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Want a Machine with Everything?

By: Matthew H. Naitove 17. June 2014

You may have heard the one about what the guru told the hot-dog vendor: “Make me one with everything.” That seems to be what a French molder of cosmetics packaging had in mind when it ordered an injection machine for development projects. “We envisioned a single machine that could map all of our requirements,” said Fabrice Baraviglio, president of Groupe Texen, one of the largest global manufacturers of packaging and screw caps for cosmetics and perfume. For the company’s new Texen Lab innovation center, it ordered a 160-metric-ton. CX hybrid press from KraussMaffei in Germany (U.S. office in Florence, Ky.).

 

The machine has two electrically driven injection units for multi-component sandwich molding and hydraulic two-platen clamp that can handle indexing molds. Both injection units are equipped for MuCell physical microcellular foaming, plus interfaces for gas-assist and liquid silicone rubber (LSR) molding. The control unit is programmed for various processes such as in-mold decoration, in-mold coating/painting (KM’s SkinForm, ColorForm, and CoverForm processes), as well as textile back molding (DecoForm). The machine also comes with KM’s Dynamic Mold Heating (DMH) system for rapid heat-cool molding to provide smooth aesthetic surfaces.

Conference Presents Process Technologies for TP Composites in Automotive

By: Matthew H. Naitove 20. May 2014

Thermoplastic composites represent a new class of structural parts for automotive and a new opportunity for injection and compression molders. Machinery systems are still evolving, but the latest advances in automation, speed, energy efficiency, and materials efficiency will be presented at the first-ever Thermoplastic Composites Conference for Automotive next month in Novi, Mich.

 

Organized by the editors of Plastics Technology and sister publications Composites Technology, High-Performance Composites, and Automotive Design and Production, this event will present 17 speakers in a day and a half of technical presentations, co-located with the amerimold 2014 expo, also sponsored by Gardner Business Media, parent of Plastics Technology. The conference will comprise four sessions on Materials and Applications, Machinery Systems, Processes, and Long-Fiber Thermoplastic Composites. Last Thursday’s blog by Senior Editor Lilli Sherman previewed Session I on Materials and Applications. Yesterday, I described Session II on Machinery Systems for Automotive TP Composites. Today, I’ll give you a quick look at Session III on Processes for TP Composites. Tomorrow, Lilli will follow up with Session IV on Continuous Unidirectional & Chopped Long-Fiber TP Composites for Automotive.

 

In Session III, you’ll learn about developments in computer simulation for injection molding TP composites, induction heating of injection molds for fast cycles in TP composite overmolding, and layup of thermoplastic continuous-fiber tows and tapes:

 

“Automotive Composites and Simulation: An Overview” by Jeff Higgins, Moldflow technical specialist, Autodesk Inc. He’ll discuss simulation of short, long, and continuous fiber composites.

 

“Overmolding Plastic on CFRP Molded Inserts: Induction Heating Makes It Possible,” by Mathieu Boulanger, business development director, Roctool. He’ll discuss advanced hot/cold mold-temperature cycling for high-speed production of continuous-fiber TP composites.

 

“High quality thermoplastic composites for injection over molding and metal replacement” by Bob Davies, CEO, Fibrtec Inc. This maker of flexible thermoplastic continuous prepreg tows and unidirectional tapes will present an introduction to hybrid preforming using fabrics, Uni-Tape, and tailored fiber placement, as well as rapid consolidation methods.

 

For more details on the conference, visit here. For details on the amerimold show and conference, visit here.

Conference Presents Machinery Systems for Thermoplastic Composites in Automotive

By: Matthew H. Naitove 19. May 2014

Thermoplastic composites represent a new class of structural parts for automotive and a new opportunity for injection and compression molders. Machinery systems are still evolving, but the latest advances in automation, speed, energy efficiency, and materials efficiency will be presented at the first-ever Thermoplastic Composites Conference for Automotive next month in Novi, Mich.


Organized by the editors of Plastics Technology and sister publications Composites Technology, High-Performance Composites, and Automotive Design and Production, this event will present 17 speakers in a day and a half of technical presentations, co-located with the amerimold 2014 expo, also sponsored by Gardner Business Media, parent of Plastics Technology. The conference will comprise four sessions on Materials and Applications, Machinery Systems, Processes, and Long-Fiber Thermoplastic Composites. Thursday's blog by Senior Editor Lilli Sherman previewed Session I on Materials and Applications. Today, I’ll give you a quick look at Session II on Machinery Systems.


Three injection machinery suppliers that have pioneered this new area of technology will discuss their latest developments, along with a major controls supplier developing sensors for this application:


“Integrating Injection Molding with Organic Sheet” by Stephen Beasley, regional sales manager for automotive, KraussMaffei Corp., will discuss complete integration of automation, turnkey solutions, and what’s next in this field.


“Thermoplastic RTM—Challenges and Opportunities” by Peter Egger, director of the Center for Lightweight Composite Technologies, Engel Austria, will present the latest developments in systems for reactive molding and in-situ polymerization of nylon 6 from caprolactam.


“Hybrid Components: Combining Long-Fiber Direct Injection Molding with Organic Sheets and Automated Insert Molding Using Turnkey Systems” by John Ward, v.p. of sales and marketing, Arburg Inc., will describe systems that overmold organic sheets with long-fiber compounds produced by chopping continuous-fiber rovings at the injection barrel.


“Sensing Technology for Thermoplastic Composites Injection Molding” by Paul Lagonegro, application manager-plastics, Kistler Instrument Co., will discuss pressure sensors tailored for the special needs of this process and the benefits they can offer.


Stay tuned for previews of Sessions III and IV in the next two days. For details on the conference, visit here. For details on the amerimold show and conference, visit here.

A Couple of Interesting Tidbits from Arburg’s Technology Days

By: Matthew H. Naitove 25. April 2014

Among the numerous machine demonstrations at Arburg’s annual Technology Days open house at its German headquarters in late March was one that struck me as a bit unusual. It was a two-component application running on an all-electric Allrounder 520A. The mold produced four lenses with a thickness of 25 mm in only 55 sec. The interesting part is that the mold rotated in increments of 45° (instead of the more typical 90° or 180°) with injection. Cooling, and part removal occurring simultaneously at the eight stations.

 Another interesting detail was the introduction of new maintenance packages that contain, for example, lubricants and tools required for specific Arburg machines. (U.S. office is in Newington, Conn.)

HRSflow to Start U.S. Hot-Runner Production

By: Matthew H. Naitove 24. April 2014

Italian hot-runner supplier HRSflow (offices in Greenville, S.C., and Windsor, Ont.) plans to open its first North American production facility in Grand Rapids, Mich., in the first half of next year. The company presently manufacturers in China and Italy. HRSflow is a division of Italian molder and moldmaker INglass Group S.p.a. At the K 2013 show, HRSflow introduced its FlexFlow electrically actuated valve-gate system with independent servo control of speed, force, and position for each valve pin (see news report in Feb.). Besides hot runners, it also supplies custom laser-sintered metal mold inserts with built-in conformal cooling channels.




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