The tie-barless machine patent dispute is over between Engel Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH and Hemscheidt Maschinentechnik Schwerin GmbH & Co. Engel said Hemscheidt's redesigned tie-barless machine, first shown last year at the K'95 trade show in Dusseldorf, Germany, does not violate the Engel patent. Georg Tinschert, Engel managing director, made the comments in a memo sent from Engel headquarters in Schwertberg, Austria, to employees worldwide.
Engel pioneered injection presses without tie bars - the rods that link platens together, absorbing clamping force and keeping platens parallel - and introduced the technology at the 1989 K show. Engel has sold several thousand tie-barless machines, which are popular because they give unobstructed access to the mold area.
Hemscheidt, of Schwerin, Ger-many, introduced its machine in 1994. Engel objected and sued Hemscheidt in Mannheim, Ger-many. Engel's original European patent covered a machine with jointed support of the moving platen. Engel engineers said Hemscheidt circumvented the patent by putting a swivel joint on the fixed platen as well, but Engel obtained a registered pattern - similar to a patent but not as strong - to cover the two-joint design.
At K'95, Hemscheidt responded by showing a redesigned machine featuring the moving platen fixed to the frame and a curved notch on the frame. The notch deforms precisely without changing the platen's position. Hemscheidt removed the earlier, offending machine from the market.
The two firms have reached an agreement and settled the case.
Officials of Hemscheidt's U.S. unit, Hemscheidt Machine Corp. of Wixom, Mich., did not return telephone calls.