Italy's MIR SpA has built an injection press with 8,800 tons of clamping force, to join the land of the giants.
MIR used 16 large trucks to deliver the press last fall to Contenur SA in Madrid, Spain. Contenur molds containers for the collection of municipal solid waste and industrial storage products.
The press, built at MIR's headquarters plant in Brescia, Italy, pairs two 4,400-ton presses side by side. The machine is a giant version of MIR's Ecologica range.
The Italian machinery maker is now in select company:
Canada's Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. runs an 8,800-ton press at its technical center in Novi, Mich. That press has a single injection unit.
Cascade Engineering Inc. of Grand Rapids, Mich., molds waste containers and other parts on a 9,000-ton press supplied by Battenfeld of America Inc. Like the MIR press, the Battenfeld behemoth uses two dual presses mounted side by side. Each one has a clamping force of 4,500 tons.
Paris-based Cie. Plastic Omnium SA runs a similar, two-presses- in-one machine with total clamping force of 11,000 tons at a plant in France. Each of the tandem injection units have 5,500 tons of clamping force.
Few plastic parts are big enough to require an 8,800-ton press, so MIR is pitching versatility. The two injection/clamping units can work independently of one another.
To run the hydraulic-clamp machine efficiently, variable-speed motors run only when needed to provide power.
One major challenge, according to MIR, was keeping the platens parallel during the clamping phase.
The key is an electronic control system for the hydraulic and electric functions of the two injection/clamping units, one of the two control systems acts as a "master," taking priority over the other one.
When the injection/clamping units run separately, each controller takes care of its own production unit.
Each injection unit is closed-loop-controlled by a servo valve and a microprocessor.
MIR said it expects to sell a second, even larger injection press to a multinational company based in Europe, but no details were available.
The supersize MIRs are available for sale in the United States, said Ed Matola, national sales manager for MIR USA Corp. in Leominster, Mass.