Irvine, Calif. — The injection molding machine is getting smarter, and companies are learning how to harness those capabilities to turn out more complex parts.
During an Arburg Inc. technical seminar focused on new technologies in Irvine, attendees saw examples of multi-component applications and the value of real-time temperature and pressure sensors during molding.
Examples of multi-component applications, machines and tools were demonstrated on a 220-ton all electric Arburg Allrounder 570A Alldrive with two injection units in a horizontal L position.
The setup included a rotary indexing unit and automated multi-shot tooling from the automation division of MGS Mfg. Group Inc.
The cell molded T-bar specimens of thermoplastic elastomer and polypropylene on 23-second cycles.
Ashton Jantz, technical development engineer in Romeoville, Ill., with the distribution segment of PolyOne Corp., discussed material development for multi-component applications including self-bonding for overmolding and non-bonding for in-mold assembly.
For self-bonding, "you can use any combination of TPE family" resins, Jantz said, but non-binding for in-mold assembly applications is "tough to do." The key: "reduce or eliminate post-molding assembly steps."
Kai Wender, regional manager based at Arburg's California technical center in Irvine, talked about multi-component injection molding and the importance of optimizing design in terms of application and using "perfectly harmonized technology."
Arburg views multi-component molding as a core expertise, he said.
"Arburg has been involved in multi-component parts since 1962," Wender added.
He cited the ability of Arburg's freely programmable Selogica control system to provide full integration of injection molding machines, robotic systems and peripherals such as rotary units.
Modular machine technology allows for individual customer-specific solutions, Wender said.