EAS Europe BV, the maker of magnetic mold-holding systems, has opened a factory in China to be closer to major magnet suppliers in that country and improve service to Asia, President Harm Nijzink said at the Fakuma show.
EAS opened a factory in Wujiang, China, near Shanghai two months ago, Nijzink said in an Oct. 14 interview at the company's Fakuma booth in Friedrichshafen. China is the world's biggest supplier of magnets and the raw materials to make them, he said.
The automotive industry is the largest consumer of magnetic mold systems, which offer quick mold changes on injection molding machines and China is no exception, according to Nijzink.
``They want European quality with Chinese price,'' he said.
EAS makes its Pressmag mold-clamping units at its headquarters factory in Renswoude, Netherlands, and the new China plant. The company buys magnets from suppliers in China and France, then builds mold-clamping systems, including adding coils to make the permanent electromagnets. A short burst of electrical power magnetizes the system, which mounted on the platen and holds the mold tight. The magnets do not require power to keep them magnetized.
Magnets allow for fast mold changes. ``We change 50-ton molds in less than two minutes, where it used to be eight hours,'' Nijzink said.
Custom molders are adopting magnetic systems, as the technology moves beyond its base in automotive. Nijzink said that's because magnets allow greater flexibility than mechanical quick-mold-change systems. Magnetic clamping uses the full clamping-area surface. There is no need to standardize the mold-platen interface by adding standard platens matched with clamps mounted on fixed positions.
``This is a big advantage because they can now quickly clamp any mold onto the machine,'' he said.
The company's U.S. operation, EAS Mold & Die Change Systems Inc., is based in Menomonee Falls., Wis.