All-electric injection presses keep getting bigger - in terms of clamping force and shot size.
Ube Machinery Corp. Ltd. of Nagoya, Japan, has introduced a giant, 419-ounce injection capacity on its big all-electric press that has cracked the 2,000-ton barrier for clamping force.
Another Japanese machinery maker, Japan Steel Works Ltd. of Hiroshima, now offers a 1,980-ton model.
Ube has built 2,000-ton all-electrics in Japan for several years, according to David Bernardi, senior sales and marketing manager for Ube Machinery Inc., the company's U.S. operation in Ann Arbor, Mich. Bernardi said Ube sold its first 2,000-tonner to a U.S. customer in 2002, and has sold between five and seven more. All have gone to U.S. automotive customers, he said.
The new, bigger injection unit can run 419 ounces of styrene on Ube's wide-platen, 2,000-ton press. Bernardi said the press uses a screw with a diameter of 5.6 inches.
Bernardi said the 2,000-tonner uses the same basic drive technology of Ube's next-biggest all-electric, which has clamping force of 1,550 tons. Ube's Ann Arbor plant, which has built some 1,550 ton presses, now has enough crane capacity to assemble the 2,000 ton machines as well, he said.
This month, Ube announced it shipped the 200th injection press built in Ann Arbor, where Ube began assembling machines in 1996.
Japan Steel Works is closing in on the 2,000-ton threshold - JSW now makes a 1,980-ton all-electric press with a maximum shot size of 200 ounces.
``We started production at the beginning of 2004, and we've delivered four sets to the Japanese domestic market,'' said Bob Columbus, head of marketing for JSW Plastics Machinery Inc., the company's regional office in Elk Grove Village, Ill.
Columbus said the company has not sold any of the 1,980-tonners to U.S. customers yet. But he said JSW has sold about six of the next-largest models in the United States, machines with 1,450 tons of clamping force. That size also comes with a 200-ounce shot.
The U.S. sales have gone to automotive molders. In Japan, JSW also has sold the big electrics into the housewares market, he said.