CHICAGO (June 29, 11:50 a.m. EDT) — Engel Machinery Inc. ran eight injection presses, all in automated work cells, at NPE 2006 — including a 1,650-ton two-platen Combi M machine that molded two-color automotive sunroofs four hours a day.
This NPE also marked the North American debut of Engel's Speed machine for packaging. The Speed is part of the company's move to focus on major end markets of packaging, medical, automotive, telecommunications and technical molding. Each segment has its own showcase in Engel's booth.
Walter Jungwirth, president of Engel's North America operations, said the market-focused organization is a big change for Engel Holding GmbH, based in Schwertberg, Austria.
“Engel will create business units which will operate around the world,” Jungwirth said at a June 20 press conference at Engel's booth at NPE in Chicago.
The Engel Duo Combi M is molding the sunroof panel, but the large-tonnage, multishot press can run other parts as well. Jungwirth said automotive parts — especially instrument panels and interior door panels — are good applications for multicomponent because of intense cost pressure on these parts. Two-shot molding can mold the basic part, then overmold a soft skin, all in a single machine, which saves costly post-molding assembly, he said.
A Kuka six-axis robot is removing the sunroof panel. The second injection unit is installed behind the moving platen.
Engel's Combi M presses can be set up in many configurations—with two single molds, mounted back to back using a middle plate, or carrier, or with a rotating mold. Or the machine can make two independent parts on each shot.
Engel is pitching its “two-for-one” concept—which means the press can mold a left-hand part and a right-hand part at the same time, for example, left and right door panels.
Brent Strawbridge, sales manager, said the company has sold more than 40 two-for-one presses around the world.
In other news, the Engel Speed press marks the company's entry into a dedicated machine for packaging. Engel is doing in-mold labeling on a 310-ton Speed. The press is molding polypropylene yogurt cups in a 2.7-second cycle, including part removal. Dry-cycle time: a blinding 1.7 seconds.
“The clamping system has been totally redesigned,” said Jim Moran, vice president of sales for North America. The moving platen is not guided by the tie bars, like a traditional press, but by a precision-guided carriage.
Engel also showed its tie-barless all-electric press, the E-Motion — showing how Engel's machine controller now has an integrated RJG system for mold cavity pressure sensing and Decoupled Molding built right into the machine's CC200 controller.
Engel also showed its X-Melt technology on a 220-ton E-Motion, molding a six-cavity hot beverage container with very thin wall thickness — just 0.0065 inch. X-Melt blasts melted resin into the mold by pre-compressing the melt at a high pressure, with the shut-off nozzle in the closed position. For injection, the nozzle opens and the plastic explodes into the mold.