"Our first goal is to provide our customers with a competitive edge," says Andreas Leitner, Middle East Sales Director at Engel. "A particularly important key for this is our extensive system solution and automation expertise. Only when we coordinate all components of a production cell with each other from the very beginning can we guarantee a very high overall efficiency." As the general contractor, Engel has the overall responsibility for the system, and this includes components that are implemented in collaboration with partners. This also simplifies communication between project partners, and in many cases this can speed up project planning and commissioning for new production solutions.
Engel has built up a strong worldwide network of partners for its system solution business. Two of these partners are presenting themselves together with Engel in Dubai: the Swiss mould manufacturer Otto Hofstetter, and the inspection and testing system specialist IMDvista, which is also headquartered in Switzerland. In the Middle East, the three partner companies can already point to many very successful joint projects.
Energy-efficient, precise and powerful, all rolled into oneThe caps and closures market in the Middle East is extremely dynamic. The all-electric injection moulding machines of the Engel e-cap series have established themselves very well here. "In the United Arab Emirates, for example, all the well-known bottlers and bottle cap producers now use Engel technology," says Leitner. Besides the machine and mould, most projects also include further peripheral equipment and integrated quality inspection systems.
"In the field of caps and closures with very short cycle times and very high material throughput, the trend is clearly going towards all-electric," emphasises Leitner. "The issue of energy efficiency is continuing to grow in importance." In addition, there are very high requirements for machine precision and performance. In terms of geometry, caps have reached the limits of lightweighting and therefore require greater repetition accuracy than ever. In addition, the demands on plasticizing performance have also increased enormously due to the new, high-strength HD-PE materials with MFI values significantly lower than 2 or even 1 g/10 min.
Ready for filling in a single stepThe production of cartridges for the do-it-yourself sector also requires efficient thin-wall technology to be combined with high output. In order to produce ready-to-fill cartridges in just one step, Engel integrates IML automation from Beck Automation in an Engel e-speed injection moulding machine that operates with a 16-cavity mould from Otto Hofstetter.
The cartridge production makes optimal use of the advantages of the hybrid machine, which has an electric clamping unit and a servo-hydraulic injection unit. Moulding the long hollow bodies with a wall thickness of only 1.2 mm requires very high dynamics and injection performance. Very short cycle times are achieved despite the relatively high total shot weight of 800 grams. A basic requirement for the high efficiency of the IML process is very precise movements of the mould mounting platen, which the Engel e-speed ensures with its all-electric clamping unit.
A plastic solution for greater sustainabilityThe third application example at the Engel stand at Arabplast presents the production of pallets on Engel duo dual-platen large-size machines. Plastic pallets are the more environmentally-friendly and robust alternative to wooden pallets in the Gulf region. As there are no forests, all the raw material for the production of wooden pallets has to be imported, whereas plastic granulate is produced in the region. In addition, plastic pallets do not have to be treated with pesticides and fungicides, which means environmentally harmful chemicals do not have to be used. Plastic pallets are also neither hygroscopic nor combustible, have no sharp edges and cannot splinter. This reduces the risk of injury and simplifies customs clearance procedures in many countries.
In order to make the pallets lighter while keeping them very stable and stiff at the same time, Engel and its system partners and raw material producers take advantage of a broad spectrum of technologies and materials. "Some companies are already using plastic pallets to reinforce their image," as Andreas Leitner reports. "A high-quality product calls for high-quality packaging."
Engel at Arabplast 2017: hall 6, stand D122