Officials of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH reported strong sales of all-electric injection molding machines at K 2010 in November a show where it introduced the IntElect Smart all-electrics and the El-Exis SP hybrid press.
Sumitomo Demag also announced plans to increase the clamping force on its hydraulic Systec injection presses, up to 1,300 metric tons in 2011.
More than 40 percent of the orders we received at the show were for all-electric machines, demonstrating a clear trend, said Christian Renners, the company's general manager for sales and after-sales. Even though [we expect that] European customers would still buy fewer electric machines as opposed to hydraulic or hybrid machines as compared with American or Asian customers, we are confident in the all-electric trend.
Renners noted that more than 40 percent of visitors to the Sumitomo Demag exhibit at the K show in Dusseldorf were not yet customers of the press maker.
The company billed the IntElect Smart all-electric press as ideal for European molders, boasting energy efficiency, larger tie-bar distances and linear slides for bulky and heavy molds. The IntElect Smart is getting bigger, as Sumitomo Demag has added more models with clamping forces from 220-450 tonnes. At K, a 450-tonne machine molded 34-pole connector housings from polybutylene terephthalate in a 16-cavity mold. A linear robot unloaded the parts and moved them to a downstream weighing device.
Sumitomo Demag was born in 2008 when Japanese press builder Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd. bought Germany-based Demag Plastics Group. For all-electric machines the IntElect and SE models the company will provide a jointly developed platform through further development of the existing Japanese machine platform. The hydraulic and hybrid models of Systec and El-Exis SP machines will continue to use the Demag platform from Germany.
The new high-speed El-Exis SP is designed for molding caps and thin-wall packaging. Sumitomo Demag has re-engineered its El-Exis drive technology, originally developed in 1998, to focus on speed, acceleration, precision and improved platen stiffness.
The El-Exis SP comes with an electric drive for dosing movement, a hybrid drive for mold opening and a hydraulic accumulator for injection movement. Improvements include very fast servo valves, more-dynamic controller systems, reduced weight and higher pressures. The SP version has improved deceleration of injection as well, to prevent overpacking the molds by using a zero-overlap valve.
At K, a 300-tonne El-Exis SP molded screw caps for mineral water on a 72-cavity mold, at cycle times of less than 2.5 seconds.
According to Renners, K show visitors were interested in Sumitomo Demag's processing engineering innovations. That included the activeLock, a patented lockable non-return valve designed to significantly enhance the precision and repeatability of positioning when manufacturing engineering components,
Renners also reported a rise in demand for systems to address energy efficiency, particularly for retrofitting.
Sumitomo Demag CEO Tetsuya Okamura said new orders fro 2010 more than doubled the level of 2009. After the signals received at the K show, we look ahead very confidently. We are well-prepared and all set up for the [trading] years 2011 and 2012, he said.