During NPE 2003, remanufacturer Epco Machinery LLC announced agreements with three major controller brands -Siemens, Allen-Bradley and Barber-Colman.
Epco, based in Fremont, Ohio, retrofits the controllers onto injection molding machines, extruders and blow molding machines.
Epco has teamed with Siemens Energy & Automation Inc. of Lebanon, Ohio, to offer three new controllers that the firms claim are easy to run.
Two injection molding controllers are based on Siemens' Simactic S7-300 programmable logic controller. The Siject IM16-170, an open-loop injection molding control, is a low-cost solution for small to midsized injection molding machines. It controls all timing, counting functions and machine sequencing, as well as clamp, eject and injection control. It provides diagnostic messages and stores mold setup recipes. Options include interfacing with auxiliary equipment and an Ethernet connection.
The IM16-270 runs closed-loop injection molding. Features include selectable open- or closed-loop pressure and speed control. It comes with a 10-inch touch-screen color monitor and a Windows CE-based 32-bit microprocessor. The IM16-270 comes with 10-step profiles for injection, hold pressure, packing pressure and back pressure; a 16-step profile clamp control and four-step profile ejector control. A transfer switch controls time, position and pressure.
For extruders, Epco and Siemens are marketing the Siject EX16-170 as a low-cost open-loop extrusion controller based on Simatic S7-300 programming with the firm's Step 7 Tool and MP170 operator interface.
Epco can install controllers as kits, complete with customer training, or the customer can install the units.
``These packages offer lots of capabilities not typically found in this price range, and they're extremely easy to operate,'' said Sam DeBartolo, Epco's national sales manager.
From Allen-Bradley, a unit of Milwaukee-based Rockwell International Corp., comes the ControlLogix system for injection molding, extrusion, accumulator-head blow molding and transfer molding. The unit uses high-speed closed-loop hydraulic valve controllers for fast updating, as it monitors and controls valve outputs, pressures and positions within the hydraulic circuit.
ControlLogix uses Rockwell's Logix-based control system and an Allen-Bradley 618P Windows 2000-based interface with a personal computer, run through an A-B DeviceNet network. Data moves from the controller through the system's Ethernet control module.
ControlLogix models for injection molding use a Bosch-Rexroth injection and clamp controller.
From Barber-Colman/Eurotherm, based in Leesville, comes upgrade controllers for injection presses and blow molders. The E-7000-I injection molding control and the E-7000-B blow molding control, introduced at NPE 2003, provide real-time data. Both systems use an advanced screen set designed for easier use by machine operators. Operators can pull up documents, such as work instructions and manuals.
Both the injection module and the blow molding parison module use Barber-Colman's Impact II for maximum control.
Just before NPE, Epco announced it has purchased the parts and service assets for Farrel and Lombard injection presses. President Steve Schroeder said the deal includes all molding machines under those two brands, in clamping forces from 225-750 tons.