Düsseldorf, Germany — At K 2019, it was all about energy savings for China's Haitian International Holdings Ltd.
Haitian unveiled its third-generation machines for its Mars, Jupiter and all-electric Zhafir lines in an Oct. 18 news conference in Düsseldorf, as well as announced a new research partnership with Germany's IKV Institute for Plastics Processing to redesign the plastification process to save energy.
The company said at least 50 percent of the energy used in injection molding comes from plasticizing the materials, making it a natural focus of research with IKV to find new technologies to cut energy consumption.
"From our point of view, this is absolutely necessary in order to supplement or perhaps even completely replace the screw plasticizing process that has been in existence for more than 60 years," Haitian Director Helmar Franz said in a statement. "This is a high requirement, and we will see what comes out of it."
The company also said a new design could lead to improvements in processing recyclates or other new materials.
IKV, in Aachen, Germany, has 300 employees, including 80 scientists, to research plastic technology.
"For us, the project is an exciting challenge to contribute to the improvement of fundamental principles of injection molding technology," IKV Director Christian Hopmann said in a statement.
At its K event, Haitian said its third-generation machines are also aimed at serving energy. All the machines now use tailor-made servomotors, said Zhang Bin, executive director of the Ningbo, China-based company.
"Previously we used the general servomotor system [but] now we use a tailor-made servomotor," Zhang said. "So we are able to increase the injection speed and the response time for all generation three machines."
The company presented four machines at the show. Two were from its Zhafir all-electric lines: a Venus machine making medical parts from polypropylene and a Zeres F series using a four-cavity mold making lids with in-mold decoration.
The company called the new Zhafir machines its technology highlight of the show, available in four designs with one, two and four spindles that significantly increase injection pressure.
For its more standard Haitian-branded machines, it was showing a third-generation Mars press, historically its best-selling line, making a bottle opener from recycled polypropylene. As well, it was showing a Jupiter two-platen machine making an LED light strip from polycarbonate.
"The benefit of generation three is we create all the motors by ourselves, and the benefit again is to reduce the energy consumption," said Philippe Porret, deputy general manager of Haitian International Germany GmbH. "We are always thinking about less energy. We continuously improve on energy."
The firm also touted an open integration strategy for robotics and automation at the fair.
Haitian is the world's largest maker of injection machines measured by number of units sold and one of the world's largest measured by sales as well.
Zhang said the company sold 35,000 units worldwide last year. The company said it focuses its strategy on building molding presses for standard applications and working to optimize those machines. It said standard plastics materials account for more than 80 percent of applications.