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Injection machinery and software highlight Chicago fair.

Injection Machinery and Software Highlight Chicago Fair

New and improved injection molding machinery, software, and auxiliary equipment constituted much of the news at the recent Plastics Fair in Chicago. These included four new press introductions for thermoplastics and one for thermoset polyester BMC, new controls and SPC systems, a mold-change scheduler, new robots, a mold-venting system, QMC components, and other auxiliaries.


Toggle injection machines were introduced by four suppliers. As reported last month (p. 125), Cincinnati Milacron's U.S. Plastics Machinery Div., Batavia, Ohio, introduced an upgraded series of ACT D all-electric machines with a number of new and improved features. (CIRCLE 41) Also reported last month (p. 129), were initial details on the introduction by Toyomenka (America), Inc., Buffalo Grove, Ill., of the Kawaguchi KM Series toggle-clamp machines in eight sizes from 140 to 650 tons. More information is now available: The toggles have been turned 90[degrees] for easier access to the knockout plate; platens are 30% larger than before; and tiebar spacing is now square rather than rectangular. Dual variable-volume pumps reportedly provide 30-40% energy savings over the older machines. Control enhancements include capability to continuously print SPC reports. (CIRCLE 42)

New injection molding machines with greaseless bushings on both toggles and tiebars are available from Japan Steel Works, Bell, Calif. The JE Series are available in six sizes from 33 to 500 tons. The toggle mechanism is maintained through a central piping system that supplies grease every 500,000 shots. Three levels of control, including both panel-type and CRT-based, are available. Distance between tiebars ranges from 12.2 x 12.2 in. on the 33-tonner, to 31.9 x 31.9 in. on the 500-tonner. (CIRCLE 43)

A 55-ton "molder-friendly" toggle injection machine was introduced by Engel Canada, Guelph, Ontario. It features a space-saving swing-out control panel designed to allow an unimpaired view of machine settings from the clamp position. The control panel swings or slides away without having to be removed, making service and maintenance access easier. Other features include three selectable clamp opening and closing speeds; ultra-sensitive mold protection; 10-step injection-speed and holding-pressure profiling; variable-displacement pump with automatic pressure and flow compensation; and compact, proportional hydraulic system. (CIRCLE 44)


Hull Corp., Hatboro, Pa., introduced a 600-ton injection machine for polyester BMC and other thermosets. Model 110-600P has an hydraulic clamp offering 30-in. stroke and 60-in. max. daylight. Closing and opening strokes offer automatic deceleration to prolong mold and ejector pin life. Usable platen area is 37 x 55 in. Standard shot size is 289 cu in. Injection rate for BMC can be up to 120 cu in./sec. Sources say the large shot size and plasticating rate is the result of a high barrel L/D ratio, multizone barrel heating, and long injection stroke. A breathe cycle is provided. (CIRCLE 45)


New software for SPC that runs on IBM-compatible personal computers is available for users of injection machines from HPM Corp., Mount Gilead, Ohio. The proprietary ComDat package interfaces with HPM's Command 90 and Command III controls. One ComDat package can monitor up to eight HPM machines through a single CRT. Additional computers using ComDat SPC can be tied in when more than eight machines are monitored. Options reportedly monitor up to 40 process parameters. Sources say the system is easy to custom-configure by the user. Features include: SPC data plots (X-bar and R charting), uploading and downloading of machine setpoints, data storage on disk or tape, downtime and alarm reports. Users can also add functions to the system. (CIRCLE 46)

Solid Controls, Inc., Hopkins, Minn., introduced the Scoremaster EL injection monitoring and control system, whose flexibility reportedly allows it to be tailored to almost any injection application. It's available in eight models, starting with the Model 100, providing only temperature control and basic machine sequence control; at the high-end, the Model 220 also provides closed-loop process control, linear positioning of injection cylinder, clamp and ejectors, and optional closed-loop hydraulic pressure or flow control, SPC, production monitoring, and many other features. Models are upgradable from one level to another as molders' needs change over time. (CIRCLE 47)

Also exhibited at the show was a retrofit control system available from injection machinery remanufacturer Epco Div. of John Brown Plastics Machinery Co., Fremont, Ohio. The Epco E-1000 is said to be suitable for most injection machines with relay or obsolete solid-state controls. It's based on Allen-Bradley's recently introduced Pro Set 500 control system (see PT, May '89, p. 77), which Epco has enhanced, providing it with built-in machine diagnostics.

The E-1000 is said to make any machine easy to set up and troubleshoot, while standard sequencing software allows molders to standardize nearly all makes of machinery. Sequencing software functions include mode indicators, malfunction indicator, dry-cycle selection, 1/16-DIN timers and counters, multistroke ejectors on presses equipped with hydraulic ejectors and 16 core-pull sequences on presses equipped with hydraulic core pulls. Optional programmable clamp, injection, and ejector position control is also available. (CIRCLE 48)

A mold-change-alert feature has been added to the Focus-100 injection process and production monitoring system from PlantStar Div. of Syscon International, Inc., South Bend, Ind. Sources say it provides a chronological schedule of pending mold changes, and shows the machine, the time, the mold to be used, and the material which will be needed. Having this information allows management to assure that the necessary material and personnel resources will be available at the time they're needed, according to the company. The system's Mold Change screen automatically updates itself as the job running progresses. (CIRCLE 49)

In addition, Syscon's DACS Div. has a new "entry-level" SPC system that's said to be extremely simple to use. It runs on IBM XT- or AT-compatible PC's, taking data from Syscon's 500-series datalogger, data-acquisition and process-control products, which are used for hot-runner temperature control and other purposes. The new SPC software performs SPC calculations and displays control charts and histograms, which can also be printed out. (CIRCLE 50)


Two parts pickers, one for side entry, the other for top entry, feature a design that reportedly doubles arm speed in half the space. The pickers from Peerless Automation, Bridgeview, Ill., have a three-speed telescoping arm suited to low overheads. The three-speed feature is said to allow smooth slowdown of the arm, both in and out of the mold area. Sources say the unit's other features, including a heavy-duty support frame, zero-tolerance bearings, sequencing controls, and a swivel base, result in a rugged design that virtually eliminates vibration. All motions are controlled by pneumatic circuitry that reportedly allows a wide range of adjustable speeds. (CIRCLE 51)

Ventax Robot, Inc. of Ayr, Ontario, introduced both a new robot and a sprue picker. Its XS1 robot is for injection machines from 80 to 250 tons. It has five axes, is electrically-driven, and has hardened guide rails, hydraulic shock absorbers, unlubricated operation, hard-wired safety interlocks, mounting base, interface cables, interface relay package, and one-button "return home" feature.

The XS1 comes with the Omron C60K programmable controller (PLC) with wall-mountable cabinet, unlimited number of sequence steps, and optional IBM interface package for program documentation and on-line troubleshooting. (CIRCLE 52)

Ventax's sprue picker is for presses up to 400 tons. It also features hardened guides throughout and PLC control. (CIRCLE 53)


An economical, hydraulic quick-mold-change (QMC) clamping system that reportedly doesn't require modification of molds was introduced by Technology Rx, San Fernando, Calif. Hydra-Jaws clamps, coupled with the Hydra-Latch quick-coupling system for attaching knockout bars to the knockout plates, and the use of quick-connect water manifolds, reportedly make JIT-oriented QMC feasible and affordable. Hydra-Jaws has over three years of use on metal punch presses and was recently adapted for use in injection molding. It's adaptable as a retrofit for any standard machine from 50 to 1500 tons, with a variety of mold-clamp options. (CIRCLE 54)

Hull is offering a stand-alone mold venting system similar to the feature incorporated in its thermoset machines. With the P-1020 Vacuum Mold Venting System, typical production molds reportedly can be evacuated from atmospheric pressure to a vacuum of 26 in. Hg or less in seconds. Hull sources say that unlike conventional evacuation methods, the P-1020 system utilizes a vacuum pump, solenoid-actuated valve, and vacuum reservoir with direct, unobstructed vent lines for the most complete vacuum possible. The system vents during the injection process, so cycle time reportedly isn't increased, and may actually be reduced in some instances. The P-1020 is self-contained, with manual or optional semiautomatic controls. It includes a filter system and all necessary piping and electrical controls. Sources say the unit requires only 60 psi air supply and 115-v power, and is fully mobile so it can easily serve different presses. (CIRCLE 55)

The latest accessories from IMS Co., Chagrin Falls, Ohio, include a spiral design feed hopper. Its tapered opening is said to provide more consistent feed without bridging, regardless of whether the resin is virgin or regrind (CIRCLE 56). Also new are air-cooled mold chillers, available in 1, 3, and 5-ton units. Their stainless-steel and copper construction is said to result in less maintenance and a long life (CIRCLE 57). IMS also exhibited redesigned molded part conveyors and separators. Sources say they have molded plastic belts and a pivoting base that enables the units to adjust to an angle ranging from 0 to 40 degrees. (CIRCLE 58)

A new mold-pressure transducer with a stainless-steel body is said to be rugged and reliable. RJG Technologies, Inc., Traverse City, Mich., says the sensor has detachable cables for easy replacement, is hermetically sealed for use in wet environments, and comes in straight or curved configurations. Other features include a universal body design for slide or button-type applications and a modular design for off-the-shelf delivery of custom units. (CIRCLE 79)

Conair Tempro, Elgin, Ill., introduced the tempTrac Series of water temperature controllers, which have two-piece cast construction that replaces all internal piping and reportedly eliminates as many as 40 leak-prone fittings per zone. The new pumps are available from 0.75 to 7.5 hp. Price is $1595. (CIRCLE 80)

Regoplas AG of W. Germany, represented here in the U.S. by Marvel Equipment Corp., Farmington Hills, Mich., introduced the P140 and P141 high-capacity water-temperature controllers for applications up to 285 F. They can run pressurized at above 212 F, or nonpressurized for direct cooling. The unit's centrifugal pump is said to be maintenance-free over a long life. Both units are available with the new RT 40 microprocessor controller, which offers SPI communications capability and can store up to 16 mold programs. (CIRCLE 81)
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Title Annotation:Plastics Fair
Author:Monks, Richard
Publication:Plastics Technology
Date:May 1, 1990
Previous Article:High-ESCR bottle resins may justify processing adjustments.
Next Article:CAD/CAM system is now more powerful, easier to use.

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