KraussMaffei at NPE: Efficient injection molding machines and lightweight solutions set future trend
January 22, 2015
At NPE in Orlando, Florida (March 23 to 27, Booth W903), KraussMaffei is reinforcing its leading market position in North America as a system provider for premium quality injection molding machines and innovative lightweight construction technologies from a single source. Hydraulic and all-electric machines from the CX, GX and AX series demonstrate efficient production solutions in the clamping force range from 800 to 9000 kN in conjunction with fast robots. KraussMaffei is showcasing groundbreaking thermoplastic lightweight construction solutions that are ready for series production with its FiberForm process. The MuCell process has seen continued development and provides brilliant visible component surfaces. In addition, the new intuitive MC6 Multitouch control system and the Adaptive Process Control system (APC), which provide a significant leap forward in promoting zero-defect production in injection molding, will be presented for the first time in the United States.
"At NPE we will be showing groundbreaking injection molding and automation solutions and thereby setting trends with regard to efficiency and cost-effectiveness, all under the slogan 'Our machines shape the world'. We provide our customers with flexible standard machines as well as customized system solutions. The target group at NPE this year consists primarily of the automotive, household appliance, packaging and logistics industries," explains Paul Caprio, President of the US subsidiary KraussMaffei Corporation in Florence, KY. Visitors will be able to see a total of six KraussMaffei injection molding machines with automation technology live in production at the trade show booth.
First and foremost this includes the new GXH multi-component injection molding machine, which is being presented for the first time in the US market at NPE. The H is symbolic for two or more injection units arranged in parallel. Using the horizontal arrangement, the melt is guided directly into the respective mold-half. This reduces the number of dead spots in the hot runner. Additional advantages of injection units arranged in parallel are the simplified mold design and space-saving design of the entire machine. Typical end applications of the GXH are found in vehicle manufacturing, in packaging and in optical components. At NPE, a GXH 550-1400/1400 will work in combination with an LRX linear robot to produce covers for fog lights. The mold was produced by Proper Group International, Warren/MI.
The GX 900–8100 will also be celebrating a stateside premiere. KraussMaffei successfully introduced its GX series to the market in 2012 and this machine adds higher clamping forces of 7500 and 9000 kN. "The combination of the quickest and most efficient twin-platen machine on the market, a proven plasticizing unit, state-of-the-art drive technology, the GearX and GuideX innovations, and coordinated automation provides for short cycle times and simultaneously high precision," says Caprio in summarizing the advantages.
As easy as using a smartphone
The KraussMaffei injection molding machines are equipped with the new intuitively operated MC6 Multitouch control system. Like a smartphone, it uses gestures, such as swiping or spreading your fingers to zoom, to control even complex production processes with ease. "With its high-resolution 24-inch screen, it sets a new standard in terms of clarity, customization and user-friendliness, making it one-of-a-kind in this size and design on the market," adds Caprio. Each operator can customize the screen display and retrieve the settings using an RFID card. SlideX, the guiding line engraved in the glass, is a new development that gives the operator haptic control over all moving axes without looking at the control panel. The user feels acceleration on the axes and can configure it intuitively.
Fit for large series
KraussMaffei is using the FiberForm process to demonstrate lightweight construction with thermoplastic composites that is also ready for large series production. "In North America we are finding an increasing demand for cost-effective lightweight construction solutions, especially for the automotive and transport sector," says Caprio. At the trade show booth, a CX 300 – 1400 FiberForm will produce airbag housings made of fiberglass-reinforced polyamide with a shot weight of 350 g in cycle times of 45 seconds. "With this," Caprio continues, "we precisely meet the requirements of the automakers (OEMs) and the Tier 1 suppliers." Another advantage of the FiberForm process is the weight reduction and fast subsequent processing. The airbag housing manufactured at NPE is approximately 40 percent lighter than conventional components made of metal, does not have to be reworked and is ready to install immediately. Partner companies at the trade show exhibit are Takata, Christian Karl Siebenwurst, Lanxess, Bond Laminates and ConAir.
The FiberForm process developed by KraussMaffei combines injection molding with thermoforming of composite sheets to further improve the strength of fiber-reinforced plastics. As a result, the combination of lightweight materials and design in the construction enables new fiber-reinforced thermoplastic components to be manufactured with particularly high strengths. Like injection molding, the FiberForm process is easy to automate and can be used in fully automated production with compact manufacturing cells.
More brilliance during foaming
At NPE, an all-electric AX 180-750 CellForm production cell with integrated LRX 50 will be demonstrating the efficient manufacturing of foamed visible components with especially high-quality surfaces. This is made possible in part by a dynamically inductive mold heater from RocTool. The mold made by Proper Tooling has different surfaces with different effects (matt and high-gloss), providing an impressive showing of the design options for foamed visible components. A fully electric AX series injection molding machine lowers energy consumption, plus its extremely high level of accuracy and consistent shot weight makes it particularly well suited to the CellForm process. A panel for coffee machines (white appliances area) will be produced at NPE from state-of-the-art technical polycarbonate. "A component design fit for MuCell made it possible to adjust the wall thicknesses and part weight so that decisive material savings can be achieved with the same function," says Caprio.
Fewer reject parts thanks to APC
And yet another stateside premiere: The newly developed APC (Adaptive Process Control) machine function from KraussMaffei immediately compensates for fluctuations in the injection molding manufacturing process. Processors will benefit from consistently high component quality. APC is offered on all-electric and hydraulic series from KraussMaffei. "The revolutionary aspect of APC is that component quality serves as the definitive control variable. Since the APC function makes corrections during each cycle, previously unforeseen possibilities for robust and more efficient injection molding are opening up," says Caprio. The APC function developed and patented by KraussMaffei adjusts the changeover point and the holding pressure profile in each cycle to the current melt viscosity and current flow resistance in the mold. This makes it possible to compensate for deviations in the same shot. This leads to significantly lower fluctuations in article weights. In this way, fluctuations in the manufacturing process triggered by external factors such as changing temperatures, climate conditions or batches can reliably be compensated for.
From pioneer to market leader
Since it was founded in 1966, the KraussMaffei Corporation, the American subsidiary of the KraussMaffei Group, has become one of the leading companies for plastics processing machines in the North American market. "Today we and our employees are very successfully supporting our customers, some of which are longtime customers, in all three technologies: injection molding, reaction and extrusion technology," says Caprio. Over the years, the company has developed from a special supplier into a first-class technology and solution partner for many branches of industry, such as the automotive, packaging, medical technology and electronics industries. "Our customers obtain complete production solutions consisting of machines and robots that are perfectly tailored to their needs. We help them to increase productivity along the entire value-adding chain and to achieve critical competitive advantages," Caprio adds.
The KraussMaffei product brand is internationally recognized for its groundbreaking, multitechnology system and process solutions for injection and reaction molding technology and factory automation. With its standalone, modular or standardized machinery and systems, and a wide, customizable service offering, KraussMaffei is a full-system partner for customers in many industry sectors. KraussMaffei bundles many decades of engineering expertise in plastics machinery and is headquartered in Munich, Germany. For more information: www.kraussmaffei.com.
About the KraussMaffei Group
The KraussMaffei Group is among the world’s leading suppliers of machinery and systems for producing and processing plastics and rubber. Its products and services cover the whole spectrum of injection and reaction molding and extrusion technology, giving the company a unique position in the industry. The KraussMaffei Group is innovation-powered, supplying its products, processes and services as standard or custom solutions which deliver sustained added value along the customer’s value-adding chain. The company markets it’s offering under the KraussMaffei, KraussMaffei Berstorff and Netstal brands to customers in the automotive, packaging, medical, construction, electrical, electronics and home appliance industries. Continuing a long tradition of engineering excellence, the international KraussMaffei Group currently employs around 4,000 people. With a global network of more than 30 subsidiaries and more than 10 production plants, supported by around 570 sales and service partners, the company is close to customers around the world. KraussMaffei has been headquartered in Munich since 1838. For more information: www.kraussmaffeigroup.com.