DUSSELDORF, GERMANY — Austria's Engel Vertriebsgesselschaft mbH entered the all-electric fray at K'98, and Engel also demonstrated a new way to make color surface on car body panels with no painting.
Engel showed its first all-electric press in Dusseldorf — a 100-tonner with no tie bars. Engel is selling the machine's high-speed and repeatability. The press, with direct-current drive servo motors, boasts an injection speed of eight inches per second.
``This is not a production machine,'' said Brian Bishop, vice president of sales. ``We're basically evaluating it for the high-end market.''
The electric press, dubbed the ES 600/100 HL SEL, has five servo-electric axes. A servo crank drive powers the injection unit. A servo toggle lever drive works the three-point toggle clamping unit.
Engel's new automotive press joins together injection molding and thermoforming, plus a new technology called paintless film molding.
``Exterior body panels, that's what we're going after,'' Bishop said during a tour of Engel's booth, where a two-platen, 1,650-ton DUO press was turning out rear hatch doors for a car.
First, a thermoforming machine makes a preform, fused to a coextruded colored film. The preform is inserted into an injection molding machine, where backing material is added to make the part rigid.
The use of Engel's injection/ compression process means a car body that normally would require a press with 2,200 tons of clamping force can run on a 1,650-ton machine.
The press at K used an articulating-arm robot, set off to the side of the injection molding press. Traditionally, robots have been mounted atop the press.
Engel has three partners in PFM car-body molding project: Senoplast Klepsch & Co. of Piesendorf, Austria, which makes the Senotop brand of in-mold film; BASF AG of Ludwigshafen, Germany, which makes the raw material for the film; Rohm GmbH of Darmstadt, Germany, which supplies the film coating material.
In other K news, Engel is making larger tie-barless machines. It molded television housings on a 660-ton tie-barless press.
Previously, Engel's biggest tie-barless was 440 tons.