DUSSELDORF, GERMANY — Hettinga Technologies Inc., known for its low-pressure injection molding machines, introduced at K'98 a fully personal-computer-based controller, which it is offering for sale to other machinery manufacturers.
Also at the Dusseldorf show, Hettinga Technologies debuted a new process called Inverted Force Molding, which controls the melt front as it moves through the mold.
The controller, called HALC (for Hettinga Advanced-Level Control), works on Windows NT systems. Company owner Siebolt Hettinga said Hettinga developed the HALC controller to run its own presses.
``We needed it because of our multiple-station machines,'' he said.
Hettinga confirmed a report published during the K show that Hettinga Technologies is licensing the technology to two Japanese companies, but he declined to name the licensees.
HALC is easy to set up and run, and connects to other systems easily, Hettinga claims. As an all-PC system, HALC also can be upgraded quickly and cheaply.
Hettinga Technologies has been making a PC-based control system since 1986, but this is the first time the company is selling the controller to others.
The company's Inverted Force Molding exercises real-time control of the volume of the melt front as it fills the mold cavity. With low-pressure molding, IMF changes injection speed and pressure to compensate for the changes in the surface speed of the melt front.
IMF assures that the effective pressure and forward speed of the leading edge remain constant through the whole fill, according to the company.
IMF controls parameters on the molding machine such as injection speed, pressure, volume, revolutions per minute and back pressure, at more than 4,000 points during the molding process.
At K'98, the Des Moines, Iowa, company displayed a complete dishwasher interior molded on a 715-ton Hettinga injection press.
Normally, it would take a much larger machine to mold the part, Hettinga said.
Hettinga Technologies also announced it received two new U.S. patents in May and June. The first covers a way to make load-bearing floors from a very strong, metal-reinforced plastic panel structure.
The second patent covers the firm's Family Mold Sequential Molding, which replaces family molds with a single mold that produces multiple small and dissimilar parts.
Inside the mold, gates open and close, so each mold cavity can fill according to its own specific parameters