A new “Zero-Molding” system of software and components is said to improve injection and clamping functions and machine setup, with the aim of reducing part defects and productivity loss. It was introduced at the recent International Plastics Fair in Japan by Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd., represented here by Sumitomo (SHI) Plastics-Machinery America LLC, Norcross, Ga. Zero-Molding reportedly can help molders produce larger or more difficult-to-mold parts on much smaller presses with less stress and improved part properties. The concept utilizes new Flow Front Control (FFC) software that delivers high-precision screw motion and positioning during injection. It also is said to enable complete mold filling at low pressures. This approach is combined with a new Minimum Clamp Force Molding (MCM) system that determines the least clamp force required for an application without flashing. Use of lower tonnage means less part stress and machine/mold maintenance. The last aspect of Zero Molding is Simple Process Setup (SPS), which lets a molder input a selection of settings for mold installation, processing, mold protection, and purging on one screen. Having all these parameters on one screen is said to reduce setup time by 68%. The Zero Molding package is standard on Sumitomo’s all-electric SE-DUZ, SE-DUHPZ, SE-HSZ, SE-HDZ, and CL- models. At the IPF show, Sumitomo applied the MCM clamping technology on a CL7000 press (610 tons) with a larger-than-normal injection unit to produce a 1500-g PC tray (photo) measuring 45 x 56 x 3 cm in an 87-sec cycle. This part is typically produced on an 850-tonner. The company is planning to develop a new CL9000 model with a 715-ton clamp but ability to handle applications suited for a 990 tonner. Sumitomo also unveiled a small, ultra-high-precision machine that uses a special linear electromagnetic clamp to prevent breakage of thin cores and pins. Clamp positioning of the new 12-ton ML200 reportedly is accurate to 2 microns. The press has a new optional SL screw for lower shear molding, and a high-acceleration injection unit that delivers speeds up to 500 mm/sec. High precision optics is the target market.