Together with its technology partner Trexel Inc., Engel Holding GmbH is once again hosting the international MuCell conference in Schwertberg, Austria, which this year will take place from Nov. 21 to 22. The main topic is Industry 4.0.
"Self-optimizing injection molding machines are opening up a tremendous potential to further increase the stability of MuCell foam injection molding processes. So far, this potential is being used far too rarely," said Wolfgang Kienzl, a technology specialist at Engel.
Kienzl will present the results of the ongoing series of experiments aimed at establishing the impact of Engel's iQ weight control technology on the foam injection molding process.
During the injection process, the iQ weight control software, developed within the scope of Engel's inject 4.0 program, analyses the pressure curve over the screw position in real-time and compares the measured values online with a reference cycle. Shot by shot, it enables the switch-over point and the injection profile to be adjusted to current conditions. The result is an injection volume that remains consistent throughout the entire duration of the production, independent of fluctuations in the environment or raw material.
During the conference, a Victory injection molding machine equipped with iQ weight control will produce MuCell components at the company's technology center. The CC300 control of the machine is capable of simulating process fluctuations; allowing for the automatic readjustment by iQ weight control to be tracked live on the display of the machine.
The line-up features speakers from GK Concept, SimpaTec, Sauer Product, LyondellBasell Industries, Borealis and the Johannes Kepler University in Linz. They will address topics including the basics of injection molding, machine and mold technology, various material systems and the newest insights in research and development. Martin Witulski, from automotive supplier SuK Kunststofftechnik, will discuss his company's practical experience using the foaming technology.
Physical foaming using MuCell involves injecting a propellant into the plastic melt during plasticizing, which results in the formation of a fine-celled foam structure after injection into the mold. In comparison to the standard injection moulding process, this method reduces the raw material required to fill the mold and the weight of the component. At the same time, components produced by MuCell have proven to be extremely dimensionally stable.
MuCell is a brand of the Trexel, based in Wilmington, Mass. As a systems provider, Engel imports MuCell systems for its customers, also managing the integration of the controls and safety measures into the injection molding machine, making it particularly easy to implement the technology.