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Fakuma 2018 highlights for injection moulders

For visitors from the injection moulding sector, this year's Fakuma has displayed many innovations in processing technology, new machines and ancillaries, a swathe of materials and the latest in mould-making and hot runners. Here below are some of the highlights:

Arburg at the Fakuma 2017: Busy stand, great atmosphere and excellent business

The Highlights at the Arburg stall were the two large hybrid machines, the Allrounder 1120 H and Allrounder 920 H, both with a new design and featuring the new visionary Gestica control system, as well as the new practical example of Industry 4.0. Ten innovative exhibits, most of them turnkey systems, demonstrated the efficient production of plastic parts, ranging from additively manufactured PP functional components in single-unit batches and multi-variant moulded part production on demand through to the high-volume production of 7,700 IML tubs per hour. Ten additional exhibits were presented on partner stands.

"We are very satisfied with the Fakuma 2017. We received many firm enquiries, business is excellent – for our customers from all industries as well as for us. During such boom times, production-efficient machine technology, individually tailored solutions and reliable service are especially in demand," concluded Michael Hehl, Managing Partner and Spokesperson for the Arburg Management Team. "Moreover, topics such as Industry 4.0, host computer systems and additive manufacturing are becoming increasingly relevant for our customers. In Friedrichshafen we were once again able to impressively demonstrate that we can offer not just the suitable smart machine technology for any requirement, but that we are at the customer's side as a technology partner."

Premiere of second Allrounder in new design

The unmistakable highlights at the Arburg trade fair stand were the two hybrid large machines, the Allrounder 1120 H and Allrounder 920 H with a new design and featuring the new visionary Gestica control system. The new-look Allrounder 920 H with a clamping force of 5,000 kN made its debut in Friedrichshafen. The exhibit was equipped with the linear Multilift V 40 robotic system and produced 720-gram housings of which seven units at a time were packaged in boxes inline.

The Allrounder 1120 H with a clamping force of 6,500 kN, which produced the popular folding step stool in the Arburg design as part of a sophisticated turnkey solution, can be ordered by customers worldwide as of the Fakuma 2017. At a separate station, Arburg experts presented the functions of the new Gestica control system featuring the look and feel of smart mobile devices, and were involved in discussions with customers and interested parties virtually non-stop. The feedback on the new machine design and the new control system was very positive throughout.

Industry 4.0 in practice: Tension straps “on demand”

With regard to "Industry 4.0", "Digital Transformation" and "Smart Factory", products such as the Arburg host computer system (ALS) as well as the integration of IT solutions into the production process are much in demand.

Premiere at the Fakuma 2017: with the Allrounder 920 H, Arburg presented the second machine series with a clamping force of 5,000 kN in a new design and featuring the visionary Gestica control system.

As a third highlight, Arburg presented a new practical example of Industry 4.0 that was tailored specifically to the requirements of the injection moulding sector. In this regard, customer requirements were integrated into the running injection moulding process for multi-variant high-volume production. A compact turnkey system featuring a vertical Allrounder 375 V produced flexibly tension straps in various lengths, colours and end piece combinations on demand from shot-to-shot – without any need for conversion. Visitors could enter the desired tension strap variant directly at the terminal, causing the order to be transmitted directly to the central Selogica control system via the OPC UA communication protocol. The tension strap was automatically cut to the selected length, both ends spliced by means of a plasma process and placed in the cavities of the four-cavity mould in accordance with the order. Handling was performed by a six-axis robot compactly housed within the installation area. The inserts were optionally overmoulded in hook/hook, hook/eyelet or eyelet/eyelet combinations and the finished tension strap then removed from the system. In industrial practice, this kind of high-volume production with multiple variants is ideal for cable assembly in the automotive industry, for example.

Premiere: Additive processing for standard PP and Armat 12

Many injection moulding customers at the Fakuma 2017 were also interested in additive manufacturing. Because using the Freeformer and Arburg Plastic Freeforming, the original materials used in injection moulding can be utilised. Furthermore, the user remains independent of the pre-defined settings and can carry out individual part and process optimisations.

For the first time, the open system additively processed the semi-crystalline standard PP (Moplen) and the new Armat 12 support material to form functional components. The delicate yet durable cable clips had the click effect typical of injection moulded parts.

Innovative applications and turnkey solutions

Arburg brought two automated applications for the automotive industry to the trade fair: A hydraulic two-component Allrounder 470 S produced steering wheel covers for car interiors. The PC component ensures the required part strength, while the surface made from PC/ABS can be selectively galvanised downstream. A special feature was the 100-percent quality control with the aid of a thermal imaging camera integrated directly in the mould.

The second automotive component was a ring gear made from PA 6 (GF 40) for small planetary gear sets. The technical component was produced on an Allrounder 370 E Golden Electric which represents the electric entry-level machine series. This individual turnkey solution also involved 100-percent inline quality control with visual inspection, in this case after part removal.

A Packaging version of a hybrid Allrounder 570 H demonstrated a high-speed thin-walled application especially for the packaging industry. In a cycle time of less than 1.9 seconds, the high-performance machine produced four IML tubs with a wall thickness of 0.32 millimetres that were packaged directly in boxes. This amounts to a production output of around 7,700 tubs per hour. The turnkey solution involving an electric two-component Allrounder 570 A with a linear Multilift V 15 robotic system was also very popular with trade fair visitors. The system manufactured two complete watches in one 70-second injection moulding cycle – an impressive demonstration of what can currently be achieved in the processing of liquid silicones. The 2+2-cavity mould came from Rico and the dosing system from Reinhardt-Technik was connected to the Selogica control system via an OPC UA interface. Assembly as a ready-to-use wristwatch is performed by a linear Multilift V 15 robotic system.

Further informaation from: www.arburg.com

BOY at Fakuma 2018

Boy staged the world premiere of its Boy 125 E machine at Fakuma, which will come into series production in the spring 2019. The 1,250 kN machine (a large clamping force in the context of Boy's machine range) was developed in response to the needs of customers and was designed with a clear width of 470 mm between the tie bars instead of the previous 430 mm. In addition, the maximum platen distance has been extended to 825 mm as standard. This should provide more space, for example when using rotary plates, says Boy. The Boy 125 E is being shown with a two-component application at Fakuma. In combination with a BOY 2C S, cups made of NAS 30 are first injected, which are then partially overmoulded with a design surface as a second component by the additional injection unit BOY 2C S in the same mould. The gripper head of the Boy LR 5 removal and handling robot repositions the pre-moulded cups in the mould, removes the finished two-component parts and places them on a conveyor belt in the protective housing of the LR 5 automation cell.

In addition to the new machine BOY 125 E, Dr. Boy GmbH & Co. KG also showcased its intelligent solutions in a wide range of different fields. According to Alfred Schiffer, Managing Partner, with the BOY 125 E, the leading manufacturer of injection molding machines answer the demands of its customers for a larger clamping unit.

“Increasing complexity of automation equipment and the encouraging increase in the use of additional injection units prompted us to enlarge the clamping unit accordingly," he said.

Even with a 470 mm distance of tie bars and a maximum platens distance of 825 mm, it is possible to design a very robust and yet compact machine with a footprint of just 5.2 m². Meanwhile, with the demonstrated liquid silicone UV-processing on a BOY XS, it is possible to process the cross-linking operation without high temperatures. This application is particularly useful when processing silicone with temperature-sensitive fillers. In addition, precise embossing operations simultaneously to the injection movement were shown on a BOY 60 E, which is possible by a double pump drive system. This precise movement of the clamping unit is interesting for the production of complex lens systems and high quality surfaces. Another impressing point is the low energy consumption of only 2.24 kWh. The new development of the in-house manufactured handling system BOY LR 5 allows the use of the recognized operator-related control philosophy of BOY for removal of parts. In addition to the easy handling, the “Boy-typical” robustness and the excellent price-performance ratio, all aspects relevant for the manufacturing were successfully implemented.

Industry 4.0 ready

Besides, all BOY machines at the trade fair booth were connected to the ProSeS host computer system which allows an insight into the production process of each molded part.

For each manufactured part, all desired process values can be reproduced by means of a printed QR-code during the entire service life of the molded part. Especially parts with food contact or medical products must always be kept in a clean environment. To keep this effort in the environment of the injection molding machine on a low level, it is useful to pack the parts directly after production to ensure an effective protection against contamination.

Simultaneously, the complete packaging up to readiness for dispatch can be implemented automatically. BOY demonstrated this impressively on a BOY 35 E injection molding machine. Here too, the ProSeS host computer system can accompany the production process up to the preparation of the order- and dispatch documents.

In relation to Digitalization, BOY demonstrated its capability in the field of service. At Fakuma, the BOY Remote Service (BRS) was elucidated. In this case, users can send online pictures of a machine to the Service-Centre in Neustadt-Fernthal via a smartphone. Thus, the service technicians "look over the shoulder” of the user and offer interactive support in terms of troubleshooting, elimination of adjustment problems or even an online training.

Lower machine downtime and a higher degree of utilization are among the advantages of the BOY BRS. With the use of "smart glasses" (a combination of smartphone and customizable screen), this process can be extremely simplified. Questions can either be clarified by telephone or by marking of certain areas of the image within the glasses.

Further information from: www.dr-boy.de

CC 300 from ENGEL

ENGEL has redefined the human-machine interface with its CC300. The control unit makes it even more efficient, user-friendly and safe to use injection moulding machines and integrated system solutions. For its fifth anniversary, the ENGEL control unit will be showcased along with an upgraded control concept and new features at the Fakuma 2018 trade fair in Friedrichshafen, Germany, from 16th to 20th October. Tutorials, which play directly on the display, keep the machine operator up-to-date and highlight areas of potential for optimisation.

The increasing complexity of the production process poses increasingly tough challenges for control technology. The clearer and more intuitive the control unit, the more safely and efficiently the machines and production cells can be operated. For this reason, when it comes to the CC300 control unit's ongoing improvement, 'keep it simple' is a key guiding principle for injection moulding machine manufacturer and system solutions provider ENGEL. The design and operating philosophy are the essential elements for truly intuitive operation without restricting the scope of the machine or system solution.

One of Engel's demonstrations brings together three premieres in a highly integrated production cell on which two-part callipers are manufactured using ABS. A new system for very rapid switching of mould inserts was presented for the first time. The new size 120 of the all-electric and tie-bar-less E-motion TL series with a clamping force of 1,200 kN will be introduced to the public. Expanded functionality of the E-flomo electronic temperaturecontrol

water manifold will also be presented. Developed by Braunform as a solution for short-run moulding of batch sizes of less than 1,000, the fully automated switching of mould inserts can be completed within 1 minute. To demonstrate the potential of the new system, the two geometrically different components of the calliper will be produced in rapid succession one after the other. After only three shots, the injection moulding machine alerts the integrated Engel

Easix articulated robot that the lot has been fulfilled and unlocks the mould inserts. The robot first removes the last produced component, then changes grippers and switches the mould inserts. To deal with the different shot weights of the two components, the injection moulding machine continuously optimises itself using Engel's iQ weight control, iQ clamp control and iQ flow control.

Further information from: www.engelglobal.com

FANUC displays 450 ton all-electric IMM

FANUC Europe displayed several all-electric ROBOSHOT injection moulding machines (IMM) during Fakuma 2018. One of the main highlights is the new α-S450iA. Latest machine developments led to the 4500kN clamping force IMM the market has been expecting for years. Furthermore, a production cell, incorporating a 100-ton ROBOSHOT, will produce technical parts in engineering grade plastics under “Variotherm” mould process. The system literally works hand-in-hand with a six-axis FANUC LR Mate robot and a CR-7iA robot for parts assembly and handling. ROBOSHOT machines fulfil strict user requirements aimed at low energy consumption and flawless injection moulding quality, combined with stable repeatability and maximum process security. In the so-called IOT corner FANUC and TIG demonstrate Euromap 77 for plastics processing according to industry 4.0. Last, but not least, ROBONANO builds a bridge between injection moulding and mould manufacturing: the 5-axis CNC machining centre excels in ultraprecision five-axis machining in freeform surfaces with 0.1 nanometre command resolution. This machine tool demonstrates automated, predictable and repeatable optical-quality finishing of high-accuracy mould inserts.

ROBONANO α-NMiA demonstration

ROBONANO α-NMiA -- This new ultraprecision machine tool has been developed by FANUC specifically for five-axis diamond machining of freeform surfaces. This fits pretty well in the injection moulding industry since FANUC can now offer a quite extended line-up of products, particularly for the polymer-based process chain. As a matter of fact, FANUC ROBOSHOT customers can now use tools where high quality mould inserts prepared by ROBODRILL and fine-finished by ROBONANO are assembled to precise components wire-cut by ROBOCUT. To this specific industry, ROBONANO – with its 0.1 nanometre command resolution – offers a robust alternative to manual polishing of mould inserts. And of course, FANUC ROBOTS can also be exploited in order to automate processes even further. At the exhibition, ROBONANO α-NMiA demonstrated real machining of a mould insert for the automotive industry, with a complex shape. Besides the demonstration, examples of different applications will be presented, such as surface texturing with holographic visual effects, finishing of high-precision optical-quality surfaces and processing of different materials, including mould steel.

ROBOSHOT α-S450iA finally in Europe

Moulding work pieces Its debut was celebrated in Japan last year following the introduction into the U.S. market on the Milacron booth during NPE Orlando – the all-electric FANUC ROBOSHOT α-S450iA, 4500 kN clamping force precision injection moulding machine will start its European market success from Fakuma 2018. Higher cavity numbers and bigger moulds require larger platen sizes and tie bar distances which demand a larger/stronger machine with higher clamping forces. Beyond automotive, the medical / pharmaceutical device markets and other precision parts branches want more precise and fast output. Now they have 4500kN clamping force, a tie bar distance of 920 mm by 920 mm, a clamping stroke of 900 mm, a 1300 mm by 1300 mm platen size and a maximum die height of 1000 mm. Four different screw sizes for the two basic injection units achieve high flexibility.” The α-S450iA on stand B3-3211 demonstrated the machine's productivity potential: connection pieces for infusion components are produced using a 32-cavity medical device mould provided by KEBO/Switzerland. Complex geometries, as produced in very large quantities in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries, require maximum precision – particularly pertaining to surface quality, contour accuracy, weight stability and reproducibility. State-of-the-art CNC technology in the ROBOSHOT provides a unique electric moulding solution. The machine is equipped with efficient energy recovery control function, reliable torque plasticise control – Precise Metering Control (PMC) 2&3 – as well as backflow monitor and highly efficient AI mould / ejector protection. The results are high-end process performance and product quality.

For more information, please contact:

FANUC Europe Corporation S.A.

7, rue Benedikt Zender, L-6468 Echternach, Luxembourg

Phone: + 352 (0)72 7777-0

Email: pr@fanuc.eu;

Home: www.fanuc.eu

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