Auxiliary equipment maker Wittmann Kunststoffgerate GmbH is pushing into the in-mold labeling market, as it showed off a series of new robots and other equipment at K 2007 in Dusseldorf.
The firm plans to open a new center dedicated to in-mold labeling applications in St.-Claude, France, in March. Although Wittmann has been active in the market for several years in Europe, it lacked a centralized effort, General Manager Michael Wittmann said at the show, held Oct. 24-31.
The new location will let Vienna, Austria-based Wittmann standardize research and product development to provide a turnkey approach, he said. The 54,000-square-foot site will consolidate a French granulator plant with the mold-making division, he said.
At K, the firm showed off a new IML stack-mold production cell with a Demag El-Exis press making two cups and two lids with an overall cycle time of 3.6 seconds.
Other new and updated products, some of which may hit the U.S. market this year, include:
* A color liquid-crystal-display screen for its Tempro Plus C temperature controllers. The firm is trying to standardize controls across its auxiliary equipment.
* The Drymax ER60 Roto dryer, which combines the advantages of a twin-bed desiccant dryer with a wheel dryer. The model allows operators to change desiccant inexpensively, without having to change the dryer's entire wheel unit. The dryer is more energy efficient and will be a model for future dryers, Wittmann said.
* A Gravimax line of blenders for more precise materials blending per batch, using an exclusive pinch valve for precise dispensing of individual materials. It can process up to 11,000 pounds an hour for injection and blow molding and extrusion applications.
* The Drymax ED80 dryer, which can adjust air from 40 cubic meters an hour to 80 cubic meters.
* A W701 robot designed to expand the use of automation into smaller-tonnage presses.
* Its R8 robot controller, featuring dead-man switches, an easier-to-separate controller and a programming module. A ``Smart- Removal'' function can eliminate delays from electric signal transfer and reduce cycle times.
Wittmann also debuted a next-generation Feedmax loader with an oval design that is easier to clean and access than circular models, an MAS line of beside-the-press granulators and a portable air-cooled chiller, the Coolmax.