Freedom has to be experienced: with Arburg at the K 2013

World premiere: Both the 4,000 kN toggle-type clamping unit and the size 2100 electric injection unit have been specially developed for the new electric Allrounder 820 A.

Under the slogan of “Freedom has to be experienced!”, Arburg invites the international trade public to the K 2013. In Hall 13, Stand A13, the machine manufacturer will place a central focus on the topic of production efficiency and, with more than ten exhibits, will demonstrate how plastic parts can be produced efficiently in the future. As always, top-class world premieres from the machine, process and applications segments will be presented in Düsseldorf. Furthermore, Arburg will ring in a new era at the K 2013. Those who would like to experience this new dawning, however, will have to wait for the first day of the trade fair.

“As a leading world fair for the plastics industry, the K has been and remains the best stage for Arburg to amaze the international trade public. And we will do so more than ever this year," says Michael Hehl, Managing Partner and Spokesperson for the Arburg Management Team. "In order to provide an initial impression of the trade fair programme, we have introduced selected world premieres and highlights in advance in the specialist press and on our website," adds Michael Hehl. “But some groundbreaking innovations simply can’t be put into words. They just have to be seen with your own eyes." The K communications campaign "Freedom must be experienced!" is aimed at precisely one such innovation. “That’s why there’s no alternative to personally visiting Arburg at the K2013 in order to step into the new age together with us.”

Premiere: new exhibition stand

In accordance with the great significance of the K 2013 and of the exhibits, the 1,650 square-meter, two-storey exhibition stand will feature a new concept and design. For the injection moulding machine segment, the focus will be on electric and large Allrounders. With a total of five exhibits, the electric Edrive and Alldrive series will dominate. Three 3,200 and 4,000 kN machines will cover the higher clamping force range. In terms of the application spectrum, multi-component processing will feature prominently. The automation exhibits will range from simple removal solutions through to six-axis robotic systems for performing complex tasks.

Premiere: electric ALLROUNDER 820 A

Among the injection moulding machines, the electric Allrounder 820 A, which completes the high-end electric Alldrive machine series, will celebrate its world premiere in Düsseldorf. Both the 4,000 kN toggle-type clamping unit and the size 2100 electric injection unit have been newly developed for this machine. The gap between 3,200 and 5,000 kN in the electric clamping unit range has thus been closed. The same applies to the high-performance hybrid Hidrive range, for which this new toggle size will also be available in future. With the new clamping force and injection unit sizes for electric machines, the modularity of the Arburg range has been further enhanced, offering customers the option of adapting their Allrounders even more precisely to the relevant application and product, further increasing efficiency.

Premiere: six-axis robotic system suspended on linear axis

For the automation segment, Arburg will jointly present a world innovation with its cooperation partner fpt Robotik in the form of an Agilus six axis robotic system from Kuka with integrated Selogica user interface. The system is suspended from a linear axis arranged transversely to the machine. The combination of a six-axis robotic system with a linear axis permits more dynamic movements and faster entry into the mould. This results in shorter cycle times and higher productivity. A further benefit of this mobile solution is the greater working area available as the small robotic system can move on the axis and the floorspace below can be used without restriction. The Agilus robotic system can thus perform a wide variety of moulded part production tasks. In terms of size and performance, it is designed for load weights between 6 and 10 kg – ideal for plastics processing requirements, making it a cost-effective handling solution.

Application highlight: Particle-foam Composite Injection Moulding

The new automation solution will be presented on a two-component Allrounder 470 S, on which the further development of Particle-foam Composite Injection Moulding (PCIM) will be presented. This relatively new process, which was developed jointly by Ruch Novaplast, Krallmann and Arburg, opens up completely new possibilities in lightweight construction. On the exhibition machine at the K, a plastic wheel rim is injected onto an inserted particle-foam tyre. Transfer of the pre-moulded part to the mould is followed by overmoulding of the tyre with TPE. The six-axis robotic system performs all the necessary handling tasks, from insertion of the foamed tyre through to transfer of the finished parts to the packaging system, which features printing of the bags during the running process.

Application highlights: long-fibre direct injection moulding combined with organic sheet

As a further innovative process for lightweight construction, Arburg will present long-fibre direct injection moulding. Here, for the first time, glass fibres with a length of up to 50 mm can be added directly to the liquid melt, where they are homogeneously distributed. The fibre length, fibre content and material combination can also be individually adjusted. The new process offers high flexibility and the possibility of developing in-house know-how. Moreover, considerable cost savings can be achieved because the base materials, plastic and fibreglass rovings, are cheaper than finished long glass fibre granulates.

The process will be demonstrated on an energy-optimised hydraulic Allrounder 820 S with servo-hydraulic drive, operating with a mould from Georg Kaufmann Formenbau AG. Through the overmoulding of continuous-fibre reinforced thermoplastic inserts (organic sheets), high-strength, resilient composite parts are created, which weigh less than 300 grams at a length exceeding 500 mm. Organic sheets combine two or more materials in a targeted manner, whereby their properties mutually enhance one another. The continuous fibres – generally glass, carbon and aramide in woven and non-woven forms – determine the mechanical properties such as strength and rigidity. The matrix material is responsible for the force transfer between the fibres in the composite and protect the reinforcing structure from buckling and environmental influences.

In this application, a six-axis robot picks up the organic sheets from a magazine. These are gently heated and transferred to the LIPA (Lightweight Integrated Process Application) mould at the forming temperature. Here, forming of the insert and injection moulding of the functional and reinforcement elements such as edging, end eyes and ribbed structures take place simultaneously in a cycle time of around 40 seconds. The produced component provides a good illustration of how lightweight parts can be produced with a high level of functional integration and short cycle times by combining organic sheets and long-fibre direct injection moulding.

Mould highlight: fully electric cube-mould application

A further highlight is the fully-electric cube-mould application for the production of juice container closures, which will be presented jointly with Arburg partner Foboha. On the electric two-component Allrounder 720 A with a clamping force of 3,200 kN, the large size 800 injection unit is arranged horizontally and the small size 400 injection unit is arranged horizontally and on the moving mounting platen of the machine. In this application, fully electric means that both rotation of the cube and the linear sliding motion of the 12+12-cavity mould are driven electrically. This results in advantages in terms of precision and cycle time and thus higher system productivity.

Machine focus: electric Allrounders

Further exhibits will also demonstrate the versatility and high performance of the electric Allrounders.

An Allrounder 370 E from the Edrive series is integrated together with a six-axis robotic system and an inline printing system from fpt Robotik into a production cell.

An Allrounder 470 A will provide impressive evidence of the potential of the high-performance Alldrive machine series. A 64-cavity mould from Männer will produce high-precision, delicate dosage units in a cycle time of only two seconds.

The use of electric machines in the medical technology sector under clean room conditions will be demonstrated by an Allrounder 520 A. The machine, in a stainless steel version, produces pipettes in a cycle time of around 5.0 seconds on a 64-cavity mould made by Tanner. As an automation component, a Vario-TIP system by Waldorf Technik is used, which has been specially designed for the handling of pipette tips.

Multi-component technology applications in focus

In addition to electric mould technology and Particle-foam Composite Injection Moulding, further multi-component applications are planned. Together with cooperation partner Rico, a thermoplastic and liquid silicone (LSR) combination will be shown. Suction cups such as those used for moving bulky or heavy loads in logistics will be produced on a hydraulic Allrounder 570 S with two injection units in an L-arrangement. During production of the suction cups, a metal threaded bushing is inserted by a Multilift V robotic system and overmoulded with the two components.

Something for everyone

With more than ten exhibits on its own exhibition stand and more than ten additional machines on third-party stands, Arburg will be prominently represented at the K 2013 and will present a cross-section of its entire range: electric, hybrid and hydraulic Allrounders, horizontal and vertical machines, automation solutions, thermoplastic, thermoset and silicone processing, multi-component processing, overmoulding of inserts, packaging and medical technology and much more. All the exhibits are precisely adapted to the relevant product and production requirements and will demonstrate how plastic parts can be efficiently produced using Arburg technology.