the Quantum 180 Toggle Injection Moulding Machine, made its debut at Fakuma 2018. The model was touted as the most advanced toggle machine ever as it is designed for higher productivity, reduced cost of ownership, enhanced performance and advanced technical specifications. Quantum comes equipped with Milacron’s Endura Touch control interface and is available from 125 to 610 tonnes. The Quantum features Milacron’s new generation toggle machine technology that can provide added benefits of reduced energy consumption, lower cycle time coupled with precision and reliability.
At the demonstration cell, Milacron’s Quantum 180 was outfitted with a Mold-Masters E-Multi secondary injection unit, TempMaster M1 controller and an indexing rotary unit in combination with a 2K mold from Wilhelm Weber GmbH & Co. KG moulding a 2-component squeegee commonly used in showers and home window cleaning. The primary injection of a PC/ABS blend is processed via the Quantum machine followed by the Mold-Masters E-Multi injecting the TPE. The Wilhelm Weber tool with an index plate system has a hydraulically operated wiper that wipes the squeegee from the over-moulded core. Total part weight of 72 grams running a 50 second cycle time.
The all-electric Elektron EVO 155 with iMFLUX Technology was also presented. The Elektron EVO is the product of Milacron’s years of innovation in all-electric injection moulding technology. The Elektron EVO was designed for a full range of applications, in a wide variety of sizes, offering value to customers to help them achieve their plastics manufacturing goals. The Elektron EVO uses 60% less energy and 90% less water than hydraulic injection moulding machines, reducing operating costs substantially. Setting the standard for movement repeatability, Elektron’s stroke precision of servo-driven axes is significantly greater than top hydraulic systems, making it the best injection molding machine for the reliable production of high-precision parts. With no oil disposal, leaks or slipping hazards, Elektron EVO is perfect for clean room environments regardless of machine size needed.
Quantum Toggle Injection Moulding Machine from Milacron
The iMFLUX Technology was also intergrated to the Electron EVO. The technology is an adaptive process control module to the M-Powered suite of products. M-Powered is a portfolio of easy-to-use observational, analytical and support services that gives customers a competitive advantage through insight. Leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) technology, M-Powered provides unique intelligence on current operations and future needs, sharpens manufacturing quality and productivity, and optimises uptime. M-Powered-enabled machines currently include remote service capability with OEE and downtime analytics, and data collection with maintenance and parts recommendation intelligence. M-Powered also includes full API integration as a standard setup in addition to applicable hardware such as our Red/Green Boxes and dedicated network security. 
The iMFLUX technology on a Milacron injection moulding machine provides real-time adjustment for mould and material changes. Consumer packaged goods giant Procter & Gamble developed iMFLUX in 2013, and now operates as a wholly owned P&G subsidiary.  The technology enables filing a mould at a lower, defined melt-pressure profile, allowing a variable filling rate that adapts automatically to the part geometry. Using iMFLUX, moulders can increase productivity by up to 50% on existing injection moulding machines. The process is ideal for most moulding applications, but is especially advantageous for wide specification materials, recycled materials, and can help a biomaterial work for many more applications, which continue to be an increasing sustainability focus for molders and brand owners. 
High-speed and compact
Another interesting launch at the Fakuma is the all-electric high-speed IntElect S machine by Sumitomo (SHI) Demag. The launch of the compact high-speed version of the IntElect S also marks the beginning of a new era for the injection moulding machinery manufacturer. The machine features improved motor design and a host of other new features that meet the demands in the thin-wall packaging sector.  
In the high-speed segment up to 1,800 kN both standard and high-speed machines will now run with all-electric drive technology. According to SHI Demag CEO Gerd Liebig, the company’s experience with 60,000 all-electric machines delivered company-wide has shown that it was time for a step ahead. Thus, SHI Demag’s in-house drive technology has advanced to a level that delivers not only fast cycle times and unparalleled process stability but also guarantees maximum energy efficiency.
The high-speed, all-electric IntElect S injection moulding machines are available with clamping forces between 500 kN and 1,800 kN and with injection speeds between 350 and 500 mm/s. They are specially built for high-speed applications with cycle times between 3 and 10 seconds. With its optimised configuration of motors and drives, this model outperforms standard IntElect machines in terms of mould movements, injection and metering speeds and ejector movements, which translates into significantly reduced cycle times. IntElect S was first demonstrated with in its medical package version where SHI Demag demonstrated for the first time an IntElect S 130/520-450 with a package of options specially developed for medical engineering requirements, ensuring a clean production environment (Good Manufacturing Practice).
The high-speed IntElect S machine by Sumitomo (SHI) Demag 
The 32-cavity pipette application focuses on quality assurance, traceability and supports customers with their product validation. For this system, manufacturer Waldorf Technik of Engen/Germany supplied its VarioTip solution, one of the most compact automation systems with 100% camera inspection for sorting pipettes according to cavities into the corresponding racks. The system is equipped with a Max Petek laminar flow hood and connected to a master computer from bfa solutions, which ensures the perfect traceability of process data as well as monitoring changes to the set machine data. The machine design with minimal surface areas and encapsulated mould space and SHI Demag expertise in the all-electric segment are the recipe for success in the medical engineering applications, according to Pietro Scattarreggia, Director Business Development Electronics & Medical at SHI Demag. 
The special solution that was tailored to the NC5 control and delivers real-time visualisation, and traceability guarantees maximum product safety for the system. Not only does the solution provide a better overview of the process, it also facilitates the normally very complex documentation tasks for quality management and assurance. The customer benefits from a significantly more convenient validation process that prevents uncontrolled external process interferences.
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