(Munich, August 16, 2017) Plastics processing features incredible diversity. From packaging products, for which speed and precision are paramount, to special processes such as silicone processing or creating high-end surfaces. With its exhibits in the clamping force sizes from 500 to 2,000 kN at Fakuma (October 17-21, 2017, Hall 7, Booth 7308), KraussMaffei is demonstrating how flexibly the all-electric PX series as well as the hydraulic CX series can adapt to respective requirements. The new linear LRX small robot will celebrate its premiere at Fakuma. All machines are equipped with the new enhanced APC plus function (Adaptive Process Control), which ensures maximum process reliability and with it a uniformly high component quality.
Through its new PX series, KraussMaffei sets new standards in all-electric injection molding machines. The new PX series combines the advantages of an all-electric injection molding machine with maximum modularity in an unprecedented way. "The success of the PX series introduced at K 2016 proves us right. Our customers appreciate the great variety and flexibility, not only in the configuration of the right machine—for example through a wide selection of clamping unit and injection unit combinations—but also in production or retrofitting," says Dr. Hans Ulrich Golz, President of the Injection Molding Machinery segment of the KraussMaffei Group and member of the KraussMaffei Managing Board. "The demand is enormous, especially from customers located in Germany, but also from those in the USA and China," adds Golz. In order to meet the high demand, KraussMaffei wants to double the production capacity of the PX series in the coming year.
Selected exhibits at Fakuma will demonstrate the unparalleled combination of the highest precision and maximum flexibility with an all-electric injection molding machine.
The manufacturing of transparent diffusion lenses, called Fresnel lenses and made from silicone material, is extremely challenging. Since silicone or LSR (liquid silicone rubber) is of extremely low viscosity, particularly highly transparent silicone, it requires an especially high precision during injection. Thanks to the superfine molding accuracy, the facet profile is of such high resolution that no structures are visible on the lens. The lenses are virtually flawless. "In the case of this application, the modular concept of the new PX series from KraussMaffei particularly distinguishes itself. At Fakuma, the PX 50-180 SilcoSet will combine hydraulic nozzle contact force with an electric injection unit in an unparalleled way. The result is extremely high precision. The machine-to-mold connection is tight, the production is leakage-free," explains Jochen Mitzler, Head of Strategic Product Management at KraussMaffei. Special screw seals on the shaft support this argument. Additionally, the spring-loaded return-flow lock of the screw guarantees secure closing behavior during processing of low-viscosity material.
The APC plus function from KraussMaffei assumes a special task with this application. It compensates for the batch fluctuations commonly encountered in LSR processing. As the process progresses, APC plus monitors the viscosity of the material and corrects the filling volume even in the shot. "The process as a whole is made even more precise, while the part weight remains constant. The APC plus is even able to reliably compensate for any potential preliminary cross-linking of the silicone," says Mitzler.
The compact design of the PX 50 provides lots of space for demolding and peripherals, as well as excellent accessibility. For example, an integrated industrial robot demolds the lenses. In the next step, visual quality control is performed with regard to quality of magnification and flashing before the finished lenses are stored in magazines.
Thin-walled parts need power during injection. The PX 160-540, the machine on which flip-tops of the Fontane type are being manufactured during Fakuma, thus has a boosted injection speed of 270 mm/s. The sealing caps, made of polypropylene, have a diameter of 28 mm and are designed with the short thread 1881—making this a classic packaging application. "The high output quantities in this area require especially short cycle times. Therefore, the PX 160 is equipped with speed options: faster injection, faster ejection, increased torque and faster nozzle movement," Mitzler continues. The compact automation system with LRX 100 linear robot removes the covers from the mold and places them into an integrated automation unit in which they are closed. The bottom line is that this saves time and space compared to familiar solutions on the market such as in-mold closing and separate covering process.
The LRX 100 is part of the new generation of small linear robots from KraussMaffei, which feature a new, progressive design with decentralized control cabinet concept and freestanding X-axis. They offer high flexibility in processes such as simple retrofitting of sensors or expansion of media circuits. Rack-and-pinion drives used in place of toothed belts offer fast, high-precision movements in all axes. A revised thermal and protection concept for electronic components with a Class IP54 rounds out the new concept and offers high uptime and safety. The removal gripper is 3D-printed and thus lightweight and design-optimized.
For its demonstration at Fakuma, KraussMaffei will collaborate with partner Roctool (HD plastics). The demonstration will show how impressive surface effects can be achieved without additional post-mold finishing. For example, this is how 16 various surfaces and thus 16 design variants of a plastic game console housing are created on a CX 200 in a 16-cavity mold. "The design options of the technology are immense—no matter whether color shading, hologram effects, high gloss effects or matte effects—everything can be completed in the one-shot process without additional post-mold processing such as film decoration or (secondary) painting," explains Mitzler.
The CX 200 from KraussMaffei scores points in this application with its outstanding performance as an extremely cost-effective and precise two-platen machine. This includes, for example, the drive concept according to state-of-the-art technology (IE3 types) as well as the energy-efficient BluePower servo drive. An active accumulator management system completes the overall concept. As a two-platen machine, the CX series requires less installation area than longer three-platen models. Under the clamping unit, it provides space for peripheral devices and all kinds of demolding systems. During Fakuma, an LRX 150 of the new generation of linear robots will demold the components. In the next step, the component and the sprue are separated. Finally, the bagging and packaging are carried out. Thanks to the space-saving design, this can be completed within the protective enclosure and saves on the footprint required for infeed.