Demag Plastics Group has a simple theme for K 2004 - unity.
DPG was formed by the 2002 merger of sister injection press makers Demag Ergotech in Germany and Van Dorn Demag of Strongsville. In Dusseldorf, Demag Plastics Group will present an integrated product line of injection presses.
K 2004 also marks the worldwide roll-out of the all-electric press, the IntElect, including the production version of a direct- drive electric called IntElect DD. A prototype DD was displayed at NPE 2003.
K show visitors also will see the new Titan two-platen press and larger sizes of the hybrid El-Exis S range to handle large stack molds for packaging.
Demag Plastics Group held a pre-K news conference in late June in Schwaig, its German headquarters. Officials at the U.S. headquarters in Strongsville outlined DPG's show plans in an Aug. 17 interview.
The company now has three broad product lines: Smart Line, Performance Line and Elite Line. Individual machines fit under these categories. Smart covers standard presses. The Performance Line includes two-platen presses and the IntElect. Finally, Elite machines include specialized and high-speed presses for packaging, multicomponent molding and vertical presses.
DPG is enjoying a solid fiscal 2003/2004, which will end Sept. 30, officials said. For the year, the firm expects to book new orders for 2,650 machines valued at about 337 million euros ($400 million). That represents a rise of 13 percent from the press-order total of 2,347 in 2002/ 2003, and a 10 percent sales gain from 305 million euros.
Bill Carteaux, co-executive managing director, said DPG engineers and executives frequently travel back and forth between Ohio and Germany. He said the combined company has greater access to global customers than the U.S. and German parts would have on their own.
``Neither one of us would be able to do this alone,'' Carteaux said. ``It was because of the cooperation that we were able to grow.''
One example is Demag's new Titan two-platen press.
``It's the first product to be truly harmonized. It's not just a name change - it really is a harmonized system,'' said Larry Doyle, marketing manager for North America and international product manager.
A two-platen Titan with 1,210 tons of clamping force - the largest of eight machines to be displayed at DPG's K show booth - will mold a protective automotive cover made of long-glass-fiber-reinforced polypropylene. The parts will be removed by a six-axis robot made by Kuka Roboter GmbH of Augsburg, Germany.
DPG also offers a 2,200-ton Titan. Plans call for extending the two-platen series up to 4,400 tons, in six press sizes.
For now, the Titan is intended to complement the Caliber and Maxx two-platen presses. In the medium term, it will replace them. The company plans to integrate the large-tonnage machines into its platform concept, assembling the presses at each location for quicker deliveries.
Titan incorporates design aspects from the Caliber machines, with features from the Maxx such as advanced hydraulic technology and linear-bearing guidance for the moving platen. Doyle said the company has changed the tonnage range and boosted tie-bar spacing. On the 1,210-ton press, the distance between tie bars is 62.8 inches by 52 inches.
Titan's tie bars are anchored in the moving platen and locked in the stationary platen during tonnage buildup, then they disengage from the stationary platen when the clamp opens.
For Demag Plastics Group, the unification theme continues with the IntElect, first introduced in 2001 at the Plastics USA show. K 2004 marks the harmonized, global launch of the line.
DPG has divided production of the all-electrics between Germany and Strongsville, based on press size and power transmission technology. Smaller IntElects are built in Wiehe, Germany. Strongsville is assembling larger IntElects, from 220-385 tons, that use a belt and ball screw design, Doyle said.
The Elite Line includes the El-Exis S line of hybrid electric/hydraulic presses, the Multi line of presses with multiple injection units, and vertical-clamp machines including Newbury and Praxis.
El-Exis S presses used to top out at 460 tons, but Demag Plastics Group has added two larger sizes, 615 and 730 tons, in a bid to become a leader in high-volume packaging equipment. Doyle said the company wanted to beef up the machines to handle heavier multicavity molds and large stack molds, to meet the demands of the U.S. market. El-Exis machines blend electric drives for plasticizing and mold movements with high-speed hydraulic injection.
The Smart Line includes standard presses, for basic custom molding, such as the Germany-built Extra, the U.S.-made HT, the Dragon built in China and the India-made Santosh. The Extra is a global seller, but the other machines are built for their home markets, Doyle said.
Demag Plastics Group has increased the clamping force on three of the Extras - 132 tons (instead of 121 tons), 143 tons (instead of 137.5 tons) and 176 tons (instead of 165 tons).