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If you can afford fully automatic QMC....

Molds don't change themselves, but a few systems come pretty close. Even their suppliers admit that these high-end systems are not for every molder because of their cost. But what they lack in universal appeal, they make up for in speed and ease of use.

Husky Injection Molding Systems, in conjunction with Demag Material Handling, can now offer a unique "smart crane," system that promises to make mold changes a real hands-off proposition. The system incorporates Staubli or other hydraulic QMC clamps and molds with backing plates that slide into hydraulic locking frames on the platens. The other key component is a programmable mold crane jointly developed by Husky and Mannesmann Demag Fordertechnik.

What's especially new here is the end-of-crane tooling [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED], which grabs hold of the mold backing plates. For extra stability and speed when lowering molds, three steel ropes support the grabbing mechanism to minimize swinging.

This "smart crane" will form the backbone of an integrated QMC system that will grab molds from a storage rack, put them in a preheat station, and finally transfer them to the waiting machine - all under computer control. Since the Husky/Demag system has not yet been installed anywhere, it's too soon to say just how fast it will be. And Husky won't say how much it will cost.

Other high-end systems are already out there in the marketplace, serving a constituency of mostly automotive molders. For example, Incoe Corp. has supplied sophisticated systems to the likes of Ford Motor Co. Loading from a mold cart or crane, these hydraulic systems let molders lock a back-plated mold in place at the touch of a button. Similar systems come from Kosmek and Airfloat Systems - as well as from many injection machinery OEMs. Arburg, to take one example, reports selling QMC systems with about 15% of its turnkey injection molding systems.
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Title Annotation:quick-mold-change systems
Publication:Plastics Technology
Date:Apr 1, 1995
Previous Article:Quick mold changing; you can keep it simple.
Next Article:How to injection mold metallocene polyolefins.

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