At K 2007, Battenfeld Kunststoffmaschinen GmbH introduced the new Unilog B6 controller on injection presses demonstrating multicomponent molding, in-mold decoration, gas- and water-assisted molding, all-electric technology and micromolding.
Other news coming out of Battenfeld is the hiring of Georg Tinschert - a veteran of Austrian injection press maker Engel Holding GmbH - as managing director. Alexander Muller had held the post on an interim basis. Battenfeld announced the appointment after the show, held Oct. 24-31 in Dusseldorf.
The Unilog B6 replaces the B4. Battenfeld said the B6 is easier to use, with both a similar structure and symbols as the B4. Windows XP is the operating system.
Battenfeld of Kottingbrunn, Austria, showed its redesigned TM toggle machine - now on the same platform as the hydraulic HM press. Now, the fixed platen of Battenfeld's TM can be combined with the same range of injection units available on its HM series. The clamping unit has been completely redesigned, with free-standing tie bars. The moving platen is equipped with high-precision linear guides.
Battenfeld said the five-point toggle TM is a fast-running machine for packaging. Thanks to its hydraulic accumulator, the press can reach injection speeds up to 300 millimeters per second. At K, a TM was molding caps for cooking-oil bottles in a 48-cavity mold, on a five-second cycle.
The two-platen HM machines have a short footprint and more-generous platen spacing. The platen spacing of the new HM, with 400 metric tons of clamping force, is now equal to that of a previous-generation 500-tonne HM.
At K, the 400-tonne HM molded a polyethylene toolbox with a transparent viewing window from clear polypropylene - combining multicomponent technology with Airmould gas-assisted technology, plus in-mold labeling to decorate the box with a three-dimensional sheet.
Another HM, a 210-tonne model, used the water-assisted Aquamold process to mold a nylon reclining adjuster arm for car seats. The HM comes in five sizes, from 350-800 metric tons.
Airmould also got a workout on a large 800-tonne HM to mold a 42-inch screen for a flat liquid crystal display. The press molded the ABS frame on a 30-second cycle.
Battenfeld said it has improved the energy efficiency of the HM, its all-electric press, which molded a baby bottle nipple from liquid silicone rubber at the show.
In micromolding, a 5-tonne Microsystem 50 molded a plug for electronic equipment from polyoxymethylene in a two-cavity mold. The manufacturing cell automatically put two tiny steel inserts in each plug. The inserts were not oriented when they came to press on a conveyor. A camera system scanned the position of each inserts, then passed the information on to a robot, which was picking up each pin and depositing it at a transfer station in the correct position. A Scara robot then inserted the plugs before molding. Finished microplugs were camera-inspected a final time.
Another press, a 75-tonne vertical machine in the R series, was equipped with a rotary table. The cell molded and assembled a small board game. A linear robot picked up the printed base plate of the game from a feeding magazine and inserted it into the free station of the mold. In the second station, the plate was inserted molded with nylon. Finally, a six-axis robot assembled the game.
Tinschert became Battenfeld's managing director Dec. 1. He worked for Engel for 18 years, leaving in 2000 to head an Austrian firm that makes air compressors and returning to the plastics machinery maker in 2003 as president of Engel Austria GmbH.
Muller leads a team of people from the German investment group that owns Battenfeld, Adcuram Industriekapital AG, and will stay in an advisory function, representing Adcuram.
Dietrich Hunold remains as head of engineering and production.