INJECTION MOLDING: Energy-Saving Presses and Medical Systems Debut at Fakuma

Larger models complete servohydraulic series; presses get cleanroom qualification.

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At last year’s Fakuma show in Germany, Wittmann Battenfeld (U.S. office in Torrington, Conn.) introduced a standard line of servohydraulic models, called SmartPower. At that time, the series ranged from 25 to 120 metric tons. Since then, the company has added 180 and 240 m.t. models; and at last month’s Fakuma 2015 show, the line was completed with the debut of the SmartPower 350 (pictured), which has tiebar spacing of 800 x 720 mm. All SmartPower models feature braking-energy recovery for barrel heating.

Wittmann Battenfeld also brought to Fakuma 2015 the new “Medical” version of its all-electric EcoPower press. It was optimized for cleanroom use by modifying the interior mold space with smooth surfaces, stainless-steel covers, and covered guide rails. Exhaust-air conduits of the pneumatic valves are bundled and guided out of the clean room. The whole machine has a closed-circuit water-cooling system, nickel-coated platens with covered threaded mounting holes and a laminar-flow box that supplies air with low particle content to the mold area. All openings in the mold area are covered. Barrel insulation minimizes emissions, and only food-grade lubricants are used. The machine at the fair was a 110-ton model with a good-part/reject separator and encapsulated cleanroom belt conveyor that transported parts to a laminar-flow workstation.

Wittmann Battenfeld, which started a Medical Products Group at the start of this year, qualified the new machine in an ISO Class 6 clean room at its factory in Austria, under both dry-running and production conditions. Machine documentation for GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) and ISO 13485 is available for all machines of the Medical version, including MicroPower and SmartPower models, as well.

At Fakuma, the company also operated a Medical version of its MicroPower 15-ton micromolder. It produced a 2-mg PEEK micro catheter within a full-fledged Class 6 clean-room cell. Parts were molded, camera inspected, and deposited inside the clean room.