At NPE2009, Sumitomo Plastics Machinery America LLC rolled out a new controller the Z Control for three of its SE all-electric injection molding machines, as a way to squeeze more efficiency out of the presses.
The Z Control is available on the SE-DUZ direct-drive press, the SE-HDZ high-duty machine and the SE-HSZ high-speed press.
According to Sumitomo, the personal computer-based Z (for zero-defect) Control provides a higher level of molding precision with low-pressure filling and reduced clamping force. The controller is centered around three new systems: A patent-pending Flow Front Control (FFC), a Minimum Clamping Molding (MCM) system and the Simple Process Setting (SPS) system.
The FFC optimizes the flow front and controls of low internal pressures into the mold cavity. By taking advantage of the viscoelastic properties of the resin, it allows complete filling without flash, precisely controls the screw position for consistent shot-to-shot filling and avoids both overfilling and short shots.
MCM determines the minimum clamping force required at mold touch, by precisely detecting the clamping force, using a tie bar-mounted strain gauge sensor and feedback control. That avoids excessive clamp force which can result in mold formation and poor release of gases. Also, MCM works with the molding machine's Clamp Force Correcting System to compensate for thermal expansion as the mold heats up.
Jim Mitchell, executive vice president for the Norcross, Ga.-based company, said Sumitomo is focusing on helping customers reduce costs, through technologies such as the Z Control.
Were able to marry a theory that has been in play for a long time, with the capability of the machinery to use less tonnage, which is less energy and less cost, Mitchell said at NPE2009. We're able to reduce the amount of energy on some of pressures used to fill the tools with this technology, which again, reduces cost and reduces the energy consumption.
The third feature, SPS, allows easy setup and operation while it helps the press operator avoid oversights and mistakes.
At NPE2009, held June 22-26 in Chicago, the new Z Control was at work on two machines: a 143-ton SE-DUZ molding medical pipettes on a 64-cavity mold on a 10-second cycle; and a SE-HDZ that turned out inserts for automotive armrests every 17 seconds on a two-cavity mold.
The direct-drive SE-DUZ with Z Control follows its predecessor series, the SE-DU, which was introduced at the 2006 NPE show.
Both machines have four direct-drive servomotors with full closed-loop control and digital sensors.
The SE-DUZ comes in clamping forces from 20-200 tons. The SE-HDZ, in clamping forces from 242-496 tons, is designed for molding parts with cycle times of 15 seconds or longer and thick walls. The all-electric press features high hold pressures.
NPE2009 marked the first combined NPE exhibit for Sumitomo Plastics Machinery and Demag Plastics Group since parent company Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd. of Chiba City, Japan, bought Schwaig,Germany-based Demag Ergotech GmbH and Van Dorn Demag Corp. in 2008. The unified company exhibited at NPE2009 in a large booth in front of the main entrance to McCormick Place South.
From the Demag side, a hybrid El-Exis with 615 tons of clamping force pumped out more than 115,000 lightweight water-bottle caps per hour. The press ran a 96-cavity mold on a 3-second cycle.
The El-Exis line ranges in clamping force from 110-780 tons.
The booth also showed Sumitomo Demag's expanded North American service and support organization for Sumitomo, Demag and Van Dorn customers.
Working with existing machines, we can increase energy efficiency, expand processing capabilities and provide upgrades that improve control, clamp and injection unit productivity, said John Martich, the company's vice president of aftermarket sales.
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