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Monday, July 28, 2008

Energy efficient plastics injection molding and robotic systems in the spotlight


Arburg is to present all facets of its innovative plastics injection molding technology with ten exhibits at the 2008 Fakuma in Friedrichshafen from October 14 to 18.
The main focus of the Arburg trade fair stand at Fakuma 2008 will be energy-efficient plastics injection molding production and innovations in the field of robotic systems. Trade visitors will also be introduced to a representative cross section of the current range of Arburg products, applications and services at the 940 square metre Arburg stand No. 3101 in Hall A3.

“Energy Efficiency Allround” is an important Arburg corporate objective in 2008 and is consequently a major focus of the company’s presence at the Fakuma. Arburg adopts a holistic approach to optimising energy consumption, i.e. both in terms of the company itself and of the Arburg products and their fields of application. On the one hand, the goal is to produce the Allrounder machines using as little energy as possible. On the other, Arburg seeks to use its products and expertise in order to efficiently minimize energy consumption among its customers. In this context, the energy efficient Allrounders are identified by the “e²” energy efficiency label. In addition to the relevant design and equipment of the machines, Arburg also provides extensive individual consulting with regard to process optimization. Here, it is not only essential to minimize power and water consumption, or heat dissipation into the environment, but for example to optimize production capacity utilization and ensure high plastics injection molding quality with a minimum reject rate.

Energy efficient Allrounder A and S series
Four exhibition machines at the Fakuma bear the “e²” energy efficiency label: two representatives of the electric Allrounder A series and two hydraulic Allrounder S series machines with electromechanical dosage drive.

On the electric two-component Allrounder 470 A with a clamping force of 1,000 kN, a part in a hard/soft combination is produced from liquid silicone. The two injection units are arranged in an L-configuration, so that the pre-molded plastics part can be moved to the second cavity via the vertically-operating robotic system.

At the Fakuma six high-quality, labelled yogurt pots will be produced in an overall cycle time of just four seconds. View High resolution image. photo: Arburg

Arburg will demonstrate the high performance of its electric machines with a high-speed IML application. Six high-quality, labelled yogurt pots will be produced in an overall cycle time of four seconds. In order to meet the requirements with regard to material preparation and speed, the Allrounder 570 A with a clamping force of 2,000 kN is equipped with integrated, adaptive hot runner control, a high-performance plasticising cylinder and a mold featuring a pneumatic needle shut-off system. The complete IML automation equipment – feed, separation and placement of the labels, as well as removal and cavity-specific stacking of the pots – will be provided by “Waldorf Technik”. With this complete system, Arburg impressively demonstrates how IML plastics products can be produced rapidly, reliably and in high quality, as well as in large volumes.

As further fast-running, energy efficient high-performance machine, the Allrounder 630 S, will be presented equipped with a 48-cavity bottle cap mold. In order to achieve a high material throughput in a very short cycle time with this packaging application, the fully accumulator-driven hydraulic machine also features a high-performance plasticising cylinder and an energy-saving electromechanical dosage drive.

Electrical dosage is also implemented on the Allrounder 920 S with a clamping force of 5,000 kN and the largest, size 4,600 injection unit. Moreover, the exhibition machine is equipped with a Multilift V robotic system and is integrated within a production cell. A patented folding crate from “Ifco Systems” will be produced in a single cycle, removed by a robotic system and subsequently assembled fully automatically. The sequence of this complex application is simply and reliably controlled via the “Selogica” user interface.

Allrounder S - from huge to tiny
As well as the largest S-series machine, the smallest will also be on show at the Fakuma. The Allrounder 170 S with a clamping force of 150 kN and a size 30 clamping unit. The plastics exhibition machine will feature a 12-millimetre screw and will process a micro granulate. Following injection molding, the finished micro gear wheels are removed by a horizontally-operating Multilift H robotic system.

Flexible use of vertical Allrounder V
A further small machine represented will be the vertically-operating Allrounder 175 V with a clamping force of 125 kN, which is equipped with a servoelectric rotary table. The two mold halves of the rotary table allow the insertion and removal of parts during the plastics injection molding process. This machine can consequently easily be integrated into automated production lines. The fact that the vertical Allrounder V machines with their free-space system are not only predestined for the encapsulation of inserts is evidenced by the Allrounder 375 V with a clamping force of 500 kN. This vertical machine, introduced onto the market in the spring of 2008, will be presented in conjunction with the Exjection® process from “IB Steiner and Hybrid Composite Products GmbH”. This process can be used to produce long, thin-walled and structured plastics components with integrated end caps and functional geometries, also using viscous thermoplastics. Thanks to the horizontally-installed mold on the vertical Allrounder V machines, there are no limitations in terms of mold, stroke and, consequently, part lengths because the servo-controlled transfer movements are performed horizontally during the plastics injection process. Thanks to the central Selogica control system, the complete system can be conveniently programmed and controlled.

Complex production cell with six-axis robot
The Allrounder 570 S with a clamping force of 2,200 kN will also be presented for the first time at the fair. This is the new machine size of the hydraulic Allrounder S machine series, which was first introduced at the K 2007. Optimum processing of BMC moist polyester will be demonstrated on this exhibit through the production of an insulating rail for a domestic iron. For this purpose, the Allrounder 570 S will be equipped with a position-regulated screw, a newly developed screw compression device for optimal material feed and an integrated mold heating system. Thanks to feed pressure control specially developed for this application, the servo-motor driven feed screw of the screw/injester unit enables gentle and very consistent material preparation, even in the case of large shot weights. The finished molded parts are removed and subsequently processed fully automatically by a six-axis robot from “Kuka”.

Selogica user interface implemented in robot control system
The integrated production cell automation communicates with the Selogica control system via the robot interface and additional fieldbus expansion. In close co-operation with “FPT”, Kuka’s OEM partner, a Selogica user interface has been implemented in the robot control system. This allows machine installation technicians to perform sequence programming of the complex six-axis movements of the Kuka robot in their familiar plastics injection molding environment without requiring outside help. Through the expanded real-time fieldbus connection, even complex mold entry operations are very easy to implement.

Multilift V Select: Simple programming and extended application
Trade visitors to the Fakuma will be introduced to the simple and convenient programming of the servoelectric “Multilift V Select” robotic system with the new teach-in function. Here, by means of manually performed steps, the robotic system can learn the positions it has to move to in order to pick up and set down parts with the utmost precision.

Furthermore, with this exhibit, Arburg will present the entry level Multilift V Select model on an Allrounder Golden Edition for the first time. From autumn 2008, it will therefore also be possible to equip the Allrounder Golden Edition machines with an Arburg robotic system, extending the range of applications for the Multilift V Select.

In total, six Allrounders will operate with robotic systems at the Fakuma, a clear reflection of their increasing significance within complex plastics injection molding production. In this context, an important role is played by integration into the machine control system. This is achieved comprehensively via the Selogica user interface.

Fakuma injection molding production under control
Ensuring consistently high product quality, optimizing production capacity utilization, minimizing downtime and thereby ultimately enhancing the energy efficiency of production will become increasingly important for reasons of economy in the future. The manner in which this objective can be achieved through centralized production planning and control will be demonstrated by Arburg at the Fakuma with a production management stand and the Arburg host computer system, ALS, which will enable access to all ten Fakuma exhibits. The Arburg host processing engineering team will thus be able to demonstrate the benefits of ALS live and answer individual questions. ALS offers a comprehensive overview of the entire production operations as well as rapid, secure access to current data relating to running plastics injection molding production. ALS enables both effective planning as well as implementation. Thanks to its modular design using independent modules, the system can be flexibly adapted to customer requirements and is consequently also interesting for small injection molding companies. For example, machine and mold maintenance can be planned in a targeted manner, which is increasingly important in terms of preventive measures. In addition to preventive maintenance, these also include oil analysis and machine calibration. Both of these will be demonstrated and explained in practical terms by the Arburg Service Team at the exhibition stand.

Representative cross section
Ten exhibits, including electric and hydraulic Allrounders covering a clamping force range from 125 to 5.000 kN, vertical machines, various Multilift robotic systems, as well as a six-axis robot, complex production cells and a broad application spectrum comprising micro injection molding multi-component technology in conjunction with LSR processing, thermoset injection molding (BMC moist polyester) and Exjection – with this comprehensive program, Arburg will again prove at the Fakuma 2008 that its products are suitable for use in all fields of plastics injection molding and that Arburg has the capability to provide the corresponding consulting expertise.

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Int’l sales successes in large diameter plastics pipe extrusion

The pipe extrusion segment is registering a strong trend to large diameter plastics pipes for systems supplier KraussMaffei Berstorff.

These large diameter plastics pipes are used, for example, in water supply and district heating networks. KraussMaffei Berstorff supplies high-performance lines for production of high-quality, large diameter pipe. The company has recently sold a number of these systems.

A line for the production of large-diameter PE-HD pipe with outer diameters from 400 to 1200 mm recently went into operation at Emirates Preinsulated Pipes Industries (EPPI), Abu Dhabi/United Arab Emirates. The line will be used mainly for the production of PU-insulated pipe used to transport cooling liquid for air conditioning systems in tower blocks. The line features a KraussMaffei Berstorff KME 125-36 B/R single-screw extruder with KM-RKW 36 and KM-RKW 38 pipeheads. Both pipeheads can be moved sideways out of the line on tracks.

KraussMaffei Berstorff extrusion line for the production of large polyolefin pipes. View High resolution image. photo: KraussMaffei

Output up to 1700 kg an hour
P.E.S Productive and Industrial Co. Teheran/Iran also recently started operating a KraussMaffei Berstorff line to produce large-diameter plastics pipe. The line is headed by a KME 150-36 B/R extruder and a KM-RKW 39 pipehead. The line achieves output of 1700 kg/h producing PE-HD pipe with outer diameters up to 1600 mm.

KraussMaffei Berstorff supplies complete turnkey solutions to produce large diameter plastics pipe, which are tailored to the specific requirements of individual customers. RKW pipeheads are capable of producing pipe with diameters up to 2000 mm and wall thicknesses up to 100 mm. A 36 L/D single-screw extruder from KraussMaffei Berstorff is capable of output up to 1700 kg/h. The 36 L/D screw concept stands for high output and a gentle, high-performance plasticizing process. The longer processing unit delivers a thermally homogenous melt with fillers and pigment perfectly mixed in

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