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 Coinjection, Injection Molding, Machinery
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

Auto, medical, packaging all lead to solid sales for compounding extruders

December 18, 2014 6:00 am ET

Compounding extruder sales tend to be cyclical, but machinery makers report another solid year — thanks to automotive, medical, food packaging...    More

Image

Indian auto parts maker set to buy assets in Germany, Mexico

December 18, 2014 10:35 am ET

Indian auto parts maker Samvardhana Motherson Gropup is buying the assets of insolvent German plastics car parts producer Scherer & Trier (S&T).    More

Image

Milacron opening Mexico technical center, considers another in Brazil

December 16, 2014 12:58 pm ET

Milacron LLC plans to officially open a new technical center in Querétaro, 140 miles northwest of Mexico City, early in 2015, and the company is...    More

Image

Plastikos, Micro Mold working with local high school

December 15, 2014 6:00 am ET

The companies donated a 60-ton Demag injection press to the school, and Micro Mold’s general manager has worked with the high school's tool...    More

Image

Guangdong machinery maker adds another plant

December 15, 2014 6:00 am ET

TAIPEI, TAIWAN — Extrusion thermoforming equipment specialist Guangdong Designer Machinery Co. Ltd. plans to open a new 70,000-square-meter fact...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

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

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

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