Visitors to NPE 2003 will see Demag Plastics Group's (Booth S2202) first all-electric injection press with direct drive.
Initially, the IntElect DD will be assembled in Wiehe, Germany, so it also will be the company's first all-electric press built outside of the United States. Demag Plastics Group is a single company formed last year through the marriage of sister companies Demag Ergotech GmbH of Schwaig, Germany, and Strongsville, Ohio-based Van Dorn Demag Corp.
Demag Plastics Group first showed the IntElect DD earlier this month in Milan, Italy, at Plast 2003. Officials gave more details during a May 13 news conference that outlined their plans for NPE.
The NPE press is a final prototype. Bill Carteaux, co-chief executive officer of Demag Plastics Group, said the company plans to roll out the IntElect DD commercially in the second quarter of 2004.
Van Dorn introduced the original IntElect in 2001. Built in the Strongsville factory, the machine uses a belt and ball screw to transfer the circular motion of the electric motor into linear movement needed to run an injection molding machine. Most current all-electrics on the market use the belt-and-ball screw design. Japanese suppliers sell direct-drive machines, touting advantages like no belt wear and easy maintenance.
Carteaux leads the Strongsville Van Dorn operation. The co-CEO, Helmar Franz, heads the Demag factories in Schwaig and Wiehe, Germany.
Both executives said that, although production of the direct-drive IntElect will begin in Wiehe, the company may build the DD in Strongsville in the future. ``We're still working through issues of manufacturing,'' Carteaux said.
Overall, Demag Plastics Group will operate as an integrated global company, with parts and assemblies coming from any of its location, but final assembly done at the factory closest to the customer.
The company still has not filled its open post of chief operating officer in charge of machine production, but Carteaux said officials now are considering whether to have two people perform that function.
Development of the direct-drive press was shared by Demag Plastics Group engineers in Strongsville and Germany, and at the company's plant in Chennai, India, which it runs in partnership with an Indian machinery maker.
``It's an extremely exciting time for us as we further integrate our technologies,'' Carteaux said.
Current direct-drive technology limits the size of an injection press to only smaller machines. At NPE, the company will run a 110-ton DD IntElect molding an electrical connector.
But Carteaux said ball-screw technology used to have the same limitations, but evolved to larger sizes. ``When we started this project three or four years ago, the direct drives we have today were not available,'' he said.
Officials declined to give pricing information on the direct-drive press. They said technical details will be available at NPE.
In personnel news, Carteaux also announced that Demag Plastics Group hired Brian Bishop as vice president of sales for North America. Most recently, Bishop was vice president of sales at Engel Machinery Inc. of York, Pa. Before that, he was general manager of injection molding machines at HPM Corp. in Mount Gilead, Ohio.