Bemis and Milacron show off 1,500-ton hybrid press

Published: April 29, 2013 5:19 pm ET
Updated: April 29, 2013 5:30 pm ET

Image By: Plastics News Gary Vande Berg

Related to this story

Topics Injection Molding, Machinery, Coinjection
Companies & Associations Milacron LLC

BATAVIA, OHIO — It might be a match made in injection molding heaven.

Bemis Manufacturing Co. has teamed up with Milacron LLC to develop what they're calling the industry's largest Servo hybrid coinjection machine, the 1,500 ton Maxima G Servo.

The machine was one of more than 20 on display at an open house at Milacron headquarters, held April 24-25 in Batavia.

According to Milacron, the machine is energy efficient — it uses less than half the energy of comparable hydraulic press — and is the industry's most versatile multi-component Servo machine. It has seven unique process capabilities that can be run a single platform; the system can be configured for sequential or simultaneous injection, stack molding, multi-component and coinjection molding, among other processes.

The machine is the latest partnership between the two companies, who have been working together on coinjection technology for about a decade.

In essence, coinjection, or encapsulation, is molding one material inside of another, creating a part with an outer skin and an inner core.

The technology was patented in the late 1950s and primarily used in Europe, but Sheybogan Falls, Wis.,-based Bemis started working with it in the early '90s. The company acquired a used 700 ton Battenfield machine and was "up and running. Crawling is more like it," said Gary Vande Berg, vice president of engineering for Bemis.

"You've heard the term invention is ugly? This was ugly," he joked in a presentation at the open house.

So Bemis sat down to essentially reinvent coinjection technology. In 1994, they approached Milacron with their results and asked them to design and build a machine. The result was a 725 ton coinjection machine, which ran at the 1994 NPE Show and is still running 24/7, Vande Berg said.

The company now has 32 coinjection machines, ranging from about 300 to 6,600 tons, he said.

The technology allows Bemis to successfully marry business and sustainability.

"You can do anything you want for the environment, but if your business doesn't survive, it isn't going to do much good," Vande Berg said.

Coinjection molding can be used to incorporate recycled or reground "junk" material in plastic parts without sacrificing aesthetics or physical properties.

Bemis can now make coinjected toilet seats with 75 percent recycled content -- 25 percent in the skin and 30 to 50 percent in the core, Vande Berg said.

The company also molds parts for John Deere tractors, using a more expensive, glossy material on the outside and a cheaper material on the inside.

Coinjected parts also have better physical impact properties. They can be up to 2.5 times stronger than a typical monoinjected part, and "that's with junk material on the inside," he said.

Bemis struggled to make a hood for a lawn and garden tractor that had both the necessary impact strength and a glossy finish -- when they tweaked the material to improve gloss, impact strength decreased, and vice-versa, he said. The solution was a coinjected part with an ABS core and a glossy exterior that was also cheaper to manufacture, he said.

Vande Berg also gave examples of how Bemis uses coinjection molding with controlled breakout techniques and gas-assist molding to make chair arms, steering wheels and refrigerator handles.

"You can have totally different physical properties within the same part coming out [of the machine] at the same time," he said.

The company's big revelation came when they realized "coinjection machines weren't really coinjection machines, they were multi material machines," he said.

With help from Milacron, Bemis started working with two-shot molding, then on to sequential injection, then on to using a three-barrel system. A four barrel machine is in the works, he said.

All of these different processes can be run on the same machine with just a few changes in software, he said.

When you take all the different options into consideration, Bemis can offer customers more than 51 different ways to mold a part.

"That doesn't mean we're still always going to be cheapest. But if you've got 51 ways to look at a part, that sure beats two ways to look at a part," he said.

It also allows the company to offer parts with a desired "weird factor."

"If we cannot apply a minimum of one weird factor, we don't quote the part. End of discussion," Vande Berg said. "We're not a clip and ship company. If we can't apply technology, it's not our business."


Comments

Bemis and Milacron show off 1,500-ton hybrid press

Published: April 29, 2013 5:19 pm ET
Updated: April 29, 2013 5:30 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

2014 US machinery shipments up 6 percent

November 25, 2014 5:17 pm ET

Through the first nine months of 2014 U.S. shipments of primary plastics equipment — for injection molding, blow molding and extrusion —...    More

Image

Globalization brings sizable growth, primarily in Asia

November 25, 2014 1:40 pm ET

In 1990, the year after Plastics News published our first issue, there were 33,000 injection molding machines sold worldwide. Fast forward to 2013,...    More

Image

Taipei Plas vandal and German firm trade lawsuits

November 25, 2014 1:26 pm ET

Taiwan businessman Karma Tang, who splashed red paint at German firm Baumüller GmbH's Taipei Plas booth, is in a messy legal battle.    More

Image

Auxiliary equipment maker Ross expands in India

November 25, 2014 1:12 pm ET

U.S. auxiliary equipment maker Charles Ross & Son Co. is expanding in India, opening a new plant early next year in Pune.    More

Image

Uni Cap to build cap molding plant in Jordan

November 25, 2014 12:57 pm ET

The Persian Gulf's largest molder of caps and closures is investing $10 million in a new factory near Amman, Jordan, as part of an effort to boost its...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events