Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. Ltd. (Booth S1440) - running close to the maximum capacity of 3,500 injection presses a year at its main plant in Nagano, Japan - has purchased a 480,000-square-foot building in Niigata City, Japan.
Nissei President Hozumi Yoda said the company bought the building in February and is currently upgrading it. Later this year, the Niigata plant will begin some metalworking operations and also begin to make electrical components.
Plans call for the factory to begin assembling injection presses in 2008, Yoda said in an interview Monday at Nissei's booth at NPE.
Nissei assembled 3,339 injection presses in its fiscal year 2005, which ended March 31 of this year. That's down slightly from the 3,436 presses it built in fiscal 2004.
Yoda attributed the solid numbers to strong sales from China, Vietnam and Thailand.
This week in Chicago, Nissei is showing six injection presses. The big news is the unveiling of what Nissei calls its X Pump - a servomotor drive coupled to a variable-volume pump.
The X Pump is a key to the new FNX Ecoject, said Peter Pollack, regional manager of Nissei's Chicago technical center. The FNX is a hydraulic machine, but the pump makes it comparable to an all-electric machine, he said.
Nissei is molding a document tray - ``in-basket'' - from high impact polystyrene, on a 17-second cycle on a 154-ton FNX press.
The X Pump saves energy, because the servomotor runs the hydraulic pump only when required. When not needed, the motor stops. The result: Nissei's FNX uses about 30 percent of the energy of one of Nissei's standard hydraulic machines.
Pollack said Nissei is pricing the FNX between all-electric presses and hydraulic machines.
The FNX uses the same direct-clamping mechanism that is employed by the hydraulic FN series, of which Nissei has sold 10,000 machines.
The X Pump also is fast and very precise. It can even change directions instantly. As a result, injection ramp-up speeds are on par with the all-electrics, at 45 milliseconds. Injection speeds can reach up to 300 millimeters per second - double that of Nissei's hydraulic machines. The machine also can run at ultralow speeds of just 1mm per second, needed for applications such as lenses.
The hybrid FNX uses 41 percent less hydraulic oil than Nissei's hydraulic presses.
In other NPE news, Nissei:
* Is introducing a hybrid vertical injection press, the Ecojet TNS100RE18E. A 116-ton press is molding an automotive fan shroud from glass-filled polypropylene, on a 13-second cycle. The machine, a true hybrid, also uses an X Pump. Servomotors are used to drive injection, metering, table rotation and ejectors.
Attributes include: a wide three-tie-bar turntable that accommodates larger molds and molds easier to attach; a fast turntable that can rotate in just 1.6 seconds.
* Nissei also has made some changes to its main line of all-electrics, the NEX, to improve precision, stability and machine speed. In Chicago, Nissei is showing two NEX machines: a 55-ton NEX molding ABS keypad plates and a 198-ton model molding cups in a six-cavity mold.
The improvements include clamping force feedback control for automatic clamping force correction. Nissei engineers developed automatic correction of clamping force to realize a ``direct pressure'' type of toggle mechanism. With a toggle mechanism, the clamping force initially set can change over time because of thermal expansion of the mold and tie bars as they get hotter. That means actual clamping force is unknown, so adjustments cannot be carried out during continuous production.
The improved NEX press is speedy, boasting injection speeds on the 55-tonner up to 500 millimeters per second. That's about 11/2 times faster than the previous NEX. Injection startup also is much better - improved by nearly three times over the old model.
* In two-shot molding, the company is running a 154-ton Elject DCE140-9E all-electric to make a two-color coffee mug. A main feature: a new ``double-flat clamp, clamping mechanism,'' which can transmit force uniformly to the two faces of the mold, giving precise and stable molding. It is also very effective when the projected areas of the product are unbalanced on the primary and secondary sides of the mold, the company said.
A high-torque servomotor rotates the mold quickly and without any shocks.
* Fast-cycle molding and a high plasticizing rate are displayed on a prototype press, called Ecojet NEX 360-100AN1. It's cranking out polypropylene closures on a 16-cavity mold with a cycle time of just under five seconds. The press combines the clamping mechanism of the NEX all-electric and the hydraulic injection of Nissei's AN1.
The 397-ton press has 1.7 times the plasticizing capability of a standard all-electric press - 794 pounds an hour of PP.