Cleveland — KraussMaffei Group offers fully automated production lines for the thermoset molding industry, an officials of the Munich-based equipment maker said at the Thermoset TopCon.
Cordula Regensburger, a product and technology manager for KraussMaffei, concentrates on thermosetting technologies as well as small injection molding machines. She said KM offers equipment for material feeding, and automation of both bulk molding compound and free-flowing material.
The MX Polyset for bulk molding compound as fully automated material feeding includes the Polyload AZ automatic feeder for material that does not flow freely. In the AZ, the stuffing screw and hopper both rotate in the same direction. Pins break up the bulk, as the material is fed.
Regensburger said that, for sticky material, you can increase the distance from the screw to sidewalls.
Stable stuffing pressure ensures there are no entrapped air bubbles, she said.
A lift brings material up to the stuffer. Everything is integrated into the machine controller. Part removal also is automated, by beam robots or side-entry articulating robots.
“We have a very good machine with a low footprint,” Regensburger said.
She also discussed KraussMaffei's adaptive process control (APC), which enables the correct switch-over from injection to pack and hold. Thermoset molding has different dynamics than molding of thermoplastics — and KM is working on an APC for thermoset, according to Regensburger. One big issue: Changes in temperature and humidity.
Regensburger thinks KM will offer the APC for BMC in the future. But adaptive process control for free-flowing material will take several years of development, she said.