At K 2016, ELMET (www.elmet.com) – an international systems supplier for the injection molding of two-component liquid silicone rubbers (LSR) – will present for the first time its new TOP 5000 P multi-component dosing system. Among the new features that distinguish it from its present sister model, the TOP 3000 S, are the "easy access" concept, which means that it is open on all sides to make drum changing easier and faster.
It also reduces the amount of space required. A step-by-step instruction guide on the touchscreen virtually eliminates any possibility of mistakes in operation, and an automatic drum ventilation system reduces the amount of manual work involved in changing the drums. Apart from that, the new model also features a smart control system that prevents the constancy of the metering operation being affected by pressure fluctuations at the switchover point of piston pumps.
The company has thus supplemented its previous top model with a further developed version that is not only optimized for the large-volume production of high-quality parts, but also allows extensive documentation of the production quality. Common to both systems are the two independent control circuits, one of which ensures the synchronous, above 99% emptying of the drums for components A and B (filling level control), while the other controls the volume fed into the process and ensures constant mixing even with the tiniest of parts. The new TOP 5000 P thus also functions perfectly with narrow process windows and difficult start-up conditions. With its rugged design, it is suitable for processing large volumes while also ensuring high machine availability and low life cycle costs.
Time savings and greater efficiency with drum changing
The "easy access" concept implemented for the first time with the TOP 5000 P ensures significantly greater convenience when changing the 20 liter (5 gal.) pails or 200 liter (55 gal.) drums, which can now be removed and replaced as desired either from the front or from the sides. The operator interface can also be mounted either centrally or at the sides. The good accessibility also reduces the time required for changing the drums and gives additional flexibility when positioning the dosing unit in the production area to save maximum space. Furthermore, cleaning, maintenance and repair work is very much easier. The TOP 5000 P can be easily moved by stacker or fork lift truck, while its suitability for handling with a drum lifter is an added bonus.
Automatic drum ventilation is another new development that makes changing the containers faster because there is no need for the previous manual ventilation of the follower plates. Furthermore, a collecting bag gathers up any LSR emerging during drum ventilation and thus makes it easier to keep the workplace clean.
ELMET's new "real-life-proof" concept makes the TOP 5000 P even easier to operate through its intuitive concept. It contains step-by-step instructions for changing the drum, which are shown on the display. The operator works through the instructions one point at a time, thus largely excluding any possibility of wrong handling by new staff. In addition, this concept provides for the entire operating instructions for the new dosing system to be called up there at any time.
More uniform and more reliable documentation of the process
To prevent different material mixing ratios having a negative effect on the homogeneity of the manufactured products, ELMET utilizes the patented volume control system. With the new TOP 5000 P, a special extension module ensures absolutely pulse-free conveying of the material by placing the pump switchover time so that it takes place outside the dosing phase.
Other advantages of the control system include the advance warning of the need to change a drum or pail, which can be integrated into the customer's process control system. Apart from that, it puts the system into a safe state in the event of a power failure or lack of compressed air. Software updates can be made easily by USB stick and the process parameters can be saved for each product or mold. The control system allows reliable production runs without permanent supervision by specially trained staff, while authorization levels reduce the risk of operating errors. All machine data can now be viewed online, and an event log provides information on any parameter changes.
Installation now even easier
Centralized, plug-in interfaces for energy and communications facilitate the installation of the new TOP 5000 P. Because the user can now configure his cable lengths himself, he has additional flexibility in choosing the installation site.
Finally, the many new features built into the TOP 5000 P also include the quick and easy-to-clean processing unit where the cable and hose guides are integrated. The use of anodized aluminum makes them particularly light and the new modular system ensures that they are always optimally aligned when setting up the system. Furthermore, the conveying chamber has been modified so that it only contains a small amount of material and thus makes material changeovers quicker and easier.
Broad field of application
Like the TOP 3000, the new TOP 5000 P has been designed for a wide range of application. It is suitable for shot weights of below 0.1 g to several kg, can operate with 200 l and 20 l containers, and can cope with material viscosities from 9,000 mPas to 3,000,000 mPas. It can also cope with materials with large differences in the viscosities of the A and B components. The additional additive control function monitors permanently whether the additions are made correctly and thus ensures high-precision, consistent dosing irrespective of deposits, wear and viscosity differences. It records all relevant process parameters for documentation purposes and, through a safety switch, prevents the unnoticed production of defective parts.
ELMET will show the new TOP 5000 P dosing system at K 2016 on its own stand E49-5 in Hall 12. It will also demonstrate the TOP 3000 S with additive control in action on three other stands: at ENGEL in Hall 15 / C58 with an ELMET injection molding tool with needle valve technology in the production of pressure accumulator membranes by the 2-component process, at MOMENTIVE in Hall 6 / B15 together with in injection molding tool with needle valve technology and rotating core beam for the production of a two-color egg cup, and at BOY in Hall 13 / A43 in the fully automatic production of single-wire seals with a 128-cavity mold from ELMET.