Integrated Metal/Plastic Processing for Teletronics
Engel combines metal punching and tapping with injection overmolding in one integrated process.
Thermal switch housings, used to monitor electric motors in cars or home appliances, are usually produced in a complex, multi-stage process. As a rule, the metal components are punched and overmolded at entirely different locations. This requires considerable logistics overhead and ties up a lot of material and work in process, since two independent processes must be started up.
Engel is combining these operations in a single integrated production flow. Engel developed the system together with MMS Modular Molding Systems of Austria, a specialist in turnkey production lines for metal/plastic hybrids. The process starts with feeding thin brass sheet from a coil through a punch press, where the brass also has a thread servo-electrically tapped. The brass carrier plates, still on a continuous reel, are fed into a vertical, 38.5-ton Engel insert 60V/35 press for overmolding with glass-filled nylon. Camera inspection and high-voltage testing integrated into the tool ensure 100% quality control. Eight finished parts leave the cell every 20 sec.
INJECTION MOLDING AT NPE: Molding Exhibits Show Off Cell Integration with Multiple Processes & Operations
If you’re interested in lightweight composites, IML, LSR, multi-shot, inmold assembly, barrier coinjection, micromolding, variotherm molding, foams, energy-saving presses, robots, hot runners, and tooling—they’re all here in force.
Instead of going to landfills, previously unusable mixed waste like auto shredder residue is yielding a new trove of inexpensive engineering resins for car parts. Sortation technologies derived from the mining industry can pull out usable ABS, PC, acrylic, PP, TPO, and PPO alloys.
Demand for more robust plastics is creating new opportunities for radiation-crosslinked nylons, including nylon 6 and 66, which can serve as cost-effective alternatives to higher-cost, high-heat thermoplastics. Crosslinked nylons have higher heat resistance than their standard counterparts, along with better physical properties and abrasion resistance. Adapted from a paper presented at SPE ANTEC 2012.