Wittmann Battenfeld Unveils Composite Molding System
Another injection-machine builder enters the competition in organosheet overmolding.
The first public entry of Wittmann Battenfeld of Austria (U.S. office in Torrington, Conn.) into the fledgling market for composite injection molding systems took place early this month at the Plast 2015 show in Milan, Italy. The company demonstrated simultaneous forming and overmolding of preheated continuous-fiber “organic sheet” into an automotive-type part. The system used PP/glass sheet blanks from Lanxess subsidiary Bond-Laminates in Germany; a Wittmann robot with needle gripper to hold the hot sheet and a suction device for finished parts removal; and a Wittmann Battenfeld MacroPower 450 E hybrid two-platen press with servo-electric injection unit and servo-hydraulic clamp. The single-cavity demo mold from Georg Kaufmann in Switzerland had a hot-runner valve-gate system, an edge-fold slider to form the sheet, and a punching die to make a hole in the sheet.
PolySource, for one, has been preparing for this with alternatives it offers. How big is this concern? Who’s working on solutions, including alternative offerings?
Lightweight, strong, and low-cost, natural fibers are poised to replace glass and mineral fillers in numerous interior parts.
As the third quarter was coming to an end, prices of nearly all volume resins were higher or heading that way. But flat or even lower prices are seen ahead.