Billion boosts tonnage of Select electric

By: By David Vink

October 16, 2013

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY — Billion SAS (Hall 15/B24) has extended the clamping force of its Select electric-drive machines with a 600-metric-ton unit, replacing the previous largest, 400-metric-ton machine in the range.

The Select 600T model is a further step in bringing electric drive to medium-sized injection molding machines.

The 600T features a new Billion-designed MiniMax drive concept, consisting of an all-electric clamping unit and a hybrid-drive injection unit; both of the two main drive axes for tool movement and plastification are operated by direct-drive high-torque electric servomotors via a planetary roller and ball screw system.

Integrated hydraulic-drive equipment consists of a servomotor and a gear pump that continuously fills several hydraulic accumulators according to molding cycle time. That means permanent operating pressure is available for the hydraulically operated units on the machine and molding tools.

The Bellignat, France-based firm says this ensures high performance and flexibility, along with high precision and low energy consumption; in fact, Billion claims the MiniMax system is "the most energy-efficient system in its class."

A Select H6500-600T version of the machine is running on Billion's K stand, molding collapsible crates of its U.K. customer Thumbs Up! The crates have eight parts that are produced in a stack mold before being automatically handled and assembled by linear and multiaxial robots from Hi Tech Automation.

Together, the parts weigh 680 grams and are molded out of polypropylene with cycle time of 26 seconds. Sabic first introduced the Flowpact FPC 100 grade of PP block copolymer in June 2011 as a grade containing anti-static and flow-enhancing additives.

Billion claims energy consumption in molding the crate parts is about half of what an all-hydraulic machine consumes in packaging applications.

At Fakuma 2012, Billion demonstrated two-component molding of a housing with metal inserts and a rubber seal that was simultaneously vulcanized in the mold. In September, at the new Hybrid Expo fair in Stuttgart, Germany, Billion molded two-component wall magnets with a Select H80 50T machine.

Billion employs 200 at its Bellignat headquarters and had 2012 sales of around 36 million euros, with exports accounting for 55 percent of that.

The company manufactures injection molding presses with clamping forces of 40-2,500 metric tons, with a special expertise in multicomponent molding, which accounts for around 30 percent of machine sales by value. Billion estimates there are 12,000 of its machines installed worldwide.