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3/25/2019 | 1 MINUTE READ

Micromolding Puts on a Pretty Face

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A leading manufacturer of cosmetics packaging bought a dozen Wittmann Battenfeld MicroPower injection systems to mold micro components of dosing pumps for beauty products.

Micromolding is usually associated with unglamorous medical and diagnostic parts or tiny widgets for electrical/electronics, telecom, and automotive applications. But now, micromolding has hit the beauty counter.

Yonwoo in Korea, one of the world’s largest producers of cosmetics packaging, has purchased 12 MicroPower micro injection molding systems from Wittmann Battenfeld to make tiny components of dosing pumps. Six MicroPower machines are already in production of sealing caps, check valves, piston cylinders, and housings for those dosing pumps. A key requirement for those pumps, which were previously imported to Korea from Japan, is highly accurate, consistent release of the required dosing volume, from as little as 0.08 ml to 1 ml. Yonwoo’s customer base includes such brands as L’Oréal, P&G and Estée Lauder.

The first six MicroPower machines have been in production at Yonwoo for a little over a year, molding parts for pumps with dosing volumes of 0.15 and 0.2 ml. Yonwoo replaced two conventional injection presses running 64-cavity molds with six MicroPower machines and 12-cavity molds. Thanks to their compact design, the six micro machines take up no more space than the two presses they replaced. What’s more, the micromolders were easily moved up to the seventh floor of the plant, where they now stand right next to the assembly area for the pumps.

Weight consistency with the new molding systems is ± 2 mg, which could not be achieved reliably with the previous 64-cavity molds. Not only has this considerably reduced production and maintenance cost for the molds, but parts handling and quality inspection are also much easier. The cycle time has been reduced from the previous 14 sec to 8 sec, and the scrap rate has been cut to a minimum. The sum of these savings reportedly paid for the investment in MicroPower machines in less than a year.

Following this positive experience, Yonwoo ordered six more MicroPower machines, all of which are due to have been delivered by last month. These units are all equipped with a rotary disk. One of them is the first Wittmann Battenfeld has been built with a shot capacity increased from the standard 4 cm3 to 6 cm3.