SAN FRANCISCO — All-electric presses for replicating optical media made a strong impression at Replitech North America, held June 8-10 in San Francisco.
Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd.'s plastics machinery division demonstrated its SD35E electric toggle machine, which will be available for delivery from the company's Chiba, Japan, plant in October. The machine extends Sumitomo's line of four straight hydraulic electric presses.
Senior engineer Sosuke Ishikawa said the new Sumitomo unit has a clamping force of 381/2 tons and the ability to replicate four compact-disc formats and the read-only-memory version of digital versatile discs. The firm is completing other optical formats.
Exhibited for the first time at Replitech, the SD35E uses Sumitomo-built motors with full closed-loop control and digital sensors.
Toyo Machinery & Metal Co. Ltd. showed its electric ST50disc double-toggle press, which was developed in 1997 with replicator Sony Disc Technology Co. and subsequently was released for sale to other firms.
Koji Hirota, overseas department manager with Toyo's Singapore branch, said each machine costs about $300,000. The Akashi, Japan-based firm expects to sell another 50 of the electric units during the first half of 1999.
Ferromatik Milacron Maschinenbau GmbH operated its 50-ton Elektra Disco, made now in Malterdingen, Germany, and sold as part of a specialty integrated system.
A complete disc-making system costs at least $750,000, with the injection press accounting for about 10-20 percent of the total, said Bruce Kozak, director of integrated processing systems for Ferromatik in Cincinnati.
``We are the only injection molding manufacturer doing systems on our own,'' he said. Most competitors ``do it through the integrator only.''
Ferromatik now is focusing on DVDs after selling about a dozen machines for making various CD formats. The initial sale occurred about a year ago, Kozak said.
``We see a market for DVDs to use our electrics,'' he added.
The electric system also works on smart-card, medical and packaging applications.
``We may build these in the U.S. in the future, but most of this technology resides in Europe,'' he said.
A press maker moving to new ownership, Data Disc Robots GmbH of Wurselen, Germany, continues to offer its Roboshot all-electric molding machines.
Jenoptik AG of Jena, Germany, is acquiring majority ownership and intends to operate Data Disc as an independent company.
Wilhelm Jung succeeds Detlef Seiffert as managing director. Jung joined Data Disc in 1998 as vice president of marketing and sales.