Injection Moulding Asia Moulding
Nissei upgrades its electric series
Improved cavity filling from additive
S-based Axel Plastics has developed a proprietary process aid additive targeted at processors using PBT and PBT resin blends. The additive was developed in response to increased use of highperformance polymer blends in the automotive, transportation and electronics markets. MoldWiz INT-35PHT is said to allow more flexibility in the incorporation of filler types and loading levels as well as an easier cavity fill and release performance for the resins. In developmental extrusion testing utilising a Zenoy 5220U resin (a PC/PBT alloy by Sabic), the additive is said to have significantly decreased resin viscosity, minimised fluctuations in torque and increased output from 50 to 100%. Initial evaluations were conducted at loading levels of 0.31% and there was no reduction in the physical properties of moulded parts, says the company. A proprietary synergistic blend of modified polymers, organic fatty amides and glycerides, the product is available as a free-flowing powder or 100% active pellet (carrier and binder free), allowing for incorporation into masterbatches, gravitationally mixed or fed at the throat of a moulding machine.
Sodickâ€™s two-stage machine will be used to demonstrate the moulding of a syringe in COC, a first for the medical industry, at the NPE exhibition
COC in medical moulding, a first
reciprocating screw system, the plasticising screw remains stationary during material transfer, minimising axial wear and ensuring each pellet has the same heat profile. The two-stage plunger injection unit provides an optimum screw size and plunger size combination (for example, 40 mm screw with 32 mm plunger injection) for an ideal recovery time and shot size. The injection unit is controlled by a closed-loop system comparing actual speed to set speed and maximum melt pressure. User selectable limits can be added on the process monitor screen. Once the exact amount of material is transferred into the injection chamber, the injection plunger that is retracted via the melt is maintained to a set position. This eliminates the need for a check valve, a primary source of material degradation and shot volume inconsistency. Prior to injection, the plasticising screw is indexed forward creating a positive shut-off (exact dosing). This action prevents any opportunity for backflow of molten material back into the melt stream.
S injection moulding machinery maker Sodick Plustech will show its V-Line two-stage plunger system at NPE 2012 in Florida in April moulding a medical syringe made of Topas cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) from Topas Advanced Polymers in a mould from Nypro. The prototype application demonstrates the use of COC, which has improved moisture barrier and dimensional consistency, as a replacement for glass in syringes. The polymer is said to offer a nonionic, minimally reactive surface. It also does not promote adsorption, denaturation, aggregation, or precipitation. With lower leachables and extractables, the resin preserves long-term drug purity ensuring better quality at high yields and potentially lower part cost, says Topas. Sodick Plustech says its injection system utilises a two-stage V-Line method for plasticising and injection, allowing for consistent shot volumes and melt densities. Unlike a conventional in-line
apanese firm Nissei Plastic Industrial has updated its flagship Nex electric machine range. Six small and mediumsize types, ranging from 30 to 180 tonnes, are now available under the NEX-III series with an updated plasticising device (injection unit) and new controller Tact IV. The plasticising device has been designed to provide better performance by subdividing and optimising the barrel temperature control zones, thus reducing moulding defects. The newly designed nozzle and barrel permit better thermal conduction, shortening the heatup time by 25% and saving power by 8%, according to Nissei. The fluctuation of resin temperature, which occurs upon starting up a moulding machine, is also eliminated, allowing for stable plasticising of non-reinforced PBT, LCP, PA66, PP and PCTA. The two-zone controlled rear heater also shortens plasticising time. The Tact IV controller offers a larger screen, newly designed operation panel and a user-friendly software.
Nisseiâ€™s latest upgraded Nex electric machine
1 MARCH 2012
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Improving performance through filming
o identify and subsequently implement optimisation measures for the daily work routine, German injection moulding machine maker Arburg is videoing its workers undertaking a job and then reviewing it to see where improvements can be made. Arburg says it was one of the first companies to implement this in 2010, with selected groups within its production receiving preliminary training in the use of video analysis. On a selected day, the video films were first shot with external assistance and subsequently subjected to systematic evaluation. Workshops on set-up time optimisation were first held in production before being extended to the assembly process. Between five and six employees are invited to take part in each session with at least two operators teaming up for the actual compilation of the analysis video. One of them films what the other is currently doing. This then forms the basis for analysis and
Arburg is using its video filming to improve productivity
Moulding subsequent development of appropriate activities. Arburg notes that the agreed steps are more likely to be put into practice when video analysis is used than without this as many otherwise unnoticed things become apparent when viewing the video. Arburg also says that video recording is particularly important for the “Single Minute Exchange of Die” or SMED, which reduces set-up times of machines to single digits. “SMED is only implemented to perfection when a onepiece flow can be realised without the need for interventions in running production,” says the company. Arburg has already held eight of the 14 intended workshops to allow operators and their line manager to view the filming. Though the company does agree that videoing an employee during everyday work appears to be a sensitive issue, the workshops demonstrate that the aim is to optimise the processes and not to criticise the operators’ work.
Injection Moulding Asia Moulding
Redesigning LEDS with Aura
erman chemical firm Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) has licensed its Aura infusion technology for improving UV protection of moulded/extruded PC parts to US-based Radco Infusion Technologies for worldwide use. Because UV light attacks PC at the surface, UV protection is most effective when concentrated there, but this is not possible with traditional compounding of additives. This limits UV absorber effectiveness in outdoor applications, such as lenses and covers for lighting fixtures. Aura can be used with any of BMS’s Makrolon transparent PC lighting grades, allowing for what the company says is a breakthrough for lighting manufacturers, since it helps overcome the issue of yellowing after extended UV exposure. The infusion of UV additives via Aura utilises the same process used to add custom colourants. In this new twist, finished plastic parts are immersed in a mostly aqueous solution containing UV additives. The parts are removed from the solution after a short period of
LED lenses are the target for the new Aura infusion process
time, rinsed with water to remove excess solution from the surface and then dried to produce a marketready product. This allows the use of heat-sensitive additives that break down at extrusion/moulding temperatures but remain viable at the lower temperatures associated with infusion technology. The first commercial application using Aura will be launched this year by a major lighting OEM for an outdoor-use product with an LED lens injection moulded of Makrolon LED2643 clear tint plastic.
circular systems, for easy tip replacement in the press. The patent pending design is said to produce faster cycles because of an additional temperature control at the gate. The firm’s iFlow manifold brazing is also used for higher flow balance. Automation firm CBW will run Melt-Cube in a 16cavity system producing a 5-6 cc PP medical syringe with IML to showcase an anti-piracy tag. The mould will be supplied by Tech Mold and machine by Milacron.
An eye on coinjection and new gating system
Toray and GMD to pursue automotive work
ot runner supplier Mold-Masters will showcase its new coinjection hot runner technology for medical, beverage and food applications at the NPE event in April. IRIS will be shown in a workcell producing HDPE closures in a 16-cavity mould. The system will also incorporate a secondary injection unit and servodriven-valve gate control. The cap will be moulded with a 3-6% EVOH barrier encased in its centre, without the need for a secondary operation. Swiss supplier IMD will provide testing equipment along with downstream IMDvista INOX line for cooling, sorting and packing of the parts. Other partners include Engel Machinery that will provide the machine and F&S Tool, the tooling. Mold-Masters will also launch its linear side gate system Melt-Cube, said to allow for 20% higher pitch density than
apanese carbon fibrereinforced plastics (CFRP) supplier Toray Industries has entered into a technical partnership with UK-based Gordon Murray Design (GMD) to pursue further development of GMD’s iStream manufacturing system and explore further opportunities for Toray’s materials in the automotive sector. Toray recently commissioned GMD to build a prototype twoseater electric sports car, subsequently named the TEEWAVE AR.1 (Toray Eco Efficient WAVE Advanced Roadster 1). It utilises the firm’s CFRPs and has a light body weight of 846 kg, including the battery. Both companies will further cooperate to reduce weight and cut costs in automotive design. The iStream is a design process in the making for 15 years said to reduce a facility size by 20% and investments by 80%.
Lower weight bumpers with new resin
apanese vehicle maker Mazda and Japan Polypropylene have developed a PP/rubber resin for vehicle parts that maintains the same rigidity as parts made with conventional materials but with a weight reduction of 20%, especially in bumpers. In bumper production, a reduced thickness allows for a shorter cooling period for moulding and by using computeraided engineering (CAE) technology, the fluidity of the resin can also be optimised. As a result, the moulding time, previously 60 seconds, has been halved to 30 seconds. Mazda blended two components found in polypropylene (PP) and rubber, that have different properties, and succeeded in distributing them in a double-layer structure in line with the required function for the surface and the inside of the base bumper material. Thus, the surface has improved paint film adhesion and the inner section retains high rigidity and impact absorption, with reduced thickness. Mazda plans to adopt the light bumpers in its CX-5 SUV as well as in other upcoming new models.
The new Mazda with lighter bumpers to be launched later this year
3 MARCH 2012
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Injection Moulding Asia Machinery
Indian IMM market witnesses growth country but pulled out due to the 2009 anti-dumping levy imposed by the Indian government on Chinese machines. Haitian subsequently set up a facility in Vietnam and says the latter will “serve as a bridge to the Indian market.” At Plastindia, Zhafir showed its all-electrics, since the latter and 1,000 tonne-machines are exempt from the tariff ruling. Another Chinese machine maker, Welltec Machinery, has also found a way around the tariff issue by partnering with Indian firm Jishu Hozen Machines. The Sino-Indian alliance has been operating a facility in Ahmedabad since last year. The investment seems to have paid off and it is now planning on doubling the size of its facility to 3,000 sq m and increasing output to 100 machines a year, said its Director HR Nagadia to PRA. The company sold 50 machines in the first year of its operations and now plans to set up branch offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata to further market its machines, said Nagadia.
Of the approximately 8,000 plastic machines sold last year in India, 70% was injection moulding machinery (IMM). This demand factor is the draw for foreign companies entering the Indian market. Facility set-ups aving opened its new factory in Chennai late last year, Canada-based machine maker Husky Injection Molding is able to offer mould conversion, mould and hot runner refurbishment for preforms. The US$20 million facility will cater to local as well as regional demand in South Asia, said Dinesh Budapanahalli, Vice-President, Sales & Services, Global Tooling, speaking to PRA during the Plastindia show in February. “We will be able to expand our engineering capacity for hot runners and preforms to handle increased demand, allowing for reduced lead times and faster time to market,” he added. The 5,700 sq m facility also houses a technical centre. It has already stocked up on spare parts, “to minimise downtime”, and started its engineering services, said Dinesh. In India, the company is seeing a growth in the water and juice beverage market. “This is a seasonal business and usually peaks at the end of the year, but our investments have to be ready to cater to all the seasons,” he explained. Making its debut at the show was the H-PET AE (all-electric) preform solution, with a 32-cavity mould producing a 19 g EcoBase preform for a 1 litre bottle. Launched two years ago, the system has been wellreceived in the market, especially in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, said Dinesh. Other systems shown for the first in India were the Ultra Sidegate and UltraSync hot runners. Germany-based Zhafir Plastics Machinery, a subsidiary of Chinese IMM maker Haitian International Holdings, is also making its entry into India by setting up its first regional office, since it expects an increasing demand for its technology in the country. The Mumbai office will start operating later this year with 18 persons. Zhafir, which makes all-electric machinery, has also increased its production area in Ningbo to 18,000 sq m to cater to demand in China. Plus, it increased its turnover by 80% last year, compared to the previous year, and has sold 2,000 of its Venus allelectrics since the launch in 2008. The firm also said it has received 30 orders for its new Mercury series, launched at K2010. Haitian previously collaborated with Indian machine maker Electronica to sell machines in the
Machinery improvements ne of India’s largest machine makers L&T Plastics Machinery, meanwhile, has expanded its scope for all-electrics. The Chennai-based company introduced a 160-tonne E-Tech, which is belt-driven as opposed to the use of direct-drive technology, adding on to the 100-tonne it introduced last year. Another new market entry, the two-platen 450-tonne, developed last year, was also showcased. It had been sold to Indian customer VDS Plastics. US-based Milacron, which operates in India through a joint venture with Mamata Machinery known as Ferromatik Milacron, will transplant production of the Magna Servo machines to its facility in the US. The machines were developed by Ferromatik Milacron at its Ahmedabad plant and have been in production there since 2008. Milacron been importing these machines but due to increased demand has decided to also build them in the US. The company says that servodriven-pumps are revitalising traditional hydraulic technology, thus increasing the demand for the Magna in the US, “because they’re similar in price to standard hydraulics and provide almost as much energy savings as all-electrics.” The Magna uses a variablespeed AC servomotor to drive a fixed-volume gear pump, thus delivering only as much oil as is necessary for each stage of the process. The servomotor can also reverse the direction of pumping to reduce pressure, if necessary. If no additional flow is required, the pump will stop. As a result, the system requires less energy for oil cooling and ejects less heat into the plant.
4 MARCH 2012
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PRA March 2012 IMA Industry News