INJECTION MOLDING: New High-Speed Hybrid Machine And Novel Robot at NPE

Look for everything from automotive hybrid composites to medical in-mold assembly.

Two of the stars of Engel’s booth at NPE2015 next month in Orlando will be a new high-speed hybrid press and a new servo robot of unusual and highly compact design. Engel North America, York, Pa., will make the U.S. introduction of the e-speed hybrid press (pictured) first launched at K 2013 in Dusseldorf. It has an electric screw and toggle clamp and accumulator-assisted hydraulic injection.

Special features include its novel drive system with a flywheel energy-storage mechanism below the clamp. It stores the braking energy and releases it when needed to accelerate the clamp. Also, the particularly long opening stroke accommodates large stack molds. A 720-metric-ton e-speed model at NPE will run a 4+4 cavity mold from StackTeck, Brampton, Ont., producing 1.5-liter containers. High-speed robotics from CBW Automation, Fort Collins, Colo., allows for demolding in just 0.5 sec.

Also new to the U.S. at NPE will be the Engel e-pic servo robot (photo), introduced at Fakuma 2014 in Germany (see December Close Up). It combines linear movements with a swivel arm in what’s said to be an economical, fast, and particularly space-saving design.

Engel’s extensive exhibit will also include the following:
• A cell demonstrating lightweight composite molding of a brake pedal (also shown at K 2013). It will use a vertical press and six-axis robot to preheat and preform carbon-fiber/nylon fabric and overmold it with more nylon to produce a net-shape part.

• Smooth-surface foam molding will be shown by combining the MuCell microcellular process with variotherm mold-temperature cycling using Roctool technology.

• A medical molding cell (also run at K 2013) using a three-component machine with cleanroom design will produce ABS/PP drip chambers with an inserted filter for blood transfusions. A second medical cell will perform cleanroom production of needle holders for insulin pens in 96 cavities with mold cores as thin as 0.3 mm diam. The all-electric e-motion machine has a direct-drive injection unit capable of up to 500 m/sec for a cycle time around 3.5 sec. The cell features cavity-specific parts handling and camera inspection.

• Two all-electric Engel e-mac presses will mold double-ended wrenches in four cavities. One press will mold the wrench bodies in carbon-fiber-reinforced nylon, and an Engel viper linear robot will transfer the parts to the second press to be overmolded with an LSR grip.

• A vertical rotary press will insert-mold connector housings using a six-axis robot to place four sets of metal pins in the mold.

• A special highlight will be a new customer portal that will be presented for the first time worldwide. The new app lets customers make service requests and order spare parts even more easily and quickly than before. Customers can also track the status of a service request and can also use the app to monitor the status and availability of all their machines.

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