(Munich/Friedrichshafen, October 14, 2015) Silicone components are on the rise; they are of particular interest in the medical and automotive industries due to the excellent physical and chemical properties of the material. At Fakuma (Hall A7, Booth 7303/7304) KraussMaffei is demonstrating the manufacturing of a nasal ventilator made of liquid silicone rubber with an all-electric AX 50 SilcoSet.
"New areas of application are bringing double-digit growth to silicone processing around the world. It's only logical that we offer our customers efficient solutions for the processing of this material," explains Dr. Hans Ulrich Golz, Managing Director of KraussMaffei and President of the Injection Molding Machinery segment of the KraussMaffei Group. As part of its specially developed SilcoSet technology, KraussMaffei offers its customers hydraulic, electric and hybrid machines with clamping forces between 350 and 6,500 kN for processing silicone. Retrofitting existing systems is also possible. Injection molding machines with the SilcoSet technology are also suitable for the manufacturing of medical products, particularly those that require clean room conditions.
At Fakuma, KraussMaffei is demonstrating the manufacturing of a nasal ventilator made of liquid silicone rubber (LSR) for infants. In doing so, they are impressively showcasing the trade show's motto of Productivity PLUS. The AX injection unit from KraussMaffei particularly impresses with its perfect interaction between the plasticizing unit and the drive systems. Together, they ensure optimal shot weight consistency. The heart and soul of the plasticizing unit is a nonreturn valve specially developed by KraussMaffei, which guarantees a perfect closing behavior. The "soft" screw with integrate sealing, moreover, conserves the material and consequently increases the quality of the component.
In an all-electric AX, the product runs in a four-cavity mold with a clamping force of 500 kN. "A particular challenge during the processing of LSR is the design of the suitable mold. LSR has a consistency ranging from honey to water. The mold must clamp extremely tight and it is often even necessary to create a vacuum," explains Jochen Mitzler, Head of Strategic Product Management. KraussMaffei has proven partners for silicone molds with up to 256 cavities and for peripheral devices and materials. An Elmet metering and mixing unit will assume the task of metering at Fakuma and will provide optimum draining of residual fluids, ensuring that no material goes to waste. The tool of the Fakuma exhibit also comes from Elmet. The material is from Wacker Chemie.
Preliminary silicone products are subject to relatively strong batch fluctuations, which can lead to different viscosities in the material and consequently to fluctuations in the filling behavior of the cavities. The APC function (Adaptive Process Control) records the viscosity of the material during the running process and adjusts the filling volume during the shot directly. The process as a whole becomes more precise; the part weight remains constant. Potentially occurring cross-linking of the silicone can also be balanced using the APC function. "The APC function is a valuable tool for our customers that saves material, time and even costs and consequently increases productivity," says Mitzler. The APC function is offered on all hydraulic, electric and hybrid machines from KraussMaffei.
The SPX 10 servomotor-controlled sprue picker, with advanced function, removes the parts, separates them and places them within the standard machine's housing. There is no need for a side expansion in the form of a safety fence. This makes the picker the ideal solution for the smallest spaces. Furthermore, the servomotor enables the sprue picker to operate extremely fast and saves on maintenance time and expensive compressed air compared to wear-prone pneumatic drives. The integration into the new MC6 Multitouch control system and the optimized parked position for mold changing round out the user-friendly features. The manufactured gripper produced in the 3D printing process is not only especially lightweight but it can also be simply and quickly adapted to complex jobs.
In addition to processing LSR silicones, KraussMaffei also provides injection molding solutions for processing solid silicones (HTV: High Temperature Vulcanizing). This includes the AZ automatic feed unit developed by KraussMaffei. Solid silicones are in rectangular blocks before processing. Due to their insulating properties and even higher dimensional stability, they are particularly well suited to applications in the electronics industry or those with high mechanical stress.