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At NPE 1997, injection press manufacturers will continue the two-platen trend that started at the 1995 German trade show, K'95.

The traditional design uses three platens. Reducing the number of platens to two can make an injection press much smaller.

According to pre-NPE product announcements, three machinery makers — Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., Cincinnati Milacron Inc. and HPM Corp. — will show their first two-platen injection presses next month in Chicago. Two others — Krauss-Maffei Corp. and Engel North America — showed two-platen machines at K'95.

Visitors to McCormick Place also will hear more about electric machines, from Milacron's all-electric press, the Elektra, to partially electric machines from other manufacturers. Milacron's new Elektra IID uses a digital-control motor and drive, instead of analog control and a new, low-inertia servo motor.

Here is a preview of the injection molding cornucopia at NPE:

A.B. Jewelry Machinery (Booth E10337): A table-top automatic AB-200-4 injection molding machine for medical, electronic, jewelry and insert molding of small plastic parts.

AmeriPlas Machinery Corp. (Booth E9240): A 15-ton vertical-clamp injection molding machine for insert molding, it requires zero lubrication. Machines are available in C-frame or four tie-bar arrangement.

Arburg Inc. (Booth S1311): Two of the modular S Series injection molding machines — a 28-ton press featuring ``universal'' clamping in which the injection and clamp units can move to various positions and a 55-ton press with an under-the-hood integrated picker — and new software to boost productivity and quality, demonstrations of two-color or two-material molding with a rotating platen and powder-metal injection molding.

Autojectors Inc. (Booth E9434): Model HCR-130 vertical-clamp insert molding machine with 130 tons of clamping force and a four-station rotary table.

Battenfeld of America Inc. (Booth S1400): An 1,100-ton HM injection molding machine with a Unirob AS robot, with hydromechanical clamp; demonstrations of an automated manufacturing cell with a CDC machine running a computer keyboard; and Battenfeld's Combiform technology that combines multimaterial and coinjection molding/injection molding.

Boston Matthews Inc. (Booth N5852): New toggle-clamp machines in 25 and 35 tons of clamping force, equipped with Barber-Colman Maco 4000 controllers and Impact auto-tuning software; new varieties of Boston Matthews 10-and 22-ton machines, now able to mold thermosets and handle liquid injection molding.

Boy Machines Inc. (Booth S1467): Ten working injection molding machines, a computer-integrated-manufacturing system to tie together all its machines with Procan controllers, a Procan controller option for the SPI Communication Protocol with auxiliary equipment, digital auto-tuning temperature control for its Dipronic controller. The auto-tuning control gives a direct readout for all zones, so operators can view actual and set-value temperature.

Bucher Inc. (Booth N4343): A TS-160P injection molding machine for thermosets demonstrating a built-in gate cutter that trims excess gate material before the resin has time to cure in the mold; a TS-265 P molding an automotive headlight reflector, with Hunziker deflashing equipment; and an SGA 520LS thermoplastic high-speed machine for polyethylene and polypropylene packaging.

Cincinnati Milacron Inc. (Booths S2130, S2330): Milacron's new two-platen injection molding machine, a 1,760-ton Vista Maxima. The press builds tonnage in just half a second through a short-stroke, direct-acting ram said to eliminate deflection common to presses that build tonnage through the tie rods. An 85-ton model of the latest version of Milacron's all-electric machine, the Elektra IID has a motor/drive package with digital components and new-technology low-inertia, permanent-magnet, brushless servo motors. A new compact vertical injection press, the V-Tech TVR, with an oscillating rotary table, available in two- or four stations.

Engel North America (Booth S2382): A 2,000-ton, hydromechanical Duo injection molding press featuring two platens instead of three; the extension of Engel's tie-barless technology to include machines with 125 and 175 tons of clamping force; new high-speed,

precision servo robots; new CC100 and EC100 controllers; and demonstrations of powder injection molding, coinjection, insert molding and gas-assisted injection molding.

Gluco Inc. (Booth E8050): An improved slab-side injection molding machine.

Hettinga Technologies Inc. (Booth S1358): A new, all-electric version of the Helga gas-assisted molding technology that boasts the ability to turn Hettinga's proprietary liquid/gas on and off 16 times in a single shot. The new Helga can be used with multiple-cavity molds.

HPM Corp. (Booths S2430, S2447): A two-platen hydromechanical injection molding machine with clamping force of 600 tons, featuring a patented Parabolic platen that virtually eliminates deflection; tie bars that retract when the mold opens; new tie-barless presses from the HPM Access Series, with 60 and 250 tons of clamping force; two Modular Series machines, a 400-ton press and an 1,100-ton press that have twin injection units for multimaterial molding.

Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. (Booth S1982): A newly designed, high-output machine for molding PET bottle preforms, a two-platen, 1,000-ton Moduline E-Series press with a top-entry robot making a 22-gallon round container, a 550-ton Moduline G-Series press molding a thin-wall technical part, new hot-runner mini nozzles.

JSW Plastics Machinery Inc. (Booth S2467): A 95-ton, all-electric, servo-driven machine molding an integrated circuit card, the Thinwall 310-ton precision press molding compact disc cases in an eight-cavity mold, fully automatic. Other machines include a 110-ton press with a JSW Syscom 1000 controller and a 720-ton press.

Klöckner Windsor Inc./KFD Sales and Service Inc. (Booth S717): A high-speed Windsor injection press for thin-wall food containers, three new vertical Klöckner Desma machines, three new robots from Remak Maschinenbau GmbH.

Krauss-Maffei Corp. (Booth S1367): The largest MC injection press (1,000 tons of clamping force) and the largest C-range machine (350 tons) ever exhibited in North America; a vertical-clamp KM 80-ton multicomponent press with one vertical and one horizontal injection unit; and a 150-ton thermoset injection press. Several of the injection molding machines will be two-platen models.

Meiki America Corp. (Booth S1177): A 200-ton MC injection molding machine with high-pressure injection unit for plastics with an improved, ergonomically designed Vistac 1000II controller and an MR press for molding rubber and thermoset resins. The MC press will mold a file holder, which normally requires a clamping force of 500 tons.

Mini-Jector Machinery Corp. (Booth E9807): A vertical-clamp, shuttle-table press with 10 tons of clamping force and a 2-ounce shot, and computer control.

Netstal-Machinery Inc. (Booth S482): Visitors can get smart at the Netstal booth, as the company runs a 90-ton SynErgy press molding ``smart cards'' in cooperation with Sempac SA. All processes are performed in a single step during injection molding — production of carrier cards, integration of the electronic module and in-mold labeling. Also, a 330-ton Synergy press molding petri dishes and a SynErgy 2C molding two-component parts. An 88-ton press will mold medical parts.

Niigata Engineering Co. Ltd. (Booth N5707): A fully automatic, 34-ton, all-electric vertical press working with a rotary table running an encapsulated coil. Other machines include a 198-ton horizontal press molding a back-light panel and a 55-ton horizontal molding a precision connector.

Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. Ltd. (Booth S1347): Eleven injection molding machines, including two FC Series machines with 200 and 400 tons of clamping force for thin-wall containers using Nissei's Triplemelt technology, molding thin-wall cups in a four-cavity mold every 3.8 seconds.

Sandretto Plastics Machinery Inc. (Booth S2190): Mega TE 550-ton electric screw-drive injection press; Series 8 Advantage press with 100 tons of clamping force.

Taiwan Trade Center (Booths N4391, N4595): Taiwan-made injection press from Kent Industrial Co. Ltd. The hydraulic machines have APC-5000 computer controllers.

Tomen America Inc./Kawaguchi Ltd. (Booth 1301): The KM-F Series injection presses, from 50-220 tons at a lower price than Kawaguchi's standard KM-B2 Series; the KM-HS1 and HS2 series of high-speed molding presses from 140-220 tons; and a servo-driven robot.

Tomken Tool & Engineering Inc./MCP Equipment (Booth E8936): a 20-ton Bradford Neal press called Vision 20/2.0, and an MCP Sprite 7/50 table-top pneumatic plunger machine.

Toshiba Machine Co. America (Booth S1647): Three injection presses from the ISG Series of small-footprint, energy-saving, quick-cycle machines, and a machine molding digital versatile discs at 3.9-second cycles.

Trueblood Division of PH Group (Booth S1382): Vertical insert molding machines, including a 30-ton press with shuttle table, 150-ton rotary and 350-ton rotary.

Ube Machinery Inc. (Booths N6206, N6104): U.S.-made Ube machines and a description of Ube's ISO 9002 status.

Van Dorn Demag Corp. (Booth S2300): Seventeen injection molding machines, including the Caliber Series, the company's first two-platen press, an HTE hybrid electric/hydraulic press, the first small-tonnage ET machine with electric screw drive and the next generation of Van Dorn Demag controllers — the Pathfinder 3000 and 5000 versions.

Wabash MPI (Booth S2630): Two new vertical-clamp injection presses for insert molding machines, the WP machine with four-post configuration and the WPC machine with a C-frame. Clamping forces range from 10-300 tons.

Wilmington Machinery (Booth S1980): A structural foam machine, the HE Wide Platen, showing a stationary platen with hot-runner manifold configurable to 238 nozzle positions. Eight injection sequences are available from dual extruders.

Gas-assisted molding components:

Air Liquide America Corp. (Booth E11153): Portable, skid-mounted Floxal nitrogen system for gas-assisted molding.

Cinpres Ltd. (Booth N6221): A Cinpres full-shot conversion unit and Scorim melt manipulation.

Epcon Gas Systems Inc. (Booth E11912): Computer-controlled equipment for gas-assisted injection molding and a new gas nozzle technology.

Gas Injection Ltd. (Booth E10018): Phased Pressure Control (PPC) console to control as many as four independent delivery circuits for gas on four separate machines.