A MicroPower 15/10H/10H micro molding machine appeared for the first time, as it will at K 2016, as a Combimold two-component version, fitted with a rotary plate mold and Parallel injection units. It was molding Ortofon audio recorder head parts with grey and blue POM components in 8.1second cycle time. The components weighed 93mg and 3mg, much less than the 140mg sprue.
It was the first time a MicroPower was equipped with a Cognex In-sight Vision System camera inspection system. A new 4-axis W8VS4 Scara (Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm) multi-axial robot handled parts. Ortofon has MicroPower 15 molding machines in Nakskov, Denmark.
Another micro molding novelty in Vienna was a MicroPower 15/10 with the usual 14 millimeter diameter screw, equipped for the first time with a hot runner. It was molding POM electronic connector parts of the Swiss company Küng, with dimensions 9.7mm x 4.8mm x 3.8mm and 0.05g weight. Using a hot runner instead of conventional sprues and runners cut cycle time (to 4.6s) and material consumption.
Wittmann Battenfeld talked about having a vertical rotary table Power machine at K 2016. It confirmed later it will be a new CM-R series tie-barless machine (CM 40/210 R1280) with 400 metris tons of clamping force. Its servo-controlled injection unit is arranged vertically and carried by a vertical C-frame. There is free access between the two clamping cylinders and a Sick sensor system eliminates conventional safety protection.
In Vienna, a new W833 Pro robot worked with a SmartPower 240/130 machine using the Cellmould process for physical foam molding. It produced a polycarbonate/ABS structural foam automotive bezel with 75.6s cycle time.
There were no signs of conventional foam structures or sink marks on the black high gloss top surface. This was achieved by reducing frozen stress by combining variotherm dynamic rapid heating and cooling (RHC) with a single‑cavity BFmold ball-filled close contour mold.
The BFmold technology was developed by KIMW Kunststoff Institut Lüdenscheid. Since 2010, Wittmann Battenfeld has marketed BFmold worldwide for relatively flat parts such as bezels, as well as the front covers of espresso machines, desk telephones and designer WC flush panels such as those made by Sanit. Low pressure and melt viscosity also enables overmolding frames around glass pane inserts, as KIMW has shown.
The bezel top surface also had a partially fine-structured surface, its precise reproduction of the mold surface eased by lowered melt viscosity due to foaming, and also RHC enabling injection into a relatively hot cavity, avoiding premature melt front freezing.
New for the compact SmartPower series is a low-noise servo drive and the clamping force has been extended up to 350 tonnes, the machines now covering 160-350 tonnes.
A SmartPower 350/2250 was shown backmolding a glass reinforced polypropylene against a natural fiber reinforced PP composite sheet insert. The first material was black Fibremod GB303 HP, a 30 percent long glass fiber reinforced PP grade from Borealis, and the second was HACOsol N compression molded non-woven natural fiber reinforced PP organic sheet from JH Ziegler. The insert was made in the production cell with use of Krelus infrared heaters. An edge-folding slider formed the sheet in the mold, where a punching die stamped out apertures during backmolding. Cycle time in a single-cavity Georg Kaufmann mold was 58.8s.
A Wittmann W843 Pro robot, fitted with integrated insert needle and suction part removal grippers in the end-of-arm-tooling, handled unheated and hot organic sheet inserts and final moldings. Wittmann Battenfeld ran the same demonstration with Ziegler participation at Plastimagen 2016 in Mexico City in March, on a larger MacroPower 450/2250.
Wittmann Battenfeld talked of high servo‑hydraulic dynamics and efficiency on SmartPower machines, and high energy efficiency with the KERS kinetic energy retrieval system. Efficiency is also enhanced with HiQ-Cushion melt cushion control.
Ziegler has developed non-woven organic sheets based on basalt, glass and natural fibers (flax, hemp, kenaf), with NF versions used for automotive door and instrument panels. The company, which is targeting substitution of injection molded panels, claims NF‑PP organic sheet is a less expensive solution, with enhanced (splinter-free) crash performance and 30‑40 percent lower weight, also due to variable thickness possibilities. It says making organic sheet preforms, it can cut customers' processing effort, and it recycles off-cuts back into organic sheet production.