At the Plast 2009, which will take place from 24 to 28 March in Milan, Arburg will present an impressive cross-section of its current product range with groundbreaking applications. Seven exhibits, including three production cells and two energy-efficient Allrounders await trade visitors at the 520 square-metre exhibition stand in Hall 22, Stand C/D 12/11. The topic of energy efficiency will be a main focus at the Arburg stand.
“Although the economic crisis has now taken a firm grip throughout Europe, we are optimistic about the year 2009. Despite current curbs in capital expenditure, we expect a positive outcome at the trade fair,” says Björn Noren, Manager of Arburg’s Italian subsidiary in the run-up to the Plast.
Highlight on energy efficiency
The main focus of Arburg’s appearance at the trade fair will be energy efficiency. For this purpose, Arburg will present two energy-efficient electric Allrounders: an Allrounder 520 A, with a clamping force of 1,500 kN, demonstrating a packaging application and an Allrounder 470 A demonstrating an LSR (Liquid Silicone Rubber) application. The latter machine features a clamping force of 1,000 kN and a size 400 clamping unit. Equipped with an LSR dosage station, it will produce inflatable seals in a cycle time of 40 seconds on an eight-cavity mould made by Rico.
Modular and flexible: the S machine series
These flexible Allrounders S are suitable for all applications. Three machines from this series will be presented at the Plast: A large Allrounder 720 S with a clamping force of 3,200 kN, the smallest Allrounder 170 S and a three-component Allrounder 370 S. A film reel will be produced on the Allrounder 720 S with a clamping force of 3,200 kN.
A unique micro injection moulding application will be demonstrated on the Allrounder 170 S with a clamping force of 150 kN and a size 30 clamping unit, featuring a 12-millimetre, position regulated screw: Micro gear wheels weighing 0.001 grams will be produced in a cycle time of 9.5 seconds on an eight cavity mould. A special POM micro granulate will be used for the production of these micro components. Due to the intricate structure and small size of the part, removal is performed individually via vacuum. In order to perform removal with high precision, the removal unit of the Multilift H is centred on the mould. Two vacuum circuits for the gripper and discharge functions, as well as two further circuits, are necessary in order to ensure reliable pick-up of these precision components. Finally, the precision parts are set down according to cavity via a tubular system.
The high art of injection moulding: LED light strip
A further automation solution will demonstrate the complex possibilities offered by combining production, insertion, functional-integration and assembly operations in the machine and mould: A fully-functional LED light strip will be produced in a cycle time of around 40 seconds on a three-component Allrounder 370 S with a clamping force of 700 kN and a Multilift V robotic system.
The production cycle is sequential: To begin with, the housing is moulded, then the lenses made from transparent PA are injected into the relevant recesses. The Multilift robotic system then inserts the resistor and the three LEDs. Finally, the conductor tracks, made from conductive PA, are injected to complete the moulded part.
The sub-processes in the mould are very sophisticated: The three-component injection moulding process involves not only the production of the housing and lenses, the highly conductive plastic is also injected into the mould using hot-runner technology, the electronic components are encapsulated and the contacts formed.
To achieve all this, the mould technology combines a complete hot runner with a hot-runner/cold-runner three-platen system in a three-station rotary mould, which rotates electrically through 120° to the next station.
Economical Allrounder Golden Edition
Since the autumn of 2008, a further innovation has been added to the range: the Allrounder 470 C Golden Edition with a clamping force of 1,500 kN in conjunction with a Multilift V Select robotic system. With this new combination, Arburg offers a complete production unit, including guarding with electrical connection, conveyor belt and CE certification. It will be shown a Gas-Injection-Technology-System. Two drumsticks, each with a weight of 42 grams, will be produced in a cycle time of 45 seconds.
Programming and control of the integrated robotic system is performed via the Selogica control system. Programming is particularly simple and convenient thanks to the teach-in-function. The individual steps are performed manually and each position is confirmed via the "Teach" button. All the necessary parameter entries are thus automatically checked and performed in the control system. Simultaneously, the Selogica ‘direct’ independently generates the entire robotic sequence and integrates it into the machine cycle.
Vertical 375 V machine
To complete the range of exhibited machines, Arburg will present its vertically-operating Allrounder 375 V with a clamping force of 500 kN, which will be equipped with a servoelectric rotary table at the Plast.
The two mould halves of the rotary table allow the insertion and removal of encapsulated inserts during the injection moulding process. Because they feature the free-space system, the Allrounder V models can also be easily integrated in production lines.
Importance of the Italian market
Björn Noren summarised the immense significance of the Plast for the Italian market as follows: “Due to the three-yearly interval of the Plast, it is vital to present practical and intelligent solutions to the market. Complex production cells and fully-automated systems in particular, such as the production of the fully-functional LED light strip, are the trends of the future. As elsewhere, there is a high demand on the Italian market for energy-optimised, flexible and customised machine solutions that can be easily adapted to customers’ individual production requirements. Despite the economic crisis, we are confident that we will experience a revival in demand for our machine series and project systems in the future.”