Beltless direct-drive electric machines and upgraded electric/hydraulic hybrids were introduced at the 20th Fakuma trade exhibition in Friedrichshafen, Germany, last month. Energy-saving hardware and software features were a particular attraction on hybrid and fully hydraulic models.
Arburg expanded its all-electric toggle press line with new models on the low and high end of the size range. It rolled out the smallest model in its electric Alldrive line, the 38.5-ton Allrounder 270 A with shot capacity of 1.4 oz and 270 x 270 mm (10.6 x 10.6 in.) tiebar spacing. In a molding demonstration of a polycarbonate optical diffractive waveguide, Arburg integrated all of the peripherals into its Selogica control, including the Multilift H robot, resin dryer, dry-air materials conveying, and hot-water controller.
Arburg also introduced its largest electric model, the 352-ton Allrounder 720 A with 28.4 x 28.4 in. between tiebars. The machine made its first North American appearance at the June NPE show in Chicago, but at Fakuma it featured a brand-new 29.1-oz injection unit supplementing the 15.3-oz unit previously available.
Wittmann Battenfeld chose Fakuma for the debut of its EcoPower all-electric toggle series with clamping forces from 55 to 300 tons. The first size being made is the 110-ton EcoPower 110/350. The company is developing more new press lines, including a large two-platen MacroPower line that will start with an 880-tonner, to be followed by models from 550 to 1100 tons. The company is also developing MacroPower hybrid models and MicroPower 6- and 16.5-ton electric presses.
The modular EcoPower line features belt-less injection and direct-drive clamping, suitable for cleanrooms. These machines will replace the EM line. EcoPower comes in two versions—an all-electric design and a model with a servo-hydraulic ejector and nozzle stroke and optional hydraulic core pull.
The electric injection unit attains speeds up to 200 mm/sec at max. pressure, with options for 400 mm/sec and higher. Faster control response allows for 1.5-sec dry cycle, compared with 1.8 sec for the previous EM line. The unit operates with the Unilog B6 controller. Other features include a compact footprint and ability to house the temperature controllers and resin dryers within the machine frame. A size 350 injection unit with a standard screw can now provide 30% higher holding pressure without a time limit, so it can mold large, thick parts with long hold times.
New from Engel is the E-motion T all-electric toggle press in a 110-ton size. Models range up to 550 tons and injection speeds up to 500 mm/sec at pressures up to 40,600 psi. The 110-ton model at the show produced 32 pipette tips from PP in 6 sec.
Fanuc (represented in the U.S. by Milacron) showed a way to reduce peak power demand with its electric Roboshot machines. One way to trim peak demand (and thus utility bills) is to lengthen the time to start up the machine, heating components more slowly at lower power consumption. A Roboshot S-2000i-100B usually takes 33 min at 22.6 kw to heat its nozzle and cylinder to 536 F. By extending heat-up time to 75 min, power consumption can be lowered to 10.3 kw. Fanuc’s controller provides a screen that indicates actual power consumed and regenerated power from brake systems.
Sumitomo Demag will complete the regrouping of its all-electric, hybrid, and hydraulic presses into its new platform strategy by 2010, when the models will divide into “Smart” and “Performance” categories. The company also has integrated the former DPG IntElect machines with Sumitomo’s all-electric drive technology. A new IntElect 160/520-680 Smart model at the show featured Sumitomo direct drive. The Smart line uses air-cooled drives, while the IntElect Performance uses water-cooled direct drives suitable for clean rooms.
KraussMaffei brought out new Ultra injection units for thin-wall applications for its electric EX-series. With up to 600 mm/sec injection speed, an EX160-750 produced IML containers with a wall thickness of 0.5 mm and flow-length to wall-thickness ratio of 300:1 in a 3.8-sec cycle.
Fakuma was the first trade-show appearance of Arburg’s new Allrounder H “Hidrive” series that combines servo-electric and hydraulic movements to achieve high performance plus energy efficiency. Offered from 66 to 352 tons, Hidrive is suited to shorter cycles. It has hydraulic injection units from the Allrounder S Advance line, coupled with an accumulator and a servo-electric screw drive for plastication. The servo-electric toggle clamp comes from the Allrounder A series. The machine reportedly delivers energy savings up to 40%.
Ferromatik Milacron rolled out its new Vitesse line of high-speed hybrid machines for high-volume applications. Vitesse is a further development of the Cap-Tec and Cap-Tec XL lines and is said to encompass the complete application range of both lines. The accumulator-equipped press has electric screw drive that permits parallel or overlapping functions. Standard features include Ferromatik’s GreenLine Package of hardware and software designed to improve energy consumption in production of thin-wall parts made in multi-cavity molds. GreenLine manages the hydraulic accumulator to fill only to the required level, thereby using the minimum pump capacity, and avoids parallel movements when not needed. The hydraulic pump has a high-efficiency motor, and the process-monitoring software measures electric power consumption and generates reports on energy efficiency. The units of 220 to 550 tons come with a three-platen clamp and MeltStar Plus screw. A Vitesse 300 at the show molded a 185-g, 5.7-liter PP pail with in-mold labeling in 9.9 sec.
Engel redesigned its Victory 160 tiebarless hydraulic press to replace the former 150-metric-ton model, giving users 10 metric tons of extra clamp force at the same price. The company now offers its EcoDrive package of energy-saving hardware and software on all its hydraulic models. The Ecodrive hybrid injection technology features a servo-driven hydraulic pump and electric screw drive to trim energy consumption 45% to 60%. It also provides integrated hydraulics for core pulls, valve gates, mold-mounting systems, etc.
Engel also showed its new Duo pico series of mid-sized, compact, two-platen hydraulics equipped with Ecodrive. The line made its North American debut at this year’s NPE in Chicago.
Giving customers a competitive edge through energy savings is the strategy behind KraussMaffei’s BluePower concept that optimizes hydraulic drive technology, heat generation, and processing. BluePower is offered as a retrofit to all KM hydraulic and hybrid presses.. The company conducts an energy analysis of the press and process, then suggests improvements such as are standard on machines with electric drives: servo-drive pumps (with a new motor that reportedly cuts energy use by 50%), KM’s Ecopac insulating barrel sleeve and Economizer dynamic reactive power compensation, or conversion to a hybrid unit with electric injection and/or ejector. Another possibility is KM’s HPS-M low-shear screw that reportedly improves mixing and reduces color masterbatch requirements up to 50%