* A 275-ton Ferromatik Milacron K-Tec press that is molding a two-part lid, doing in-mold assembly and labeling the lid - all in a single injection molding machine, using an exotic Foboha twin-cube stack-turning mold.
Milacron first showed the crowd-wowing technology at the K 2004 show in Germany, where the company molded a two-part lid for chewing tobacco.
In Chicago, the application is a bit more mainstream: disc-top closures with two colors, typically used for shampoo, shower gel or body lotion.
Each of the two rotating cubes will have four, 48-cavity mold faces - so the press gives double the cavitation of a conventional press, with no additional clamping force.
The body of the lid is molded on one turning cube, the flip-up disc on the other. The stack cubes then index to align the mold faces for assembly. The disc is forced into the cap body during part ejection. The finished part is then indexed 90 degrees to the outside for removal of finished closures by a Foboha unscrewing device.
Benefits include double the number of cavities on one press; simultaneous operations so that labels, inserts and part removal have no influence on cycle time; and reduced cooling time since the parts cool in the cube.
The secondary injection unit is mounted on a 40-degree angle on top of the moving platen, where it rests on a carriage mounted to a linear guide, which is supported by the stationary platen. The nozzle stays in direct contact with the mold, so no additional injection-unit movement has to be factored into cycle time.
Ferromatik Milacron and Foboha GmbH Formenbau have collaborated on more than 110 stack turning molds since 1998, according to Robert Hare, general manager of Ferromatik Milacron U.S.A. ``We believe we are the technological leader in turning stack and multicomponent molding,'' Hare said.
Hare declined to identify customers, but he said that most of these superhigh-output systems are in the United States. Custom molders own more of the turning stack systems than proprietary-product companies, he said.
* A 550-ton all-electric Powerline NT press running a fully automated cell produces a fully assembled flowerpot/base combination, complete with an RFID label (radio-frequency-identification). The same product normally requires two injection presses and downstream labor.
Milacron put the two molds, for the pot and the base, in a single machine, with a D-M-E sequential valve-gate hot runner. The application demonstrates the new Mosaic control's standard setup, which permits sequential injection.
After molding, a robot moves both parts to a conveyor, where the label is applied and the parts are assembled together.
Andy Stirn, the Powerline product manager, said the flowerpot is an example of a commodity part that could be molded in cheap-labor countries, bolstered with automation to remove hand-assembly.
The Powerline NT at NPE 2006 introduces a direct-drive injection unit with a single roller-screw actuator - five times faster than a ball screw, the company claims. Milacron said that reduces noise and inertia. A direct, rack-and-pinion drive powers the toggle clamp.
* A 110-ton, Roboshot S2000iB all-electric press is molding medical fluid separators using Priamus in-mold cavity temperature sensors to control the timing of the coining process - which is used to put the diaphragm on the part. The ultrathin wall section is created by an electric cylinder triggered by the cavity sensor, which immediately detects when the melt flow hits the sensor position.
According to Milacron, since the actuation has to happen before the end of fill, you can't use pressure, screw position or cavity pressure to get the melt front location inside the cavity.
Features of the new S2000iB model includes injection acceleration from zero to 300 millimeters a second in less than 30 milliseconds, artificial intelligence and wider tie-bar spacing.
A new moving-platen design produces a more-equal pressure distribution across the mold face.
The S2000iB is being introduced to North America with 110-ton models at the booths of Milacron, Moldflow Corp. (Booth S1470) and Staubli Corp. (Booth S1485), and a 55-ton model at Universal Dynamics Inc. (Booth S2249).
* The sixth generation of Milacron's Magna hydraulic toggle press, a new version of the MT that combines a small footprint with a fast lock-over-clamp, new easy-service hydraulics and a bolt-on secondary injection unit. The press is using a spinning stack mold to make a polypropylene perfume cap with a thermoplastic elastomer soft-touch area.
The bolt-on injection unit is positioned vertically, in an L shape.
* Uniloy Milacron is showing what it calls the first multilayer reciprocating blow molding machine - for an unusual application of milk or soy-based beverages with a six-month shelf life without refrigeration.
The three-layer bottles are targeted to consumers in developing countries that have limited access to refrigeration, said Richard Smith, marketing and sales director for reciprocating-screw technologies. At NPE 2006, Uniloy is molding Euro-standard, nonhandled bottles on the first such press, called the UMR2000-3L.
The bottles weigh 28-32 grams each, or just under an ounce to about 1.13 ounces, and have a 43mm neck finish.
Key to the long shelf life is the inner barrier layer that does not allow light to get inside, and a sterile production environment. The machine uses sterile air to blow the bottles in an enclosed, pressurized clamping area.
A proprietary mechanical sealing method in the blowing cycle seals the containers, entrapping the sterile air inside the bottle until filling. A patented mechanical volume evacuation system eliminates the need for a typical vacuum system.
Milacron will show three extruders:
* A TPI-155-26 parallel twin-screw extruder for running rigid profiles, flexible PVC pelletizing or wood-flour composites. The extruder, with a 115mm screw diameter, can pump out 2,000 pounds of PVC pipe and sheet an hour, 1,600 pounds of profiles, 1,815 pounds of siding and 2,200 pounds for PVC pelletizing.
TPI extruders have a length-to-diameter ratio of 26-1 or 33-1, covering a wide spectrum of applications.
* A TC-86 conical twin-screw extruder that boasts high-volume, low-shear homogenous melts, especially with high-fiber loading, natural fiber blends and sensitive materials. The large-diameter screws run from 176mm tapering to 86mm, with a L-D ratio of 27-1. An optimized surface area in the feed zone gives faster, more uniform heat transmission from the screw to the material.
The tapered design also allows for a larger feed zone, for fluffy material with light bulk density, like wood flour, and compresses the material during processing so it gets completely wetted out, the company said.
* A single-screw Akron Milacron PAK 350 extruder, offering ``plug-and-play'' installation, with custom configurations for specific applications.
In news about parts and service, Milacron's ServTek unit is demonstrating the principle of Barr Inc.'s ET and VBET injection screws, using a medium that simulates plastic pellets. Milacron partnered with Barr last year, to manufacture and sell the screws in the United States. The screws are available on new injection presses or as an aftermarket on any brand of machine, ServTek said.