Engel Machinery Inc. (Booth S24000) is focusing this week on energy savings, showing four all-electric molding machines and introducing the Ecodrive technology on its midsize two-platen machine, the Duo Pico.
Engel also is showing a calculator, available as an option on its CC200 A02 machine controller. During machine setup, the software helps choose machine settings for the most energy-efficient operation, calculated based on individual settings like clamp motion, injection, cooling and part ejection.
A Duo Pico with 550 tons of clamping force is molding crates at Engel's NPE2009 booth.
Engel Machinery President Stephan Braig said manufacturers are scrutinizing all manufacturing costs, including energy consumption. As a technology leader, we have designed machines and systems to offer considerable energy savings, as well as flexibility and performance.
The Ecodrive is a hybrid injection press that provides energy savings similar to an all-electric machine, according to Engel. It features an all-electric injection unit, with servomotors to run molding pressure, screw rotation and injection stroke. A smart hydraulic pump runs the platen movement, nozzle contact force and core pulls.
The hydraulic pumps are run by a servomotor and only operate when the machine needs hydraulic power. So during injection, that pump shuts off, Braig said at a Tuesday press conference.
We really feel that we have the best of both worlds here, Braig said.
Engel also is demonstrating core-back expansion molding on a 1,000-ton Duo two-platen press, under a partnership with Trexel Inc., supplier of the MuCell process. The press is molding a prototype door panel.
The combination of MuCell and core-back molding can reduce part density and weight and still make a stiff part. Lighter weight is an important feature, as automakers are under pressure to boost fuel efficiency, Engel said.
Engel has the core-back machine at its technical center in York, Pa.
Electric machines are dominating Engel's booth.
A 110-ton E-max press is molding medical pipettes on a 32-cavity mold on 6-second cycles. The parts are extracted by a side-entry robot, inspected by a vision system and deposited on racks, all sorted by cavity.
Engel said high-speed injection is needed, since the pipette tips have extremely long and thin mold cores. E-max presses maintain high injection pressure. The E-max medical application is equipped with Xaloy's nXheat induction barrel heating, for energy savings and better temperature control than conventional heater bands, according to the company.
Engel also is showing liquid silicone rubber molding on a 110-ton E-Max machine.
A 60-ton Combi machine is running a multicomponent cell phone holder, from polyprolylene and a thermoplastic elastomer.
Engel is offering an incentive to buy a new machine borrowed from the auto industry. If you buy a new Engel and scrap out an old machine, Engel will give you a bonus of $5,000.
Braig said Engel wants to encourage molders to upgrade their fleet, and boost energy efficiency.
The processors really have to capitalize on the features that today's molding machines have, he said. If somebody operates an 18- or 20-year-old molding machine, it is just damn difficult to be competitive.
Braig said U.S. molders also can take advantage of the bonus depreciation tax incentive to buy new machines and in some regions utility company rebates for energy-saving machinery.
It adds up to a big incentive to buy.
In some cases, processors can get a brand-new machine, with the latest technology, at about a 50 or 60 percent discount off what it would normally cost when one leverages all these programs that are available, Braig said.
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