When it comes to the debate about which drive technology is better, electric or hydraulic, the answer is clear to KraussMaffei Group's technology vice president, Karlheinz Bourdon.
Hybrid designs, which combine features of both technologies, will win out, Bourdon said.
“This is the concept of the future, in my opinion,” he said.
The Munich-based machinery maker introduced a new, larger-tonnage model to its Netstal Elion hybrid-drive series, the Elion 3200, at the Fakuma trade show in Friedrichshafen.
But the latest addition to KraussMaffei's lineup of injection molding machines is the GX dual-platen hydraulic press.
Frank Peters, vice president of sales, said the company saw large growth rates in sales of injection molding machinery for its fiscal year ended Sept. 30.
At Fakuma, KraussMaffei showed a new GX 400-3000 press molding a glass-reinforced polypropylene center console tray for a car. The press was equipped with the MuCell microcellular foaming system, with a step-cooling system for the mold to improve the surface quality.
“This is really a great application that also goes into the direction of zero defects,” Peters said at Fakuma, held Oct. 16-20. MuCell also reduces the weight of the part.
KM put the Elion 3200 to work at the show molding thin-wall PP lids for cream cheese on a four-by-four stack mold, in a 3.4-second cycle. The automated, in-mold-labeling system placed the labels, pulled lids out of the mold and stacked them — 8,230 lids an hour.
A two-component CX machine turned out a small reading light, complete with molded-in electronics.
The LED reading lamp emerged fully functional from the production cell.
The CX 160-380 press was equipped with a second, bolt-on injection unit, a Krallmann metal injection unit and a rotary table. The cell combined insert molding, two-component injection molding and metal alloying in the mold. The metal was processed using compression molding. First, one half of the light was molded from polycarbonate. The metal was injected in a second step. Finally, PC was overmolded to create the finished light.
Fakuma was held just four weeks after Toronto-based Onex Corp. agreed to acquire KraussMaffei from then-owner Madison Capital Partners. At the time, KM executives were tight-lipped about the deal, which was finalized in late 2012.
KraussMaffei was one of about 1,700 companies that had exhibitions at the German trade show. That compares with 1,670 in 2011, according to the fair's organizer, P.E. Schall GmbH & Co. KG of Frickenhausen, Germany.
The number of visitors to the Fakuma plastics trade fair in Germany dipped 1.5 percent this year, to 44,176 people, compared with 2011, according to Schall. Nearly a third came from outside Germany.
The next Fakuma will be held Oct. 14-18, 2014, in Friedrichshafen.