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Engel at NPE2015

Dual technology integration opens new horizons for quality

Process integration leads to greater efficiency, safety and quality. Using an Engel duo 2550/610 US injection moulding machine with an integrated Engel viper 20 robot, Engel will demonstrate the fact that not only can process steps upstream or downstream of the injection moulding machine be combined, but also different process technologies. To produce center console components of PC-ABS, Engel will combine two technologies: Engel foammelt, the MuCell foam injection molding process developed by Trexel of Wilmington, Massachusets, USA, and the variothermal injection molding process from Roctool (Le Bourget du Lac, France). The goal is to produce thin-walled parts with very high surface quality along with the excellent reproduction of fine structure using just a single injection moulding step.

To demonstrate the versatility of this combination of processes, the part being moulded will have varying wall thicknesses and surface structures. Thanks to Engel foammelt, the cavity is completely filled, including the undercuts, and the component has no sink marks after cooling. At the same time, the Roctool technology provides a high-gloss finish in piano black. Apart from applications aimed at car interiors, this dual technology integration opens up new horizons for efficiency and quality in white goods and household products.

On exhibit for the first time in North America, this system solution introduces the new design of the Engel duo injection moulding machine. Users will benefit in particular from improved ergonomics thanks to a lower operating height providing easier access to the mould and nozzle area. Other features of the new machine generation include roller rail systems for the moving platen, energy-efficient mould movement and a much cleaner mould area thanks to the removal of central lubrication.

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Engel medical: Higher productivity with a smaller plant footprint

In the Medical section of its display at NPE2015, Engel will be producing drip chambers with an integrated filter for blood transfusions. An Engel e-victory 310H/80W/50V/180 combi US three-component injection molding machine with ecodrive and a cleanroom design will be used in this highly integrated production process. The drip chambers will include one ABS and one PP component; in a single work step they will be injection moulded, fitted with the filter, and joined by means of over moulding with additional polypropylene. This unprecedented level of integration significantly boosts efficiency in the manufacturing of multi-component hollow bodies with inlays. Conventionally, the two hollow body components are individually injection moulded, with the inlay fitted and bonded in subsequent process steps. However, this leads to longer cycles, a greater logistical effort including a greater risk of contamination, and markedly lower productivity per square foot as production usually requires several independent manufacturing cells. "Drip chambers are mass-market products that need to be manufactured economically while maintaining the stringent demands on product safety and cleanliness," says Mark Sankovitch, underlining the great significance of the one-shot process. Other industries could also profit from this leap in efficiency. For example, fuel filters are also hollow bodies with an integrated inlay.

For this exhibit, the mold manufacturing partner Hack Formenbau (Kirchheim, Germany), provides a key prerequisite for the high level of integration with the use of servo-electric drive technology for all movements of the index plate mould. This allows the synchronous control of commonly independent movements.

An Engel easix multi-axis robot is also integrated into the manufacturing cell for handling both the filter and finished parts. The robot presents the drop chambers to a 100 percent quality control check before they are discharged.

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ENGEL Austria GmbH

World’s largest manufacturer of injection moulding machines and, at the same time, one of the world’s leading plastics processing machine manufacturers