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Delicate Medical Molding: 4000 Bristles in One Shot!

Engel is molding eight interdental brushes having 500 bristles apiece, with less than a 2-g shot.


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Engel is performing a tricky piece of molding for the medical arena: eight interdental brushes, each with up to 500 tiny bristles, and a total shot weight of only 1.93 g. A single material (not identified) replaces three components—a grip surface, wire mesh, and the filaments.

An all-electric e-motion 171/110 T 121-ton toggle press will use a collection of Engel’s latest “intelligent” software: iQ weight control to adjust the process for consistent shot weight, iQ clamp control to automatically set the optimum clamp force, and iQ flow control to optimize mold cooling—which is seeing its North American debut at NPE.

The brushes were developed by Pheneo in Germany. The mold was supplied by Hack Formenbau and the automation by Hekuma, both of Germany. This cell also ran at K 2016.