Premium-quality parts – dimensionally stable, functional and lightweight

– KraussMaffei presents further developed lightweight construction process for thermoplastic composites
– Hollow composite parts: Suitable for high-volume production and no need for post-mold processing thanks to the FiberForm process
– Washing machine covers weigh 35 percent less thanks to CellForm process
– Appearance at K 2013 trade show under the motto "Trendgineering"
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(Munich/Düsseldorf, October 16, 2013) KraussMaffei's extensive processing expertise and vast machine portfolio makes it one of the leading technological experts in lightweight construction engineering – and the company continues to cement its dominant position in the market with numerous innovations. At K 2013 in Düsseldorf (October 16-23, hall 15, B27/C24/C27/D24), the company will demonstrate its comprehensive knowledge of processing with selected sample components that can be used to manufacture lightweight, dimensionally stable and functional parts. Visitors will get to see a CX 300-1000 FiberForm machine, which can produce a hollow composite part in a cycle time of just 57 seconds. The AX 130-750 CellForm, which uses a new MuCell® system to produce washing machine covers that weigh 35 percent less than conventional ones, will also be making its world debut.

The perfect combination of injection molding and thermoforming

"The CX 300-1000 provides concrete proof that complex structural components can be made in a fully automatic production process with noticeably short cycle times using FiberForm technology from KraussMaffei," explains Frank Peters, Vice President Sales at KraussMaffei. The combination of thermoforming one or several semifinished products (organic sheets, thermoplastic tapes, etc.) and injection molding thermoplastic materials opens up completely new design possibilities for manufacturers. For example, the 3000kN machine can be used to over-mold an organic sheet made from a glass-fiber-reinforced polyamide with a PA 6, which is also reinforced with glass fibers, at a shot weight of 139 g. The highlight of the production method is the new pressurized in-line joining process, which can be used to make hollow parts. The ability to produce complex yet lightweight parts with extremely high dimensional stability in a cycle time of just 57 seconds – which makes the process ideally suited to high-volume production – was developed through close collaboration with Wirth Werkzeugbau, Lanxess Deutschland, Bond-Laminates and HK-Präzisionstechnik. The servomotor drive unit in the CX 300 also makes production energy efficient.

Design freedom and integrated functions

Well-engineered heating technology, which ensures that the composite is warmed through evenly in a convection oven in the paternoster design, allows the use of semifinished fiber parts with different thicknesses and fiber orientations. Even at very high fiber contents, all the fibers are completely surrounded by the matrix polymer. Fully integrated infrared radiators activate the joining surface and thereby ensure optimum binding between the organic sheet and the thermoplastic matrix. After preheating, a multifunction gripper places and transfers the organic sheet into the mold and later demolds the finished part. The process is so flexible that both partial over-molding and direct trimming can be carried out fully automatically and without the need for post-mold processing.

MuCell® saves material and energy

At K 2013, KraussMaffei will demonstrate a fully electric AX 130-750 CellForm machine with an integrated LRX 50 linear robot, which is equipped with a new MuCell® system. "The MuCell® system that we will be demonstrating as a technological enhancement for the AX series is the first of its kind in the world. It is particularly easy to operate and a new metering system makes it extremely compact," explains Peters. The machine produces an ASA/PC copolymer cover for white goods, such as washing machines, at a shot weight of 127 g in a cycle time of around 37 seconds. By adapting the part design especially to MuCell®, the wall thicknesses and part weight were able to be adjusted to achieve material savings of 35 percent with no loss of functionality. Dynamic mold heating ensures premium-quality surfaces. The reduced cavity pressure means that parts can be produced on machines with a lower clamping force. The shorter cycle times also reduce production costs.

A fully electric AX-series injection molding machine lowers energy consumption. Its extremely high level of accuracy and consistent shot weight makes it particularly well suited to the CellForm process. The machine is equipped with an innovative safety system that guarantees user-friendly and safe handling of the machine. A special feature is that the active functions required for the foaming process, such as dynamic pressure, can also be executed with the safety gates open by means of electric motor drives and in compliance with current safety standards. All parameters in the MuCell® process are visualized on the MC6 control system and can be set in a simple and intuitive way. This innovative application is the result of close collaboration with the partners Krallmann Werkzeugbau, Styrolution, gwk and Trexel.

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