CHICAGO (July 14, 3:40 p.m. EDT) — Toshiba Machine Co. Ltd. enjoyed an "electric" NPE 2000.
Two years ago at the German K´98 show, Toshiba introduced a single all-electric press, an EC model with 66 tons of clamping force. In Chicago this year, six of Toshiba´s seven injection molding machines on display were electrics. Clamping forces on the EC line now range from 22-386 tons.
Toshiba also announced a new controller specially developed for the electric machines.
The smallest EC, at 22 tons, demonstrated micromolding — a new market for Toshiba. Previously, Toshiba´s smallest press was a 30-tonner, said Tim Glassburn, vice president at Toshiba Machine Co. America in Elk Grove Village, Ill.
Toshiba´s 66-ton model made its North American debut at a California trade show in early 1999. At NPE, Glassburn said sales since then have been excellent in North America.
"I´d say more than 25 percent or our sales are now electric machines," he said.
Electric motors drive a five-point toggle clamping mechanism.
"We have made a commitment to all-electric machines because they are more precise, have a far superior record for precision molding and cost significantly less to operate," Glassburn said.
Specifically, Toshiba claims all-electric presses reduce energy consumption by 60-80 percent. A specially designed servo-electric motor gives high-speed molding, with injection rates as much as 50-75 percent faster, the company claims.
Six separate motors drive each processing function.
In controller news, Toshiba said its new V21 is now standard on all of its all-electric machines. Glassburn said the screen format is the same as earlier Toshiba controllers. New features include an overlap circuit that reduces cycle times by allowing injection to begin before complete lock-up of the mold. It also allows for degassing and coining.
Another feature of the V21, called a laminar flow control circuit, allows the filling speed to be controlled by a template created by the injection pressure. Toshiba said that creates a stable, repeatable mold-filling process.
Toshiba has jumped into e-commerce as well. At www.toshiba-machine.com, customers now can order parts, register for training classes, apply for credit or request a quote. In the future, Toshiba plans to add remote diagnostics, on-line engineering and service support and a technical form to help molders solve problems.