"At Engel it's not just about equipment", says Mark Sankovitch, President of Engel North America in York, Pennsylvania/USA. "It's about helping our customers bring their ideas to life - discovering new approaches, engineering innovations, developing new process technologies. Only by doing so, it is possible to achieve long-term cost advantages and to increase competitiveness.[image_0] A cockpit without buttons and switches The vision of a vehicle interior without buttons and switches is becoming increasingly tangible. At the trade fair stand of the company visitors to the fair can take a seat in the automotive cockpit of the future. Various control functions can be activated via the centre console in the simulation cell, which is presented in cooperation with Magna Exterior & Interior Systems (Munich/Germany). Thanks to the clearmelt technology and the integration of a capacitive foil via in-mold labeling, vehicle controls will be made easy. "This trend not only gives interior designers a new level of freedom; it also reduces the costs of producing functional elements," stresses Mark Sankovitch. "We are already talking to various OEMs and automotive companies. In four to five years the first vehicles will be equipped with this sensitive surface technology", adds Franz Füreder, Head of the automotive business at the company's headquarters in Schwertberg/Austria. Centre consoles with a sensitive surface will be manufactured at the trade fair stand on an Engel duo 350 injection molding machine. In America this is the first showing of this new machine size.[image_1_right] Further companies besides Magna are involved in this project as Engel system partners. The mold maker is Schöfer from Schwertberg/Austria; Hennecke from Sankt Augustin/Germany is the exclusive project partner for polyurethane technology and the function foils are supplied by plastic electronic in Linz/Austria. Fully-integrated multiple-axis robot for medical applications The two exhibits of BU medical aim to reach a greater output and to reduce the costs per unit. "Even in medical technology the cost pressure is constantly increasing, makes Christoph Lhota clear, Head of Engel medical. "The consequences of this are two trends: On the one hand the demand on large-scale machines for high cavity molds is increasing, on the other hand medical technology is experiencing a large-scale integration. An all-electric e-motion 180 T WP combi will produce components for auto-injectors in a two-component injection molding process with a servoelectrical 16+16-cavity index platen mold. The auto-injectors are a product of SHL (Scandinavian Health Ltd.), a Swedish producer of medical devices with its main production facilities in Taiwan and a subsidiary in Florida. Mold making partner for this exhibit is Hack Mould Making, Kirchheim u. Teck/Germany. The manufacturing cell works fully automated. An easix multiple-axis robot will remove parts and deposit them in trays. The multiple-axis industry robot, which is completely integrated in the CC 200-control of an injection molding machine, will be on exhibit for the first time in North America. The robot can be operated with the usual and simple injection molding machine commands through the full integration without Euromap 67-interface. In another manufacturing cell for the medical industry an all-electric e-motion 100 T injection molding machine will produce polystyrole needle holders for safety syringes with a 16-cavity precision mold from Fostag, Stein am Rhein/Switzerland. With the help of a high speed automation the finished parts will be taken out from the mold and deposited with regard to their cavity-orientation. Defective mold cavities can be turned off individually without disturbing the balanced complete system. Engel partner for the automation on this exhibit is Hekuma, Eching/Germany. Producing complex hollow parts in one single step
Further exhibits will include a compact tie-bar-less victory 1050H/500W/200 combi machine which produces complex 3K hollow parts in a single working step. The exhibit of Business Unit Technical Molding is equipped with a fully integrated six-axis-robot. The Multitube mold system developed by Engel partner Pernoud from Oyonnax/France ensures a high level of process integration. To produce sample parts like intake manifolds for 3-cylinder engines, the threaded bushings are first insert-placed into the mold and overmolded. The pre-molded part for injection of the second component will be turned in the mold by an easix robot before the third component, a TPE seal is applied. To support multiple component injection molding, the victory machine is equipped with a piggyback unit and a third small injection unit. The finished component is taken off by the multiple axis robot and deposited on an integrated conveyor belt. Because the robot works inside the extended safety guarding, the production cell only requires a relatively small footprint. The advantage of the plant's high degree of integration is that the hollow parts are produced in a single process step that eliminates the need for finishing, for example, a welding process. Compared to legacy gas injection technology, the Multitube concept also ensures enhanced quality of the interior surfaces and consistent wall thicknesses.[image_2]
Liquid silicone processing From its elast/LIM-product program Engel exhibits in Florida an e-victory 310/130 LSR US, on which medical-technical membranes made out of liquid silicone will be produced. "The hybrid Engel e-victory machines with hydraulic, tie-bar-less clamping force and electrical injection molder are the future in the area of liquid silicone processing, says Leopold Praher, sales manager elast/LIM-machines. "Precision is gaining in importance in this application area. A production free of post-processing and with low-grade flash is required." Furthermore the hybrid machine e-victory is equipped as standard with the energy-saving option ecodrive, which increases efficiency in the production. The membranes will be made out of LSR 50 Shore A from Shin-Etsu Silicones, Akron, OH, USA and manufactured during the fair with a 64-cavity mold with a cold runner block and a needle valve from ACH Solution, Fischlham/Austria. The plant runs fully automated. The demolding device originates from ACH as well. All-electric for high precision and short cycle times in packaging In a 2K injection molding process and with in-mold-labeling, caps for ice cream boxes will be produced with a thin-wall technique. An all-electric e-motion 740H/310W/180 T combi machine will be used for this process. The e-cap is the second exhibit from the Business Unit packaging. The all-electric machine is able to save energy and cooling water at the same time which will be demonstrated in Orlando with an e-cap 3440/460 US. "All-electric injection molding machines are gaining constantly in importance, above all in the field of high performance and high speed applications, stresses Walter Jungwirth, Head of Engel Business Unit packaging. Engel says that cycle times beneath 3 s and injection speeds of 450 mm/s are now realizable.