DUSSELDORF, GERMANY — Krauss-Maffei Kunststofftechnik GmbH jumped into the PET preform market at K'98, and showed an unusual machine that combines compounding with injection molding.
Krauss-Maffei's top executive, Wilhelm Schroder, also said the company has not made a final decision on plans for U.S. machine assembly.
After Krauss-Maffei's Oct. 24 news conference in Dusseldorf, Schroder confirmed a Plastics News report that Krauss-Maffei and its parent, Mannesmann Plastics Machinery AG, seriously are considering the assembly of injection molding machines in the United States.
Meanwhile, Krauss-Maffei joins the increasingly crowded market for injection presses for making PET preforms.
The company introduced a 192-ton Petform press with a 24-cavity mold. Initially, the company also will offer 22- and 48-cavity molds.
For years, the PET preform machine market was dominated by Canada's Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd.
But at K, several other companies introduced PET machines — including Demag Ergotech GmbH, a sister company to Krauss-Maffei.
Schroder said he is not afraid of overcrowding.
Krauss-Maffei, which kept its development costs down, does not expect to challenge Husky seriously, he said.
The hydraulic Petform machines are made on the same platform as Krauss-Maffei's C range of injection presses.
``From our standpoint, it's not such a big investment. If we have a chance to sell 10 systems, maybe 20 [a year], we will be happy,'' Schroder said at K. ``We will not hunt Husky.''
Petform presses have the traditional horizontal injection unit, but they use a vertical clamp. The clamp design allows the preforms to drop straight into the robot gripper arm.
Traditional horizontal designs use complex vacuum systems. A vertical clamp also creates more-uniform heat distribution in the hot runners.
Krauss-Maffei and another sister company, extruder maker Berstorff GmbH, also unveiled one of the more exotic machines at the Dusseldorf show — the IMC, which stands for injection molding and compounding machine.
Schroder said the IMC still is under development at Krauss-Maffei headquarters in Munich and Berstorff in Hanover, Germany.
Tests will begin soon at a German molder of outdoor furniture, which he declined to identify.
A Berstorff twin-screw compounding extruder is mounted above two injection units. The extruder continuously compounds the material, then feeds the melt, alternating between the injection units.
Krauss-Maffei said the main advantage is that the plastic has only one heat history.
At K'98, Krauss-Maffei also showed:
New hot-melt bonders and ultraviolet bonders for digital versatile discs.
The fully automated hot-melt bonder is designed for making the DVD 5, DVD 10 and DVD 17 formats, plus DVD-video and DVD-RW. Two halves are molded, then bonded together and finished off-line. The UV bonder is aimed at the dual-layer, single-sided DVD 9 format, but the machine also can bond DVD 5, the company said.
A new high-speed injection press, the C3 Sprinter, which replaces the B3 model. The C3 has the company's two-platen C range technology. It comes in seven sizes, from 154-660 tons. An accumulator drives the fast-moving hydraulic clamp 20 percent faster than the previous model. Screw drive is electric. At K, C3 presses molded a bucket and screw-on beverage caps.
New injection units on its large-press line, the MC series, which boasts a smaller footprint and lower energy consumption. Thanks to a modular approach, each press size can be combined with as many as four sizes of injection units and three plasticizing units.
The new Decoform process for in-mold laminating of decor material and substrates in cars. Krauss-Maffei's Decoform machines have much larger platens — sometimes double the size of standard machines, extra distance between tie bars and bigger maximum open stroke. Conventional laminating technology uses adhesives, and several steps, to manufacture car door trim panels and roof column trim.
Decoform does it in a single step, under lower melt temperatures and lower pressure.
The company's C-range machines also can be modified to run Decoform.
An upgraded C4 controller module for extrusion that allows a technician to monitor a machine remotely and diagnose problems.
In extrusion, the company introduced four-strand pipe extrusion, showing a line making four small-diameter PVC pipes simultaneously.
Also new — a system for direct extrusion of filled or fiber-reinforced pipe, sheet or profiles that eliminates the need for a separate pre-compounding line.
A RIM-Star 2000 polyurethane pump-metering machine, with modular design, and a PUC 07 data-acquisition system for PUR that runs under the Windows NT system.