DUDELANGE, LUXEMBOURG — Not content with plans to build the world's biggest injection molding press at 8,800 tons, Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. is reinforcing its smaller machine range too.
In a bid to appeal more widely to molders in the midsize press range, Husky of Bolton, Ontario, will introduce a string of machines with clamping forces less than 200 tons this fall.
The company will add machines with 60, 90, 120 and 160 tons of clamping force, but will not add any presses with a tonnage below 40 tons, said Robert Schad, Husky's founder and president.
The 160-ton version will replace the current 160-ton model in Husky's medium-range G series of presses, he said.
Schad said some machines will be produced on a test basis this fall and sales will be made for delivery next year.
The first of the new generation — the 90-tonner — is currently at prototype stage, with tests to begin at selected North American customers' sites late this year. The 90-ton unit will be commercialized first, with other versions of the fast new machines following.
The project is being undertaken at Husky's Canadian manufacturing base at Bolton, but future production may switch to the firm's new campus in Milton, Vt., Schad said.
In other Husky news:
The company plans to establish another technical center, this time in Shanghai, China. The company already has two new centers being completed in SÃo Paulo, Brazil, and Coventry, England.
Schad said construction on the Shanghai center will begin next year, and will take about one year to complete. Husky plans to build one center per year; others exist in Los Angeles; Atlanta; Dudelange; and Yokohama, Japan.
Husky released more details about the 8,800-ton press destined for its new development center in Novi, Mich.
Chrysler Corp. will rent machine time on the press, and plans to use the machine to mold prototype body parts for a highly fuel-efficient, all-plastic body vehicle.
The press will feature a shot weight of about 100 pounds. Engineers are still trying to decide how best to deliver that big load — using two screws, each with a screw diameter of 6.8 inches, or using a single, 8-inch-diameter screw, said large tonnage machines General Manger Helmut Hock in an interview in Dudelange.
The mammoth machine will have eight tie bars, four on top and four on the bottom. Normally, injection presses have four tie bars, with one on each corner. Hock said the eight-bar configuration means Chrysler will not be able to use a top-entry robot to remove the car parts. Husky and Chrysler are evaluating other types of robots.
Husky will spend about $20 million to open the Novi technical center — double what officials said earlier this month.
Plastics News senior reporter Bill Bregar also contributed to this story.