Wittmann KunststoffgerÃ¤te GmbH has expanded its commitment to in-mold labeling with the acquisition of specialized mold maker Paul Regad SA of Saint-Claude, France. Terms were not disclosed.
Regad was established in 1961, employs about 30 and creates molds for thin-wall packaging at its shop in a region known as the French plastics valley. Regad, which began making fast-cycling tools for the packaging industry in 1988, will report within the auxiliary equipment maker's Wittmann France subsidiary.
The seller, Paul Regad, remains responsible in Saint-Claude for building molds for IML systems.
Wittmann, based in Vienna, Austria, aims to handle more turnkey IML projects through its automation systems and now, mold creation.
``We see a bigger commitment from Wittmann to master a better-designed work cell for more than automation,'' David Preusse, president of subsidiary Wittmann Inc. in Torrington, Conn., said in a telephone interview. ``This niche of IML has enough variables that it makes sense to develop different ways to develop systems. Now we have ability to prove out a work cell that will be helpful to the end user.''
Wittmann France in Seyssinet-Pariset has supplied automation systems for IML to the packaging industry. Now, it will be able to provide equipment packages with fully integrated tooling and automation systems globally.
With its horizontally operating side-entry robot W627H, Wittmann demonstrated in-mold labeling of lids during an Aug. 31-Sept. 1 open house at one of its two Vienna production facilities. Using a four-cavity SchÃ¶ttli mold and an Arburg Allrounder machine, the application ran with a 3.5-second cycle time and 0.9-second part removal/insertion time.
The complex work cell operated with Wittmann's R7 control system, which allows a user to multitask peripheral downstream functions and additional robot mechanics without extra communication interfaces.
The demonstration included the side-entry robot W627H, the new placing robot W721, a label station and an indexing conveyor. For each of the four units, the automatic mode allows separate programming, parallel running and synchronization.
Wittmann also unveiled the W7x5 side-entry robot for thin-wall uses such as molding components for cellular telephones and packaging. Wittmann plans to make the fast, simple unit commercially available late this year.