Fans of large-tonnage injection molding machines will be able to partake of the big iron at NPE2018.
Milacron Holdings LLC takes the big-press prize: a giant two-platen machine with 2,250 tons of clamping force. Big-press history fans take note: Milacron says it's the biggest injection molding press ever to operate at an NPE.
You can see it at Booth W2703, molding a dashboard for Arctic Cat's new Wildcat XX, a juiced-up, two-passenger utility vehicle with an off-road-racing suspension. The dash panel weighs 10.5 pounds.
Milacron has sold the 2,250-tonner to Innovative Injection Technologies Inc., a West Des Moines, Iowa-based custom injection molder known as i2Tech.
The molder does lot of work for utility vehicle makers Arctic Cat — which was purchased a year ago by Textron Inc. — and Kawasaki Motors Corp. Another major customer is agricultural equipment maker Deere & Co.
"It's going to additional automotive and recreational vehicle work," said i2Tech President Josh Janeczko.
He said high-end utility vehicle sector is strong. "We're seeing continued increases in sales. It doesn't seem to lay up, and they continue to invest new capital for new programs," Janeczko said.
The 2,250-ton Milacron machine will i2Tech's eighth injection press of more than 1,000 tons, he said.
Janeczko said that after NPE, the big Milacron press will go back to Milacron's main plant in Batavia, Ohio, for additional testing before getting delivered to West Des Moines in August.
The press, called the Cincinnati after Milacron's home town, is a new large-tonnage two platen machine with a shorter footprint and high performance.
i2Tech is a longtime Milacron customer. In 1968, the forerunner of i2Tech, Mid-Central Plastics Inc., bought one of the first three injection molding machines made by Cincinnati Milling Machine Co. For more than four decades, the press molded parts; for many years, it turned out seed discs. Finally, in 2011, i2Tech decommissioned the press and replaced it with a new Milacron Roboshot all-electric machine. Milacron took the 1968 machine back to Batavia, cleaned it up and placed it on display in its factory.
Janeczko plans to attend NPE2018. "This is certainly an emotional purchase with me. We have a long history with Milacron. And so, when they came to me with this opportunity, I jumped all over it," he said.
Here are some of the other big-machines that will make news at NPE2018:
In a North American first, Engel Holding GmbH will run a 1,000-metric-ton press and a fully automated production cell running the DecoJect process, combining injection molding and in-mold graining.
During NPE, an Engel Duo press will make interior upper door trim with various surface textures, such as refined leather grain or a modern carbon look.
Engel will be at Booth W3303.
KraussMaffei Group will show its two-platen GX series press with 900 metric tons of clamping force.
At NPE, the GX will produce 20-liter buckets in a two-cavity mold, doing in-mold labeling.
KraussMaffei will be in Booth W403.
Wittmann Battenfeld Inc. will bring a MacroPower press with 850 metric tons molding a spoiler on a single-cavity mold. The work cell will do condition monitoring for preventive and predictive maintenance.
Wittmann Battenfeld will be at Booth W3742.
Wilmington Machinery Inc., in Booth W1823, will discuss an 800-ton version of its Lumina MP800 medium-pressure injection molding machine.
Wilmington said the Lumina is now available with a new compounding option, for extruding custom-formulated materials, then inject them directly into the part.
Arburg GmbH & Co. used be known as a small-tonnage injection press maker. That ended a dozen years ago, when the company cracked the 550-ton mark, officially in the "mid-sized" category.
Now NPE2018 marks the U.S. trade show introduction of a 730-ton hybrid Allrounder 1120 H in Booth W1325.
The 730-ton press meets a demand of U.S. customers for Arburg to produce larger-tonnage machines, company officials said.