Brown Plastics Machinery LLC of Beaverton, Mich. (Booth S46044), has formally launched its large Quad series machine with a thermoforming and stamping station at NPE2009.
Brown is claiming virtually zero deflection across the entire mold area on the Quad machine, which can operate at up to 260 metric tons of holding force and 150 tonnes of closing/stamping force.
Jim Robbins, Brown's vice president of marketing, showed the machine to reporters June 24. It was set up to close at 125 tonnes of force, which would be typically used for high-speed, high-volume production of items such as lids.
He said the Quad's frame, toggles, platens and drive assemblies can withstand very large forces without any significant deflection, so giving greater product consistency.
Each platen is driven by its own servomotor and has four mechanical toggle assemblies that are corner-guided by four linear bearings. The toggles are strategically positioned on a honeycomb platen design to eliminate deflection and guarantee consistent material distribution across the complete mold area.
The machines are built to customer orders and are available in varying mold area sizes, up to 64 inches by 64 inches and capable of forming parts with depths from 4-12 inches. A 74- inch by 74-inch forming station version is also available for shallow-draw containers.
Robbins said five Quad machines are already being used by customers for various products; one customer is producing lids at a rate of 250,000 per hour, he said.
At NPE, Brown also unveiled a more advanced control system for its machines. It opted to use Allen-Bradley, a unit of Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation Inc., as a single-source provider.
Robbins said Brown wanted an integrated system that uses open architecture for user-friendly operation and no proprietary components. The approach eliminates all interface components and third-party drivers to allow a clean line of communication between hardware and software systems.
The company installed the controls on existing machines for selected customers in 2008. The system can be retrofitted to Brown machines and will be available on all new machines, said Robbins.
A third new development discussed by Robbins was Brown's direct extrusion B-Series hot- sheet thermoformer. In this system, a sheet extruder is located close to the thermoformer so it can extrude directly onto a set of conditioning rolls within the machine.
The sheet transfers into the transport rails at a higher process temperature, maintaining a greater core sheet temperature. Brown says the benefits are more precise material distribution, downgauging of sheet thickness and lower energy use through a two-stop oven instead of a four- or five-stop oven.
The new system can cut energy costs by 25-35 percent compared with traditional in-line machines, Brown claims.
In the company's plant servicing business, the integration of Epco Machinery LLC had gone very well, according to Robbins. When Minneapolis-based Spell Capital Partners LLC acquired Brown and Epco from Madison Capital Partners of Chicago in January 2008, it decided to move Epco's operation from Fremont, Ohio, to Brown's Beaverton facility.
Epco is a machine rebuilding business, which focuses largely on injection molding machines. Robbins said the molding sector was in a declined status but Epco is nonetheless finding opportunities.
A growing part of the business is undertaken at customers' facilities, he said. Epco teams go on-site for three to five weeks to do the rebuild, cutting down the project times.
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