Come 2015 and machine builder Wittmann Battenfeld plans to commence production of all-electric injection presses at its facility in Kunshan. The company already manufactures robots, temperature controllers, granulators and driers there.
Speaking to PlasticsToday at the recent Chinaplas show, International Key Account Manager Matthew McCabe said the production facility for injection machines would essentially be a duplication of the company's plant in Hungary. No details were given regarding the planned volume of production, although McCabe noted that Wittmann Battenfeld sold 100 machines in China last year.
Chinaplas was also the venue for Wittmann Battenfeld to demonstrate molding of a weight-saving auto interior component that also featured a high-quality surface finish. The EcoPower 240/1330 all-electric machine on show molded the polypropylene component using structured foam technology in cooperation with Schaumform, a German supplier of foaming molds and automotive engineering lightweighting solutions.
In this application, the Wittmann Battenfeld processes Cellmould and Variotherm are combined with the HiP (High Precision Opening) opening program to enable the production of light-weight structured foam parts with a high-quality surface. The temperature controller required for the variothermic process, which rapidly heats and cools the tool is operated directly via the machine's control system.