CHICAGO (Aug. 21, 4:50 p.m. EDT) — It was a golden NPE for Arburg GmbH + Co. KG, as the company is celebrating its 50th anniversary of making injection presses in Lossburg, Germany.
Arburg also looked to the future by highlighting all-electric technology, including an ultrahigh-speed packaging press.
Karl Hehl put together the company's first hand-operated plunger press in 1954. His goal was to make a machine to encapsulate the metal plug connectors used in camera flash devices and improve the quality of the family company's flashes. Serial injection press assembly started in 1956, as Arburg became a machinery maker.
At NPE 2006 in Chicago, Arburg honored its past by rolling out the Allrounder Golden Edition, a hydraulic press loaded with extras but competitively priced. Four of the nine injection presses shown were all-electric machines — signaling Arburg is looking ahead, especially in the U.S. market, where all-electrics now account for more than 40 percent of injection presses sold.
In packaging, Arburg has offered hydraulic accumulator-head machines to make closures. The firm now is targeting the general packaging market with the all-electrics, said Helmut Heinson, managing sales director.
“As we have the right products for this particular market, we are extremely interested in entering this market and we are putting a lot of effort into it,” he said. “We're trying to find the right applications. We're trying to enter the packaging industry.”
A 110-ton packaging press sports a pneumatically operated needle shut-off nozzle and a pneumatic ejector, for rapid, sprue-free operation. The shot weight for both cups is 0.58 ounce.
Friedrich Kanz, president of Arburg Inc., the company's North American operation in Newington, Conn., said Arburg has sold customers two-component, all-electric presses. Also, customers can choose electric or hydraulic drives for several machinery functions, such as part ejection and nozzle movement.
Kanz said Arburg has sold all-electric presses for the past four or five years to U.S. customers. “We have very positive feedback from a good customer base in the meantime. The customers specifically value the features of our machines: fast, direct drives and liquid cooling. These are very important features which separate us from a number of other electric machine suppliers,” he said.
With a nod to history, NPE 2006 saw the North American trade show debut of the hydraulic Golden Edition. The Golden series consists of five Allrounders with standardized clamping force/injection unit combinations. Clamping forces range from 44-220 tons. Features include wear-resistant cylinder fittings, servo-regulated two-pump technology for faster cycle times and an open-top guard.
New injection units have been adopted from the new Allrounder U press, including the U's fast-switching valve technology, which Arburg said improves precision of molded parts.
Arburg cut the price by about 25 percent for the Golden, which can be upgraded with a fixed list of options, including an interface for robots and temperature-control devices, a sorter unit, a core pull and additional electric inputs and outputs. The injection unit comes with a wear-resistant cylinder. Each can be equipped with three different screws. The press comes with a choice of five shot sizes.
Arburg showed its new standard vertical injection press, the Allrounder 175 V, a 14-ton press with a C-clamp design. A vertical clamping unit means the press is easy to integrate into production lines or to add a shuttle or rotary table.
As fully automated manufacturing cells become more popular at U.S. molding plants, Arburg officials said the company is beefing up its ability to provide turnkey systems. “A very high percentage of our machinery that we are delivering in Germany and also in Europe is already combined with automation solutions in different ways,” Heinson said. “We definitely are going to increase this type of business here in the United States. That means we are selling more and more complete cells, with at least the Arburg robot system, but also with downstream equipment.”