CHICAGO — At NPE this year, injection press builder Engel North America showed its 2,000-ton Duo two-platen injection molding machine, a new clamp linkage for tie-barless machines with no moving parts and a new side-entry robot.
Engel has sold more than 6,000 tie-barless machines since the company introduced the technology in 1989. Engel now has expanded the range of clamping forces on its tie-barless machines, to 40, 60, 100, 150 and 200 tons. Currently in Europe, tie-barless machines as large as 450 tons are in operation.
No tie bars means robots and mold-change crews have full access to the mold area. Parts-handling automation is much easier.
Engel's new patented clamp linkage for tie-barless presses will be standard on its newly produced machines. It also makes the ejector system more accessible and compatible with standards set by the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. in Washington, Engel said.
Engel's new side-entry robot, the ERSE, is compact, for handling small and medium-size parts where no vertical stroke is required. The robot can handle 10-pound payloads and has a servo-driven Z-axis movement.
Engel has sold 100 of its Duo two-platen machines since introducing the press in 1994. The space-saving machines come in clamping forces of 1,250-4,000 tons. Engel is building them in York, Pa. Duo machines have a hydromechanical clamping system.
Engel recently sold its 100th two-platen press to a General Motors Corp. factory in Brazil molding car bumpers. The 2,300-ton injection molding machine was shipped with an Engel ERC robot to General Motors do Brasil in São José Dos Campos, Brazil, according to Engel's sales representative for Brazil, Herbert Buschle. The machine was made at Engel's factory in St. Valentin, Austria.
Engel North America also announced it has extended its Duo line to 6,000 tons, from 5,000 tons. The first 6,000-ton Duo ever built was sold recently, to an Italian company, Capp-Plast, in Prato-Florence, Italy. The machine has a shot weight of 110 pounds.
Capp-Plast will begin molding large industrial and agricultural containers next June.
Two-platen injection molding machines take up much less space than traditional machines with three platens — an important feature for big, large-tonnage machines.
The popularity of two-platen injection molding machines was evident at NPE, held June 16-20 in Chicago. At least four machinery makers — Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., Cincinnati Milacron Inc., HPM Corp. and Van Dorn Demag Corp. — showed two-platen machines for the first time.
Two others, Engel and Krauss-Maffei Corp., showed two-platen machines first at K'95 in Germany.
Engel North America manufactures machines in York and Guelph, Ontario.