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Injection molding.

LOW-COST & COMPACT TOGGLE MACHINES

Among the new toggle-clamp machines, HPM Corp., Mt. Gilead, Ohio, rolled out its aggressively priced Universal Series in 60 to 560 tons. Assembled partly in Hong Kong, they have HPM screws, Xaloy barrels, and HPM Command 4000 controls. Pricing is said to be 25% less than some popular domestic competitors, and delivery is quoted at one to two weeks. These models come loaded with extra options and a new five-point toggle with longer stroke than earlier HPM four-point toggles.

Battenfeld introduced its new "T Model" toggle to North America. Available in 110 tons, it takes up about 30% less floor space than a comparable CDC model. Unilog 2040 controller provides proportional closed-loop control of all speeds.

Engel showed a smaller base design for its five-point double-toggle machine in a 600-ton model, the ES 4550/600.

SPEEDY NEW PRESSES

Nissei introduced a faster-than-ever version of its Ultra high-speed machines. The 154-ton Ultra model at the show injects at 1500 mm/sec, up from 1000 mm/sec before.

Husky Injection Molding Systems of Bolton, Ont., rolled out its first G-Series two-stage packaging machines. Available from 330 to 825 tons, they offer injection capacities from 1000 to 3000 cc and injection pressures up to 31,900 psi. Also new is a slanted barrel head (see photo, p. 31) designed to ease the transfer of the melt into the shooting pot.

The ISG Series of high-speed machines from Toshiba Machine Co., America, Elk Grove Village, Ill., has acquired new smaller sizes of 90, 120, 150, 190, and 250 tons. The range previously went from 310 to 950 tons.

Toshiba also demonstrated a prototype of the ISGN 150, which has larger tiebar spacing, platen size, clamp stroke, and ejector stroke.

Sandretto Plastics Machinery, Inc., Middleburg Heights, Ohio, brought its Mach III machine to the U.S. market in 125-420 tons. This compact, accumulator-type, twin-ram machine injects at 39.4 in./sec while the clamp moves at 69 in./sec and the ejectors at 25.6 in./sec. All pressures and speeds are closed-loop controlled and the machine runs off two Vickers variable-volume pumps. At the show, a 220-ton Mach III produced a PP pedestal-type yogurt cup with 0.018-in.-thick wall in a four-cavity mold with 4-sec cycle.

Arburg Inc. of Newington, Conn., showed its 220-ton packaging machine, the 520V-2000. It's an accumulator version of Arburg's biggest machine (520M-2000) and reportedly can fill a two-cavity mold with 60 g of PP in a total cycle time of 4 sec. Both versions embody the modular approach found on Arburg's smaller machines - such as plug-in screws and barrels and options for specialty molding applications.

MORE CHOICE IN SMALL PRESSES

It looks like small machine-buyers will soon have another nameplate to choose from. Husky announced that it will start building a line of small injection machines in a portion of the new components plant under construction in Bolton, Ont.

Husky also has built its first thermoset machine but would not release any further details.

Arburg showed a 28-ton model in its latest line of modular machines: the S Series has an electronically actuated universal (horizontal/vertical) clamping option.

Boston Matthews of Springboro, Ohio, showed its recently introduced 35-ton toggle machine, the BM-35 B, for the first time in the U.S. It has Barber-Colman MACO 4000 controls.

TIEBARLESS MODELS MULTIPLY

More tiebarless machines than ever were in evidence at the show, each one taking a different path to compensate for frame deflection.

Engel, which claims to have put more than 6000 such machines into the field, has revamped its tiebarless line with a flexible clamp linkage. Called "Flex Link," it has no moving parts and replaces the universal-joint arrangement Engel used in past.

HPM showed its revamped version of the tiebarless technology it acquired when it bought Germany's Hemscheidt. Renamed the "Access Machine," it features an FEA-designed "deflection slot" in its C-frame. The slot lets the frame flex as clamp force is applied, leaving the platens parallel. HPM president Neil Kadisha offers a guarantee on platen parallelism. Access is available in sizes from 60-275 tons.

And Cincinnati Milacron Plastics Machinery Group, Batavia, Ohio, came out with its own "open" tiebarless design. "Prowler" machines, available right now only in 100 tons, use twin short-stroke hydraulic cylinders in the machine base to counteract deflection pressure.

VERTICAL MACHINES

Trueblood, Columbus, Ohio, introduced a triple-injector insert molder with eight-station rotary table and Barber-Colman MACO 4500 controls. Each of the 48-oz injection units operates independently and can handle up to 18,000 psi injection pressures. Trueblood also had a new four-tiebar vertical-clamp/horizontal-injection insert molder on hand.

Nissei introduced its latest vertical insert press to the U.S. at NPE. Shown in 110 tons, the machine now has three tiebars, versus four in earlier models. This change has let Nissei increase the diameter of the machine's rotary table by 30%. Also, Nissei upgraded the table's hydraulics to allow 20% faster rotation and variable braking control.

Engel introduced the 60-ton vertical tiebarless model ES 160/60 for rubber insert molding.

ELECTRIC/HYDRAULIC HYBRIDS

There was news at the show in "hybrid" machines, which have hydraulic clamps and electric screw drives. Van Dorn Demag Corp., Strongsville Ohio, rolled out the HTE Series, a hybrid version of its HT machines. Available from 85 to 650 tons, the HTE pairs an electric screw drive and variable-volume pump for energy savings, noise reduction, and ability for simultaneous damping and plastication. Van Dorn Demag also announced a technology partnership with Rockwell Automation, which will supply the latest Reliance Electric motors and drives for Van Dorn's HTE Series.

Sandretto showed a 550-ton Mega TE F hybrid with accumulator-assisted injection for up to 2.5 times faster mold filling than the standard Mega T machine. Accumulator-assisted clamping also helps mold thin-wall packaging. Utilizing overlapping clamping and plastication, the machine at the show molded 12-oz HDPE containers with 0.023-in. wall section in a 16-cavity stack mold on a 7-sec cycle.

TWO-COMPONENT MOLDING

Battenfeld demonstrated a combination of two different multi-material technologies. The system produced an automotive door bezel composed of coinjected TPE skins and rigid core, plus an identifying logo molded in a second TPE material through the company's Combiform process, which combines a second material in the mold. Based on a 220-ton BM Series coinjection machine with a third injector mounted vertically, the system featured a revamped multi-material nozzle. This nozzle, new to North America, not only performs traditional coinjection but can be adapted to handle two-material molding into different cavities, as well as pulsed injection molding.

Netstal Machinery Inc., Devens, Mass., performed two-component molding at the show, producing a PP-and-elastomer automotive switch on its new 88-ton Synergy two-component machine.

Cincinnati Milacron displayed a new 500-ton modular coinjection machine, the Vista Magna 500. Its injection manifold permits both simultaneous injection into the same cavity (coinjection) or injection into separate cavities (for example, all core material, all skin material).

A 132-ton two-component machine from Nissei makes use of a new two-piston clamp arrangement.

New coinjection controls were rolled out by Rockwell Automation/Allen-Bradley, Mayfield Heights, Ohio. Available as an option on the Proset 700 control system, this "COINJ" software enables Proset to control two injection units.

GET READY FOR SMART CARDS

These thin, chip-carrying cards promise to be a growth area for molders in the U.S. as well as abroad. At NPE, Netstal showed an integrated smart-card system from Sempac SA of Switzerland. Built around Netstal's Synergy 99-ton machine with a four-cavity mold, the system features in-mold labeling and automated chip insertion, magazine filling, and parts take out.

Smart Card tools were also shown by Dutch tool maker Axxicon Group, which recently opened offices in Norcross, Ga.

CONTINUOUS MOLDING

The new AutoPak system from continuous-molding specialist Autosplice of San Diego molds small parts onto a PET carrier strip. The system winds the strip of components onto a reel. At the assembly operation, a feeder mechanically separates the component from the carrier strip, keeping it in the proper orientation for assembly.

LIM MOLDING KEEPS COOL

Arburg introduced its water-cooled cold-runner liquid injection molding technology to the U.S. market. This system for liquid silicone rubber (LSR) features a head suitable for direct injection into as many as six cavities Injection for each cavity can be controlled and balanced individually for family-tool applications.

Arburg demonstrated LIM with a two-component pumping system from RJS Precision Products, Inc., Latham, N.Y. The system (which included an auxiliary colorant pump) is said to provide easy maintenance: Changing drums of silicone is said to take less than 2 minutes rather than a couple of hours for other systems.

RELATED ARTICLE: New Controls at NPE

The new MACO Custom 40 controller from Barber-Colman Co.'s Industrial Instruments Div., Loves Park, Ill., is a low-cost, expandable system aimed at small injection machines. It has a nine-slot card rack (versus 12 slots for the MACO Custom 4000) and is said to be cost-competitive with small general-purpose PLCs.

This total machine controller includes adaptive autotuning temperature control for six or 12 zones and displays or prints SPC calculations and charts. It supports either open- or closed-loop control, including Barber-Colman's new Impact system, and is compatible with OPtima, Lite, or Lumitech flat-panel operator stations.

Solid Controls Inc., Hopkins, Minn., introduced the Scoremaster '97 control system, which is based on QNX, a type of Unix. Available as a retrofit, the system boasts a 10.4-in. color touchscreen interface. Features include open- or closed-loop control of injection speeds and pressures, profiling capabilities, PID or proportional autotuning temperature control, SPC, production monitoring; and storage of up to 140 mold set-ups.

SCI also announced that it has formed an alliance with the Reed Div. of Package Machinery Corp., Somersville, Conn., to upgrade controls on old Reed injection machines.

Rockwell Automation/Allen-Bradley, Mayfield Heights, Ohio, introduced a new Proset 200 process-control module for cavity-pressure monitoring Scheduled for availability in October, the module samples every 100 millisec, calculates summary information on the machine cycle, and sounds alarms if necessary. Data can also be exported (via RS-485) to third-party cavity-pressure software for further analysis.

RELATED ARTICLE: Robots Get Faster, Smarter

New high-speed robots, programming improvements, and low-cost sprue pickers turned up at this year's show. Yushin America, West Warwick, R.I., introduced a super-fast Netliner traverse robot to the U.S. market. Model VN-II EA150S-HS II for high-speed packaging reportedly has a 0.55-sec dry-cycle take-out time. It also features the new E-Touch 11 icon-driven touchscreen controller. This portable control is now available on all Yushin traverse robots.

New controllers were also on display at AEC/Application Automation, Wood Dale, Ill., and its sister company Sterltech Div. of Sterling Inc., Milwaukee. Both firms introduced Bosch Rho 3 Servo CNC controls on their top-of-the line robots. The extra processing power of this high-speed controller (with handheld pendant) allows for more operator-interface graphics and the ability to run more complex sequences with up to 18 axes, such as for stacking and palletizing.

Both firms also introduced new controls with handheld pendants that reportedly bring the programming functionality of CNC, controlled servo robots to their less costly frequency-drive models. AEC's PC Servo and Sterltech's STS controller store over 100 sequences and have floppy-disc drives for additional storage.

Engel Canada, Guelph, Ont., showed a servo-driven side-entry robot, the ERSE-21, with a 486-PC controller card. It handles payloads up to 10 lb at a reported positioning accuracy of 0.004 in. and acceleration of up to 49 ft/[sec.sup.2]. Programming is via either PC or the unit's handheld touchpad controller.

Mark 2 Automation of Germantown, Wis., introduced the ELC2 Series of pneumatic traverse robots with stroke length increased to 40 in., making them suitable for presses up to about 300 tons.

Conair Group, Pittsburgh, has new high-speed robots with reported takeout times of 0.6 sec. The new PIP 3021BZ three-axis servo robot from Sepro covers presses of 200-350 tons. And the new PIP 3440 side-entry robot for thin-wall packaging is reportedly suited to overall molding cycles of 4-6 sec.

In sprue pickers, Conair showed the new low-cost MX Series made in Taiwan. With prices starting at $4600 for a model with 21.7-in. stroke, they have a telescoping cylinder to accommodate low ceilings.
COPYRIGHT 1997 Gardner Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:NPE '97; includes related articles on controllers and robots
Author:Ogando, Joseph
Publication:Plastics Technology
Date:Aug 1, 1997
Words:2037
Previous Article:New acrylic sheet is black by day, white by night.
Next Article:Extrusion.
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