NEWINGTON, CONN. — The world came to Newington on March 5.
Germany's Arburg GmbH + Co. rolled out a new injection press in ceremonies at its U.S. unit, Arburg Inc. in Newington, and at 25 other locations around the world, all on the same day.
Normally in a K-show year, machinery firms hold off major introductions for the German trade show in October. But Arburg had a special reason for introducing the Allrounder C Jubilee eight months early: 1998 is Arburg's 75th anniversary.
The machine is the new version of Arburg's C series. It combines the best features of the C and other Arburg models, said Jack Downie, Arburg Inc.'s new executive vice president.
Downie said Arburg will continue to make the other models, but expects that as customers learn more about the press, the Jubilee will replace those machines.
Downie was named to the Arburg post in January. He had been president of Conair Franklin, part of auxiliary equipment maker Conair Group. Arburg manufactures small and midsize injection molding machines.
According to a company history, Karl Hehl constructed its first hand-operated plunger press in 1954 using rubble from a railroad bridge blown up in World War II.
Karl's father, Arthur Hehl, founded the company in 1923 in Lossburg, Germany. The firm made medical instruments, then shifted production after the war to camera flash devices. But when the metal plug connectors were shipped overseas they corroded. That's when Karl got the idea to encapsulate the plugs in plastic.In 1957 Arburg shifted operations completely to making injection presses.
Arburg has sold more than 90,000 machines. Today the company employs 1,700. The Hehl family still owns Arburg.
Downie said Arburg will begin shipping the Allrounder C Jubilee at the end of March. The press comes in nine sizes, in clamping forces of 28-220 tons. Downie gave price ranges for two of the sizes. The 55-ton Jubilee costs $52,500-$60,800, depending on options. The 110-ton machine is priced from $73,500-$81,800.
One feature of the new machine is a more-flexible, easier-to-use controller. The press has Arburg's Selogica controller, but the customer can pick between two operator interfaces, the Selogica or the Dialogica. To set up a machine with the Selogica, the operator moves graphic symbols on the screen into place along the molding sequence.
Arburg also has improved the C machine's hydraulics, integrating the oil tank and pumps directly into the machine base. The base and hydraulic manifold are mounted on anti-vibration bearings, reducing noise and vibrations.
The machines also come with Arburg's Vario principle, which can move the unit horizontally.
Downie said Arburg will show the Jubilee and other new machines at K'98.
An Arburg all-electric press could be on the horizon, but Arburg officials would not say if they plan to show one at K'98. At the K show in 1995, Arburg showed a prototype press that featured both an all-electric clamp and tie-barless design.
Peter Liebe, senior manager of export sales, said Arburg continues to conduct research and development into electric machines. Liebe said a recent patent-issue defeat in Europe will have no effect on Arburg's effort.
In October, the European Patent Office in Munich, Germany, upheld Cincinnati Milacron Inc.'s patents for the use of brushless, direct-current motors to run electric injection presses.
The patent office ruled against Arburg, which had filed several challenges against Cincinnati-based Milacron.
Liebe said Arburg's research and development work has focused on alternating-current motors, not direct-current motors as in the Milacron patent, and that work will continue.