Corona, Calif. — Innovations in liquid silicone, cube molds, in-mold decoration and Industry 4.0 were featured in a technical symposium at Engel North America's Corona technical center.
Markus Lettau, West region sales manager for Engel North America, presided at the Jan. 13 symposium.
In liquid silicone, Bluestar Silicones USA Corp. has developed fast-curing self-bonding self-lubricating LSR Select in a conceptual change from traditional systems for two-part liquid silicone rubber injection molding.
“LSR Select shifts control to an inline process from chemistry,” and is “adjustable to optimize the curing process,” said Umar Latif, Bluestar Silicones technical services manager for North American elastomerics markets.
Bluestar and Graco Inc. of Minneapolis partnered in the custom design of novel equipment with servo pumps for close control over LSR Select formulation and processing.
Kipe Molds Inc. of Placentia, Calif., made tools, and Roembke Manufacturing & Design Inc. of Ossian, Ind., conducted trials with one-cavity prototype molds for a matt seal connector, duck bill valve, solution seal and baby bottle nipple. Latif said cure time reductions ranged from 20 percent to 50 percent.
The development in the York, S.C., technical center is applicable to other global locations of Bluestar Group. The center opened in 2012 and utilizes two Engel injection molding machines.
Brush manufacturing equipment maker Boucherie Borghi Group of Izegem, Belgium, is nearing introduction of a new generation of its Flexi-Cube technology.
The development will “further enhance our design and provide more flexibility,” said Sherman McGinnis, injection mold sales manager for Boucherie USA Inc. in Knoxville, Tenn.
The current Flexi-Cube contrasts with traditional cube molds. Parts move about the Flexi-Cube's center section, have flexible travel distances and achieve transfer times as low of 0.7 of a second per station. In a standard cube mold, the entire center section rotates with movements restricted to 90 degrees or 180 degrees.