At Fakuma in Friedrichshafen from October 16 through 20, 2012, Ferromatik Milacron will present three exhibits, each featuring all-new technologies (Hall B3, booth B3-3203). For the first time multi-component molding and cube technology will be demonstrated in the new modular F-Series. The F 270, the latest addition to the F-Series, will also be introduced. Finally, the second generation of the popular all-electric ELEKTRON series will be unveiled, featuring a new design and a new control panel.
Innovative chickPacks with Two-Components on the F 160-2F
At Fakuma, Ferromatik Milacron will present the first multi-component machine in the new modular F-Series. With a clamping force of 1,600 kN, the F 160-2F is configured as a hybrid machine. It offers tie-bar spacing of 570 x 570 mm and houses a 2+1-cavity mold by Udo Bodmer of Solution B (Hausach, Germany). The machine is outfitted with both a main and a vertical injection unit. Both are Advanced Performance (APh) 45 injection units and are hydraulically driven. Both screws have a diameter of 40 mm.
In the first step, the vertical injection unit produces two separate parts which will form the top of a container for six eggs. An in-mold-label (IML) is also applied to these parts. Once the top of the container is injected, the bottom of the container is molded by the main injection unit. In the mold the two top parts are arranged left and right from the bottom and are joined to base of the container with hinges that allow each half of the top to be opened individually. This innovative packaging solution is merchandised as chickPack and was developed by Udo Bodmer of Solution B.
The two-component part has an average wall thickness of just 0.35 mm. It is made from transparent polypropylene (PP) and has a weight of 19 g. The F 160-2F produces the part in a cycle time of 2.6 seconds. “The F-Series offers molders a high-performance solution that can produce thin-walled, two-component parts at high speed without any issues,” said Dr. Thorsten Thümen, director of research & development at Ferromatik Milacron. In comparison to conventional carton packaging, this inspired plastic design offers several key advantages:
Sophisticated Two-Component Twist Tops on an F 270 CUBE
The F 270 CUBE with a clamping force of 2,700 kN is a new intermediate size in the modular F-Series. It is also the first cube molding technology machine in the new line. “For 15 years Ferromatik Milacron has offered hydraulic and hybrid machines with flexible stack-turning mold systems leading to the development of advanced cube and twin-cube molding technologies,” said Gerold Schley, managing director of Ferromatik Milacron. “With the F 270 CUBE, Ferromatik Milacron now has an all-electric cube molding machine on the market.”
The machine has generous tie-bar spacing of 750 x 750 mm. Within the machine there is a rotating mechanism and an 8+8 cavity cube mold with four sides, both made by Foboha (Haslach, Germany). The machine uses a General Performance (GPe) size 50 main injection unit as well as a GPe size 45 traversing injection unit, mounted over the clamping unit on the moving platen. Both injection units are electrically driven and have 45 mm diameter screws. On each parting line of the cube mold, eight pairs of parts – the top and the bottom of a twist top – are produced in parallel. Following a 90° turn of the cube mold, the two parts are assembled by automation on the operator and non-operator sides of the machine. This action happens while the next set of parts is being injected. Two robots remove the twist tops and place them in an Air-Move-System from Trio-technik (Meinerzhagen, Germany) for removal. The total shot weight is 88 g, or 11 g for each twist top. The cycle time is just 7.5 seconds.
The real showstopper of this application is a tiny drink powder chamber in the upper piece, which is sealed shut after the two parts are assembled. The first time the twist top is opened, the chamber is unsealed, dropping the powder into the bottle. This closure can be used, for example, for isotonic drinks or medications that should be freshly mixed before consumption.
Making Silicon Pacifiers on the ELEKTRON 50
Fakuma will see the public unveiling of the second-generation all-electric ELEKTRON series. The ELEKTRON is a global machine series produced by Milacron and is available in nine sizes ranging from 500 to 4,500 kN with nine injection unit sizes from international size 55 to size 3,470.
The first thing that strikes the eye is the new design, reminiscent of the F-Series. The machine is white, suggesting cleanliness. A horizontal grey band around the machine emphasizes the core machine functions. The signature marks are the two red fins on the clamping and injection units.
The next innovation is the new control panel, which was developed especially for the ELEKTRON series and optimized for cost and performance. The new controls have a large 15” touch screen surrounded by clearly marked buttons. The buttons are spatially arranged according to the machine functions they control: machine functions on the left side of the machine are represented by buttons on the left side of the panel, and so on. “The controls are intuitive, so new users can get up and running right away,” said Hans-Peter Hüglin, product manager for the ELEKTRON series at Ferromatik Milacron.
Visitors to Fakuma will see an ELEKTRON 50 with a clamping force of 500 kN specially set up to work with liquid silicone (LSR). The machine features an international size 55 injection unit including a special plasticizing unit and a silicon screw with a diameter of 22 mm. “Because of its unique characteristics, LSR is a very versatile material for many applications,” said Sven Engelmann, head of applications & systems at Ferromatik Milacron. “All of the injection molding machines at Ferromatik Milacron can easily be set up for silicone molding.”
The liquid silicone consists of two components which are mixed 1:1 in an all-electric plasticizing unit made by Reinhardt-Technik (Kierspe, Germany). The material is then fed into an LSR plasticizing unit temperature controlled to 12°C. From there it is injected into the 200°C heated mold. The mold was built by Emde Industrie-Technik (Nassau, Germany). The heated mold vulcanizes the previously cooled material and makes it irreversibly solid. Herein lies the fundamental difference between LSR (a thermoset material) and recyclable thermoplastics: with plastics, hot material is injection into a cooled mold and parts solidify through the cooling process.
At Fakuma, the ELEKTRON 50 will produce two transparent baby pacifiers in a single shot, made entirely of silicone. The shot weight is 20 g. In contrast to conventional two-component pacifiers (ABS and LSR) all-silicone pacifiers are manufactured as a single part, reducing production costs. The material is fully elastic and is especially calming for young ones.