Friedrichshafen, Germany — Announcing a new product during the coronavirus pandemic is hard enough. But finding ways to introduce it to potential customers was a real challenge, said Mike Ellis, global business manager for hot runners and controllers at Husky Injection Molding Systems.
"We launched UltraShot, our next-generation injection system, at the beginning of this year, sold a number of systems around the world but haven't had the chance to demonstrate it. Here, at the Fakuma, is the first opportunity we've had to actually show it to the general public," he said.
The injection system occupied pride of place at the Husky booth, where it was molding a medical application — a diagnostic array used to identify infectious diseases.
"Our customers were molding the part — a very small, very thin, sievelike disk — in a two-cavity system that they were having problems producing even at that low cavitation. With the UltraShot technology, we were able to scale up to a production cell with eight cavities — in other words, quadruple production in that single cell. The technology makes it possible to scale up much faster and to do something that would not be possible using conventional technology," Ellis said.
"The thing about UltraShot is, when you're making a part like this, a part designer will want to know how it's done," said Jim Plumpton, product development manager for hot runners and one of the two developers of the technology.
The injection system, he explained, essentially eliminates the deficiencies of traditional injection molding processes.
"We've reengineered the injection molding process," he said. "We basically take control of the injection processes away from the injection unit. Without an injection unit, it's just a plasticizer, an extruder. The technology delivers very high pressure at the gate, so we gain a huge amount of control, far more than with conventional systems. We can control how the melt flows into the cavity."