Primary equipment makers Toshiba Machine Co. America, Arburg Inc., Engel North America, Sumitomo Plastics Machinery America LLC and Absolute Haitian Corp. shared nuances about systems, presses and software at the Plastec West trade show, held Jan. 29-31 in Anaheim.
Toshiba of Elk Grove Village, Ill., demonstrated its iPaqet remote-monitoring system on a 65-ton all-electric molding machine.
A technician in Ohio conducted the demonstration from Toshiba's new service center in a portion of the Plain City facility of Midwest Molding Inc. The press on the show floor molded a vial of clarified polypropylene using a 12-cavity tool.
The remote demonstration enabled molders at the show to see ``how having real-time access to machine data can help them reduce downtime and increase productivity,'' said Floyd Pierson, Toshiba special projects manager.
The iPaqet system consists of server and client software and a V21 Ethernet board and is designed to operate with up to 24 different Toshiba molding machines simultaneously.
Arburg, with its all-electric 220-ton Allrounder, and Wittmann Inc. with an integrated in-mold labeling system collaborated on a 2.6-second-cycle molding of a PP food container in the Arburg exhibit. The cycle could be run faster than an advertised 2.5 seconds, said Arburg President Friedrich Kanz.
As shown, the ultrahigh-speed Wittmann system costs $125,000. Parent company Wittmann KunststoffgerÃ¤te GmbH in Vienna, Austria, is adding the IML robot manufacturing capability to the Wittmann facility in Torrington, Conn., through a technology transfer, said James Schmitz, Wittmann applications engineer and project manager.
In the demonstration, Arburg of Newington, Conn., used a two-cavity mold. Labels were introduced in stacks to the system, picked with a pneumatically operated separation unit and presented in a vertical position to the insertion end-of-arm tooling of a horizontally operating Wittmann W727H side-entry robot.
Engel of York, Pa., presented a new e-factory modular software package coordinating injection molding production and data acquisition in a plant-wide network.
The program offers multiple modules for manufacturing in automotive, medical and other industries and can assist with documentation and certification that original equipment manufacturers require, said Jim Moran, Engel vice president of sales.
The software package can serve as an interface linking a plant's molding presses and the company's information technology network.
In addition, Engel highlighted a new liquid silicone micromolding system with a patented tiebarless clamp design and an electric injection unit able to run shots measuring fractions of a gram.
Interest in micromolding LSR is increasing and being incorporated on presses with higher tonnages and larger platen areas, said Mark Hammond, Engel technology group manager.
Engel showed a hybrid Victory-brand injection unit with a 12-millimeter LSR screw and check-disc assembly.
Sumitomo of Norcross, Ga., demonstrated its direct-drive all-electric capabilities on two U.S.-built machines underscoring precision in using LSR and molding high-cavitation thin-wall parts.
Sumitomo molded a 0.039-ounce two-duck-bill medical valve for surgical scrub room use using Shin-Etsu silicone on an 83-ton machine and 0.013-ounce thin-wall pipettes using Basell PP copolymer on a 110-ton machine.
In bringing its newest LSR package to the market, Sumitomo offers a system that, as needed, can be changed over to thermoplastic molding by replacing the screw and barrel assembly and making some program changes. Some LSR systems are fixed and unchangeable, said Jim Mitchell, Sumitomo vice president of sales.
Absolute Haitian of Worcester, Mass., displayed the first Haitian all-electric Zhafir-brand molding machine in North America.
The 67-ton unit costs $67,000 and incorporates Sigmatek IPC-based controls from Austria, KEB drives from Germany, Golden Age servo motors from China using Siemens technology and NSK ball screws from Japan, said Glenn Frohring, Absolute Haitian vice president of sales and marketing.