Basically, the full cell requires a dosing system, injection press, mold, automation and some kind of integration.
"This is everything you need for a turnkey solution, basically this is an entire molding cell," he said. "Hopefully you can use this (presentation) as a cheat-sheet for your own assistance, should you decide on a turnkey solution."
Briefly, the dosing system—in this case, from Austria-based Elmet—sends the A and B streams of an LSR (comprising a crosslinking material, inhibitor and a catalyst) into the injection press.
"Essentially the dosing system controls the ratio of material entering the press," Shaal said.
The two streams can merge with a third stream, which could be a coloring agent or another performance additive, before entering the press.
Silicones and TPEs—both of which can be molded in an Arburg press, providing some minor retrofits are installed—differ in that they require opposite temperatures on the curing end.
While silicone is cured in a cold deck, TPEs are set in a hot mold.
"When we are prototyping, we really want to understand what the product is going to be used for and the volumes of the product needed," Shaal said. "Do you need eight cavities or 16 cavities?"
Other considerations for a turnkey system‚ which can be useful for a customer with little LSR molding experience, include an understanding of where the turnkey system will be placed, and whether a customer has the skilled operators for such a system.
To clarify, a turnkey system allows a customer to conduct the molding of the parts themselves, as opposed to purchasing just the mold and trouble-shooting downstream issues themselves.
With turnkey solutions, Roembke is present every step of the way for technical advice and set-up.
"Turnkey is a great solution if you have little experience in LSR molding," Shaal said. "It can save more money than buying the mold and debugging it yourself.
"It allows you to focus on making parts rather than the logistics and costs that can accompany only having the mold."
Just as there is a calculus to the costs of any molded goods venture and the associated tiers of service, there are benefits to each.
Arburg offers an Internet of Things connectivity that can assist with the control of orders; transmission of machine data records; message management, like alarms, preventative maintenance and warnings; and data for process monitoring and quality assurance.
And R.D. Abbott will continue with its training, be it a class on dosing systems or injection molding machines, or a full two-day seminar on LSR.
In every case, time-to-market is a function of collaboration.
"These classes give us interaction with the primary suppliers who are out there," R.D. Abbott's Jenkins said. "What is important to fabricators is this material processing—how to make the material flow better or cure faster. We can really help the process along."