TOOLING: News in Hot Runners at K 2016

New 'micro-manifold' among the product introductions.

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At the K 2016 fair in Dusseldorf next month, Ewikon (U.S. office in Rockford, Ill.) will show off one of its highlights of Fakuma 2015, its new “micro-manifold” (shown here) for high-cavitation medical and closure applications (see Jan. ’16 Close Up). The standard main manifold is on one level; each of its drops feeds a balanced micro-manifold on a second level with four screwed-in, heat-conductive tip inserts, each having a flow-channel diameter of 3 mm and a melt seal at the gate. The four gates in the micro-manifold have only one heating circuit, simplifying wiring and control circuitry. The tip inserts can be changed without dismantling the manifold system. This compact design keeps total flow length and pressure drop to a minimum. Ewikon offers complete hot halves with micro-manifolds for 16 to 192 drops with standardized dimensions.

New from Heitec Hot Runner Systems, represented here by Technoject Machinery Corp., Bolton, Ont., is the X-Slim nozzle (photo), which handles larger shot weights than the company’s Slim-Line nozzle, while retaining a small installation bore diameter. The X-Slim boasts the largest ratio of flow-channel diameter to installation bore diameter on the market. Three models have flow channels from 4.5 to 8 mm and installation bore diameters of 11 to 20 mm. These nozzles come with hot tip or valve gate, in lengths from 50 to 300 mm.

HRSflow of Italy (U.S. office in Byron Center, Mich.) will exhibit three hot-runner product lines. The top of the line is its FLEXFlow servo-driven valve-gate line for sequential or “cascade” molding of large, cosmetic automotive parts. Sumitomo Demag will mold a PC headlamp cover on an all-electric IntElect 450 press with a HRS FLEXFlow hot-runner system.

HRSflow will also introduce the new ECOflow hot-runner line, said to reduce energy consumption by 20% or more while also reducing the time to reach a uniform and stable operating state. Weight and volume of the manifold have been lowered by a third, requiring a smaller cutout in the mold.

In its Multitech line of hot runners for multicavity molds, HRSflow will present the new MTR nozzles for packaging, caps/closures, medical, electrical/electronic parts, and automotive. The focus here is on high cavitation, short cycles, uniform balance, and fast color changes. Three MTR configurations are offered:

• MTR-T nozzles are designed specifically for large containers with wall thicknesses of 0.45 mm and up, and flow-length to wall-thickness ratios up to 350. They can take injection pressures up to 2200 bar (31,900 psi) and high melt throughputs up to 180 g/sec. These nozzles are said to be well suited to IML applications.

• MTR-M nozzles are for molding polyesters to produce thick-walled parts (up to 20 mm or more) with a high-gloss finish for cosmetics packaging, household articles, or medical parts.

• MTR-S nozzles are geared specifically to molding DuPont’s Surlyn ionomer in thick-walled parts up to 20 mm.

In addition, HRSflow will highlight its collaboration with Plastic Technologies, Inc. (PTI), Holland, Ohio (plastictechnologies.com), to improve speed to market for brand owners developing single-serve food and beverage capsules. PTI and HRSflow Multitech will help develop new capsules, validate resins, and confirm barrier properties.