Arburg GmbH + Co. KG has upped the size of its hybrid Allrounder for multicomponent molding, developed a Selogica controller that sets up the injection molding process in just five steps and launched an add-on module for micromolding.
The Allrounder Hidrive series had topped out at 320 metric tons, but the new, 500-tonne Allrounder 920 H comes from a newly designed servo-electric toggle clamp. Arburg engineers used simulation models to reduce the weight of cast parts, early in the design phase. That allowed them to integrate reinforcements for the mounting platens exactly where they are required.
The Lossburg, Germany-based firm rolled out the larger-sized Allrounder H at K 2010, held in Dusseldorf in November. The press uses the firm's Alldrive system, with a planetary roller screw moving the servo-electric clamping unit. The injection side uses hydraulic accumulator technology. All movements of Allrounder H operate completely independently from one another, so the press can perform simultaneous machine movements.
In Selogica news, Arburg released a new Set-up Assistant module that enables, for the first time, a menu-guided, accompanied setup of the entire injection molding process in only five steps. According to Arburg, the technician does not require any in-depth knowledge of the controller. This teachable process is already done for setting up robotic sequences, but now it can be used for the injection press as well. Another advantage is much faster setup, Arburg said.
The Set-up Assistant was demonstrated at K, where the firm also showed its new AMS robot controller, or Arburg Mobile Selogica. The portable touch-screen control panel can be moved around the press, useful for complex molding systems with automation.
Also at K 2010, Arburg launched a new bolt-on micromolding unit that mounts a three-zone pre-plasticizing screw at a 45-degree angle to the horizontal injection unit. That screw feeds melted plastic to a tiny injection screw of just 8 millimeters in diameter, fitted with a non-return valve. The very small screw is used purely to move the melt into the mold. Using a screw instead of a plunger ensures the plastic is injected on a first-in-first-out order, the company said.
On its K show stand, Arburg focused on multicomponent applications, the most impressive according to the firm's managing director of technology and engineering, Herbert Kraibuhler being the automated production of a rotary encoder using three-component injection molding, assembly and in-mold magnetization of an inserted sensor.
The components were a magnetic disc, carrier plate and protective cap, all molded on an Allrounder 370 S with a clamping force of 70 tonnes and equipped with three injection units.
The first station produced the magnetic discs, molding a ferrite-containing nylon, which is oriented and magnetized inside the mold during injection molding. A Multilift V robot moved the discs on the ejector side on to the second station, while simultaneously inserting a sensor component from the nozzle side. That got encapsulated with a carrier plate of polybutylene terephthalate with a 30 percent glass-fiber content. The magnetic disc and sensor component were joined together, in in-mold assembly.
The third station molded the protective cap for the magnetic disc. Finally, the robot removed the cap and carrier plate before assembling them, to form the finished rotary encoder.
Not all of Arburg's K-show action was at its booth, however. Siemens AG displayed an all-electric Allrounder 370A on its stand featuring a high-speed injection molding unit combining a linear motor for the injection axis of motion with a rotary motor for the dosing axis. The linear motor gives extremely fast injection speeds, up to 2,000 millimeters per second, with very quick acceleration and deceleration.
Kraibuhler said the drive technology and high injection speeds open up new applications in thin-wall molding for all-electric machines. Arburg and Siemens worked together to develop the combination drive.
At a K show press conference, Helmut Heinson, managing director of sales, said the recession made 2009 a difficult year for Arburg, as some of the markets, overnight, collapsed. But in 2010 sales rose 50 percent.
Arburg has emerged stronger from the recession, Heinson said. We continued to develop our products in a consistent and future-oriented manner.
Managing partner Michael Hehl said orders, measured in euros, are evenly divided between Hidrive hybrids, Alldrive all-electrics, large hydraulic, hybrid and electric units from 250-500 tonnes, complete production cells and multicomponent machines.
Arburg has diversified its customer base, and today electronics, medical and packaging have taken on a much greater role. The firm also has diversified geographically, Heinson said. In 2010, it achieved its best results yet for Brazil and Mexico.
Last year also was Arburg's most successful year in Asia thus far, he said, especially with more domestic Chinese molders seeking Arburg machines. After the slow first quarter of 2010, the company's home market in Germany also picked up, he said.
He added that the U.S. has recovered considerably, contrary to expectations, and Arburg won market share there, as well.