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The programming and adaptation work would be just as excessive in view of the great variety of models. Another special characteristic of the Novem production is that the most ergonomically suitable working conditions inside and around the clamping unit have a higher priority in the machine specifications than full utilization of the clamping force. Peter Ade, Head of Application Technology at Novem, comments: “For us, it is crucial to have compact machines.

This applies above all to the working environment around the mold. The reason is that the machine operator is required to enter the clamping unit during every production cycle. Our demand was that this should be possible on a level, horizontal plane and without contorted movements.

There should be no obstructions to the insertion process, which is vital for product quality. In this connection, I would like to specially emphasize the excellent cooperation with the Battenfeld engineers and their creative contributions towards further optimizing the machines’ ergonomic qualities, which were already outstanding to begin with.”

Following an extensive selection process, the actual decision at Novem was made in favor of Wittmann Battenfeld MacroPower 1100/3400 machines. With a 1,450 x 1,100 mm distance between tie-bars, the clamping unit of these machines provides the necessary space for insertion and movement. In contrast to the generously dimensioned clamping unit, the smaller 3,400 model with a 65 mm screw was selected as injection unit. This is in keeping with the generally light shot weights of the decorative parts.

Another, highly specific benefit of the Wittmann Battenfeld large machine concept is the extremely short length of the tie-bars. It is the result of integrating the four clamping devices into the structure of the moving platen, instead of placing them on the outside of the platen, as is most frequently the case. By carrying out the full platen stroke right down to the end position at the end of the machine frame, a free space opens up between the ends of the tie-bars and the machine platen, which can be used for changing molds with oversize platens from above as well as from the side. In this particular case, the free space between the tie-bars and the platen was extended to 1000 mm by a 400 mm lengthening of the machine frame, an invaluable advantage for lateral mold change in view of the production hall’s low ceiling.

Novem’s production is an outstanding example for the significance of an ergonomically designed interface between a machine and its operator. This is how Peter Ade sums up the situation, adding: “After a break of several years, we have become a Battenfeld customer once more, because the new MacroPower machine concept was able to completely fulfill our specific requirements, and with its comparatively compact dimensions helps to keep the requirements for valuable production floor space small, too. The actual injection molding performance was not our most important consideration, since it is a given anyway.“
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