At the Fakuma trade show, Ferromatik Milacron Maschinenbau GmbH introduced a two-component injection molding machine that is fully electric, and announced the sale of 22 hydraulic K-Tec presses to a customer in Germany.
The K-Tec machines were sold to Sweden-based GP Plastindustri's factory in Dresden, Germany, which molds caps and closures. The presses are driven by accumulator-assisted hydraulics. Ferromatik Milacron ``relaunched'' the K-Tec in mid-2003, by offering more options as standard, for the same price.
Multicomponent molding was a theme at Fakuma, held Oct. 14-18 in Friedrichshafen. For Ferromatik Milacron, the show marked the world premier of the Elektra Evolution 155 2F, an all-electric machine for multishot molding. At the show, the press was molding a glass-reinforced housing for an appliance knob, with an integral moving part. The EE two-component line is available in clamping forces of 30-300 tons.
Everything is powered by electricity on the EE multishot press, including the turntable that rotates the spinning mold, said Marc Tesche, head of application technology for the company in Malterdingen, Germany. The second injection unit can be set up vertically or in the L position.
Growing in popularity in the United States, multicomponent molding already is common in Europe. Ferromatik Milacron officials said 30 percent of the company's sales come from multishot machines.
All-electric machines, on the other hand, are more popular in the U.S. market than in Europe. Michael Koch, managing director, said all-electrics account for only 2-3 percent of the market there - but Ferromatik Milacron is a major player. He said the company plans to build 150 of the Evolution presses next year, which is about 25 percent of its total machinery output.
In other news, Koch said that Ferromatik Milacron is sourcing some components - machine frames for the Evolution and electrical control cabinet - from the Uniloy Milacron blow molding machinery plant in the Czech Republic. The move was done to reduce costs, he said. The company also is sourcing some parts from China, Koch said.
In other technology news from the show, Ferromatik Milacron wowed visitors as they grabbed up large dog beds molded with the company's Monosandwich coinjection process on an 880-ton, two-platen Maxima press. Shaped like a large pan, the beds were molded with an outer skin enclosing a core of recycled material. A side extruder introduces the skin material into the single injection unit.
Ferromatik Milacron is part of Milacron Inc., based in Cincinnati.