The griffin of ancient mythology was said to combine features of two noble animals—lion and eagle. Injection-machine designers in Japan and Germany could have been inspired by that mythical beast when they created a mechanical cross-breed of a hydraulic and a servo-electric clamp. Our cover story this month discusses the real-world offspring of their impulse to join the best properties of hy draulic and all-electric machines without the disadvantages of either. In doing so, they revived an age-old argument and gave it new relevance.
After half a century, machine builders are still debating the merits of toggles vs. fully hydraulic clamps. The main case for hybrids over all-electric presses (besides somewhat lower cost) is that they don’t have a toggle. This should please molders who are torn between their allegiance to fully hydraulic clamps and the desire for the “latest and greatest” all-electric machines. Those who have avoided hydraulics because they consider them slower and messier than toggles, may find that hybrids eliminate both objections.
Molders’ lack of familiarity with the new machines was one of the problems Senior Editor Mikell Knights faced in researching his article. There aren’t many hybrid presses yet in North America, and even fewer molders who feel comfortable comparing them with other machines. Mikell also encountered confusion about the word “hybrid.” Until now, it simply meant putting an electric-driven screw on an otherwise conventional machine. But Mikell is talking about hybrid clamping mechanisms. These are something entirely new for processors and OEMs to argue about.