BERLIN (Aug. 27, 11 a.m. EDT) — After several years of nay-saying, Battenfeld GmbH has come down with a case of two-platen religion.
The press, a version of Battenfeld's HM, is equipped with retractable tie bars that pull back when the mold opens to give free access to the molding area — similar to presses made by the former HPM Hemscheidt factory in Schwerin, Germany. Battenfeld hired some key employees from that operation after it went bankrupt last year.
Battenfeld, a unit of SMS Plastics Technology, also announced a new lower-cost version of its all-electric press, the EM line, and a high-speed version of its TMS press, during a pre-K2001 news conference July 10 in Berlin. The company also will show its Aquamould technology for water-assisted molding, which boasts reduced cycle time during production of thick-wall parts.
At the K show in Dusseldorf, Germany, Battenfeld will demonstrate a two-platen machine molding an automotive part in an automated work cell. The robot will not have to cross the tie bars to get the part.
Even after other major injection press manufacturers eliminated the third platen, saving space and reducing manufacturing costs, Battenfeld leaders clung to the notion that three is better. The third platen, also called the end platen, transmits clamping force to the tie bars and the moving platens — and going to two platens poses challenges of platen deflection.
Battenfeld claimed its three-platen HM presses require the same space as competitors' two-platen machines. Now the company claims its two-platen model has the smallest footprint of any hydraulic machine in its clamping-force category.
Battenfeld engineers used finite element analysis to design the platens, ensuring that the platens remain parallel and rigid during clamping. Battenfeld introduced its first all-electric press back in 1992, the CDK-SE series. Now at K'2001, the company is rolling out the second-generation machine by showing a 166-ton EM press molding a medical part. More sizes will be available in 2002.
Scanning time on the new EM — which is an indicator of speed and control quality — has been increased by a factor of ten.
Meinerzhagen, Germany-based Battenfeld is applying for patents for the EM. In Berlin, company officials would not reveal many technical details about the press, except to say the machine will offer greater precision and efficiency, and a competitive price, compared with competing electrics.
Helmut Eschwey, chairman of SMS Plastics Technology, said pricing pressures remain for electric presses, but he said molders understand why electrics are priced higher than hydraulic machines.
“The market does not expect the price of the electric machine to come down to the price of a hydraulic,” Eschwey told reporters in Berlin.
Battenfeld did give some details about the injection unit, which is powered by two synchronized electric drives to handle injection and holding pressure. A servomotor linked to a belt drives a roller screw. During the nozzle traveling movement, a two-stage transmission achieves a high force for nozzle contact and fast travel speed.
A Unilog B4 controller runs the machine.
Also in Dusseldorf, Battenfeld will show a high-speed version of its TM toggle-clamp press, the TMS, designed for molding thin-wall packaging such as yogurt or margarine tubs, and industrial parts such as housings or plugs. The TMS press at the show will by equipped with a double in-mold labeling line to produce 1,400 polypropylene margarine tubs an hour on a two-cavity mold
Servovalves run all axes of motion, and an accumulator system runs everything except the metering process. Guide rails support the injection unit.
SMS Plastics Technology extrusion units also promise an active K show.
Cincinnati Extrusion, based in Vienna, Austria, will introduce two quick-ship, single-screw extruders, called Alpha machines, for profile extrusion. The company can ship the extruder a few hours after getting an order.
“You can start production overnight,” said Hans Berlisg, head of marketing.
The fixed-priced machine comes in a limited number of varieties with a predetermined set of components. That keeps the price low: 28,000 euros (about $23,800) for the smaller extruder, with a screw diameter of 45 millimeters and 34,000 euros ($28,900) for the 60mm machine.
Berlisg said Cincinnati Extrusion plans to sell Alpha extruders over the Internet soon.
Also at the show, Cincinnati Extrusion will introduce its Argos Plus series of parallel twin-screw extruders, boasting high output rates. Among other features, a new four-shaft drive gives increased torque, and the drive load has been boosted by 41 percent over regular Argos machines.
Another extrusion unit, American Maplan Corp. of McPherson, Kan., also will show a dual-strand extruder that can crank out 3,000 pounds of vinyl fence an hour.
Battenfeld Extrusion Technology GmbH will highlight machines to extrude polyethylene pipe.
Two SMS companies are working together to produce thermoformable films. Battenfeld Extrusion of Bad Oeynhausen, Germany, and the U.S.-based Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering Co. Inc. have created the Battenfeld TSL (for Thermo Sheet Line) technology for deep-draw thermoforming films such as polypropylene, polystyrene and PET. At K, a single-screw extruder will make cast PP film. SMS does not make thermoforming machines, but the equipment is configured to work with standard European and U.S.-made thermoformers.
In other news from Battenfeld Gloucester, based in Gloucester, Mass., the company will install a seven-layer cast film line at its new European headquarters in Vienna, which moved there last year from Droitwich, England.
Phil Murphree, president and chief executive officer, said the company continues to invest in multilayer die technology to serve fast-growing food-packaging markets.
Murphree also said the Battenfeld Chen Extrusion System in Shunde, China — the joint venture between Battenfeld Gloucester and Hong Kong-based Chen Hsong Machinery Co. Ltd. — has produced its first blown film line.