Live demonstrations at the Engel technical centreOne typical feature of the Engel trend.scaut is that it does not stop at theoretical considerations. On the second day of the event, Engel had invited the participants to its large-scale machine plant in Shanghai Xinzhuang Industrial Park. Based on four challenging applications, the Engel automotive experts demonstrated how new technologies can be efficiently implemented in practice.
Thick-walled headlamp lenses were produced in a fully automated production cell with two interlinked duo injection moulding machines. Engel solves the challenge of combining high optical quality with short cycle times with its patented multi-layer technology, optimised by external cooling. Although the pre-moulded parts cool for 30 minutes, the cycle time is significantly less than 3 minutes. "More and more frequently, high-quality optical components are being made of plastics," Fischer reports. "The polymer materials are lighter than glass and offer product designers more freedom. Engel has already equipped renowned lens manufacturers worldwide with multilayer systems."
The task of the second application was to combine efficiency with high surface quality. A further duo injection moulding machine was used to produce sophisticated trim parts for the vehicle interior using the Engel foammelt process. Structural foam moulding makes it possible to reliably fill even very thin component areas while at the same time reducing the component weight. The special feature of the innovative process presented in Shanghai, which is based on a chemical blowing agent, is that high-quality visible surfaces are created directly from polypropylene in injection moulding.
The production of transparent technical parts was all-electric. Here, an e-mac injection moulding machine impressed with its high precision, process stability and efficiency. The e-mac series machines are exclusively equipped with particularly powerful servo-motors, including the ejection and pressing functions, thus ensuring optimum efficiency. Added to this there is the compact design. Saving space is also an important efficiency factor.
Assistance systems for the injection moulding machineThe fourth exhibit made the opportunities that Industry 4.0 opens for greater efficiency and quality tangible. Equipped with intelligent assistance systems from Engel's inject 4.0 program, the injection moulding machine continuously and automatically adapts the processing parameters to reflect fluctuations in the raw material and the ambient conditions. The result is a constant process without rejects. "The automotive industry is extremely open to these issues," Fischer emphasises. "inject 4.0 products are increasingly becoming part of the integrated system solutions we deliver to Asia."
Engel trend.scaut 2019 in DetroitSince 2009, the injection moulding machine manufacturer Engel has regularly invited the automotive industry and its suppliers to trend.scaut. For the past three years, the conference has taken place alternately on different continents. Next year Detroit, USA will be the venue; in 2020 the industry will meet in Austria before trend.scaut returns to China in 2021.