Medical: Maximum integration with a minimal footprintHighly integrated, compact production cells minimise the system footprint and increase surface productivity. These features really pay off in the clean room. For this reason, ENGEL redeveloped its stainless steel pipe distributor for the cavity specific handling of small injection moulding parts so that the handling system now fits completely into the expanded safety gate of the injection moulding machine. At the Plast, ENGEL will present the new, extremely compact solution with the production of needle holders for 1ml safety syringes on an ENGEL e-victory 170/80 injection moulding machine. An ENGEL viper 12 linear robot will remove the delicate polystyrene parts from the 16-cavity mould - made by Fostag (Stein am Rhein, Switzerland) - and transfer them to the distribution system. In order to ensure batch traceability down to the level of individual cavities, the injection moulded parts will be packed in cavity-specific bags. For this purpose, 16 bags are hung in a cart located directly beneath the pipe distributor. Individual shots can be extracted for quality control purposes.
Compact integration: The pipe distributor fits in the machine's safety guard.
For unmanned clean-room operation - during the night-shift, for example - two carts can be alternated in sequence, with a buffering system enabling the fully automated switch. The entire periphery for this is integrated into the CC300 control unit of the injection moulding machine. Thanks to shared data storage, the CC300 can precisely coordinate the movements of the machine and the robot with each other, thus optimising overall efficiency. In addition to this, there are also especially short robot paths due to the tie-bar-less clamping unit of the e-victory machine. In this application, both of these factors contribute to the short cycle times of six seconds.
At the Plast, the highly integrated manufacturing solution for the production of needle holders will be presented in a clean-room version.
With a shot weight of only 0.08 g and varying wall thicknesses, the delicate needle holders require extremely precise process control. Since fluctuations in the melt volume can immediately result in rejects, iQ weight control from the inject 4.0 programme of ENGEL will be used. The software analyses the pressure curve during the injection process in real-time and compares the measured values with a reference cycle. Based on these results, the switchover point and the injection profile are adapted to the current conditions, thus maintaining a consistent injected volume during the entire production run. This way, fluctuations in the environmental conditions and in the raw material compensated for within the same shot, before resulting in rejects.