"Elmet's newest TOP 5000P dosing unit offered two key capabilities where we saw value," O'Hara said. "Besides its efficient use of metered material and precise metering accuracy, it allows us to integrate the dosing system control into the control system on the Engel, so we can manage and consolidate all production, molding and dosing, parameters including key SPC protocoling information, onto one drive."
"Crucially, the machine came equipped with four, third-stream controlled additive lines that give us access to Elkem LSR Select material technology."
This system gives Sim Lim the ability to optimize cure kinetics to achieve double-digit improvements in productivity, upwards of 50 percent and beyond, and the flexibility to deliver precise solutions for customers.
Additionally, LSR Select can create custom durometer blends from 20 to 70 ShA to achieve specific performance requirements.
"Unlike the traditional two-component LSR system, LSR Select is a single component base polymer that cures when mixed with the LSR Select Control (inhibitor) and CATA (catalyst) using the very precise third-stream metering capability from Elmet," O'Hara said.
"This new process for injection molding gives the molder more freedom of design and processing of parts."
LSR Select also enables lower cure temperatures, down 167°F-176°F (75°C-80°C) from traditional molding temperature set points, which can expand the range of applications and substrates for injection molding.
"This, as well as the freedom to fine-tune durometers, are key aspects of interest to Sim Lim," O'Hara added.
In terms of the 180-ton Wide Platen Engel tiebarless injection molding machine, O'Hara said that most of the company's production machines are Engel Victory tiebarless injection molding machines and Elmet dosing units, and the company has been pleased with their reliability, repeatability and support.
"The tiebarless Engel victory machines give us better access to the platen and available mold area, which is a key benefit in that the machine has a smaller overall footprint or size relative to its tonnage, permits faster mold changes and access to a wider array of mold sizes including a larger robot axis movement envelope," he said.
Sim Lim previously announced its goal to add these capacities in a Rubber & Plastics News article in 2019, originally scheduled for late 2020.
"We navigated what was a challenging period along with everyone else in 2020, supported with various PPE-related applications throughout the year, and are currently positioned as planned for further growth in the short- to medium-term and beyond, maintaining a consistent and measured approach as we continue to grow," O'Hara said.