High-Speed Packaging & Medical Demos from Netstal
Injection molding technologies for packaging and medical molding are on display, with an emphasis on Industry 4.0 functionality.
NPE is the U.S. debut of the Elios hybrid toggle line from Netstal. A 750-m.t. example of this high-speed press is molding 16-oz deli containers (473 ml) from an 8 + 8 stack mold in a 3.1-sec cycle. The new “lightning-fast” toggle clamp reportedly provides “the fastest dry cycle in its size class.” The five-point toggle is designed to provide force in the center of the mold to prevent any deformation of the mold plates. It also boasts “very large” tiebar spacing and “extremely ample opening stroke,” suiting it to stack molds. The clamp features electric traverse and hydraulic pressure buildup; screw drive is also electric, while injection is servo-hydraulically driven for speeds up to 2200 mm/sec, acceleration up to 20G, and reaction time of 11 millisec.
At a second booth in the Bottle Zone, Netstal is showing off its Prelactia system for co-injected three-layer light-barrier PET preforms for UHT milk. This system would run on Netstal’s PET-Line system with an Elion hybrid.
For the medical market, Netstal is running pipette tips in 128 cavities at a cycle time of 5.6 sec—more than 82,000/hr—on a “MED” cleanroom version of an all-electric Elion 2800. Automated handling with cavity separation comes from Zubler Handling of Switzerland. Cleanroom features include the patented “Clean Purge” nozzle extractor hood, a laminar-flow hood, galvanically sealed platens, additional cover plates, and closed drag chains. Full closed circulatory lubrication of the electric clamping unit is standard.
Two other Netstal machines are running in partner booths. An all-electric Elion 1200 (120 m.t.) is molding single-serve coffee capsules of PLA biopolymer with PLA labels from Verstraete in Belgium in four cavities and in 6-7 sec, using robotics from Beck Automation, at that company’s booth.
And an Elion 3200 hybrid is producing four rectangular containers with IML in 3.9 sec, using robotics from CBW Automation at that company’s booth.
Meanwhile, under the Plastics 4.0 umbrella, Netstal presents its new e-service program for access to machine-specific documents and rapid spare-parts identification and ordering. Also on display will be the AnalytiX cloud-based production-monitoring system, accessible via an app for smartphone or tablet.
For most injection molding jobs, cooling is 95% of the cycle time.
Over the past decade, soft-touch overmolding has radically changed the look, feel, and function of a broad range of consumer products.
The accepted ground rule for balancing melt flow in multi-cavity injection molds is to achieve equal flow distance from the injection point to each cavity.