Düsseldorf, Germany — Three injection molding machinery producers molded LSR micro parts at K 2019 in Düsseldorf.
Among them, Neuhausen auf den Fildern, Germany-based Fanuc Deutschland GmbH premiered a special "LSR Edition" 50-ton clamping force Roboshot a-S50iA machine, equipped with a 18-millimeter screw and barrel system designed specifically by Fanuc for LSR processing.
The machine molded 0.15 grams part-weight micro-sized Fanuc corporate yellow rectangular LSR connector seals in a four-cavity mold from Fischlham, Austria-based ACH Solution GmbH Hefner Moulds with an ACH "Servo Shot" electric servo-motor valve gating. A Fanuc LR Mate 200iD/7 articulated arm robot removed the pronounced undercut seals in 8-mm-long rows of four seals. It used Fanuc's QSSR (Quick and Simple Startup of Robotization) for networked machine website interfacing with the cloud.
ACH also provided compact 60-kilogram light MiniMix mixing and dosing equipment, which sat out of the way on top of the molding machine housing, as opposed to conventional machine side use.
At the June 2018 open house of Munich, Germany-based KraussMaffei Technologies GmbH, a 25-tonne KM all-electric drive Silcoset machine with an SP55 12-mm screw used the same ACH mold system to mold the same seals, but in KM's corporate blue.
But at the K 2019 fair, the same KM Silcoset machine and screw molded a 0.0375-gram medical syringe membrane in Silopren LSR 4650RSH from Leverkusen, Germany-based Momentive Performance Materials in an eight-cavity mold from Eberstalzell, Austria-based Nexus Elastomer Systems GmbH, which also provided its X1 machine-side mixing and dosing unit.
With 0.3 grams shot weight, cycle time was 14 seconds, including inline automated micro slitting by a filigree gripper from Roncadelle, Italy-based Gimatic srl mounted on a Kuka IR 6R 900 Agilus articulated arm part removal and handling robot.
The parts were monitored and data recorded with equipment from Wieden, Germany-based SensoPart Industriesensorik GmbH, then packed in sets of eight in plastic bags with a QR code by bagging equipment from the Wolfenbüttel, Germany-based subsidiary of Automated Packaging Systems Ltd., which recently became part of the Sealed Air packaging group.
The demonstration featured KM's APCplus adaptive process control system, a 2016 further development of the APC system introduced in 2014. APCplus kept cavity filling volume constant by regulating holding pressure and the switchover from injection to holding pressure. This ensured weight consistency, associated with constant part quality. APCplus also contributes to part quality by reducing scrap levels when restarting production after interruption.
A "dataXplorer" plastics engineering process monitoring system from Fürth, Germany-based iba AG supported APCplus with real-time production process data recording, analysis and optimization. By compensating differences between batches and using data to ensure efficient maintenance, dataXplorer assists working to Industry 4.0 principles, whether for a single machine or all production plant machines.
Data and curves produced by dataXplorer for the K 2019 LSR application included melt cushion size, cavity cooling and heating times, maximum melt pressure, cycle time, flange temperature, viscosity index and molding temperature for each of the eight cavities.
Among other KM innovations also generally available was the new Social Production app, which eases production communication, boosting efficiency by accelerating staff work.
Lossburg, Germany-headquartered Arburg GmbH + Co KG molded the smallest and lightest micro LSR part on a 25-tonne all-electric A270A molding machine equipped with an 8-mm screw and a size 5 injection unit, a 0.009-gram medical micro switch cap in nonpost-cure Elastosil LR 3005/40 from Burghausen, Germany-based Wacker Chemie AG. Shot weight was 0.072 grams, cycle time 20 seconds, in an eight-cavity mold with sprueless "Mini" direct needle gating from Thalheim, Austria-based Rico Elastomere Projecting GmbH.
A cartridge fed pre-mixed LSR to the machine screw and an Arburg Multilift H 3+1 linear robot removed the parts from the mold. Correct mold filling, part removal and quality were ensured by camera-based equipment from Rottweil, Germany-based i-mation vision systems GmbH. Roll feeding equipment from Villingendorf, Germany-based Packmat Maschinenbau GmbH packed the parts in paper bags in sets of 16 caps.