Toshiba Machine Co. (Tokyo) views production cells and system-based solutions as the way ahead amid an increasingly competitive market for injection molding machines. "The number of machines we ship is declining while simultaneously, more of our customers are asking for complete systems," explains Hideo Tanaka, a Toshiba advisor.
Toshiba's approach is to employ its injection machines mated with the best available peripheral equipment, no matter where these may emerge from globally. One such system solution on show at IPF was the 180-tonne EC180S-6A demonstrating molding of PP tubs with in-mold labels in a 5.3 second cycle using a two-cavity mold. The 20-g shot weight tubs were 0.5-mm thick. Toshiba tied up with Israeli company Imdecol (Rosh Ha'ain) to develop the system.
Another cell centered on the 180-tonne EC180SX-6A injection press, which was seen demonstrating molding of a 70-g PP cover. Demolding was via a traverse robot, and the part was then picked up by a multi-axis robot, and positoned under a second robot traverse robot for atmospheric plasma treatment and application of a polyurethane foam gasket using a KraussMaffei Technologies (Munich, Germany) dosing system. The final step was placement on a conveyor by the multi-axis robot. Toshiba and KraussMaffei maintain a cooperation agreement to develop leading edge machinery for plastics processing....