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Benchtop IMM Designed For Precision Molding Of Small Shot Sizes
August 1, 2001
3 Min Read
Injection Molding Machines:
Benchtop IMM DesignedFor Precision MoldingOf Small Shot Sizes
A multi-cavity mold for a larger injection press can cost more than a complete 6.6-ton Babyplast two-stage, plunger/plunger injection machine from Ferromatik Milacron priced at $23,500. And, it may be able to run the same parts in a significantly less expensive mold with less energy use, according to Jim Catanzaro, Product Manager for Ferromatik Milacron's Specialty Equipment Business.
Milacron has become exclusive sales agents for the machines, built to Milacron specifications and quality standards by Rambaldi, in Europe. Milacron is responsible for sales and service in North and South America, West Indies and Africa.
"The Babyplast is designed for cost-effective production of small parts, just like a large machine is engineered to be cost-effective with large parts," says Catanzaro. "There's a different design mindset behind the Babyplast that no large-machine builder has implemented. With a footprint of only 4.3 sq ft, a processor can afford multiple Babyplast machines for the cost of the next largest conventional injection machine, while capturing the benefits of lower tooling cost and redundancy and flexibility in production. The machine is quiet enough to mold parts right next to assemblers and, matched with its optional auxiliary cart, it's a complete portable molding cell," he adds.
"There are unique molding quality issues with small tools, too," notes Catanzaro. "A small tool can be clamped so tightly in a large machine that it cannot vent properly."
The Babyplast machine is a microprocessor-controlled, fully-hydraulic, injection molding machine. Its unique platens serve as universal die frames. This is said to cut tooling cost 20 to 40% because only the cavity has to be created. And it allows for fast changeovers, because only the cavity needs to be switched.
"It's an ideal concept for production molding, as well as for proving out single cavities that will later be inserted in a multi-cavity tool," Catanzaro says.
Babyplast machines can produce shot weights from 0.13 to 0.50 oz at injection pressures of 38,425 to 11,818 psi. All conventional thermoplastics and moldable rubbers can be processed, along with ferrites and ceramics.
The machine's two-stage plunger/plunger injection unit is said to be inherently better at processing heavily filled materials because it does not shear long fibers the way a reciprocating screw does. The design also ensures short residence time to minimize the heat history for the material. The injection unit can be lowered 1 in. for off-center injection, while keeping the cavity in the center of the platens. And an optional nozzle tip also allows direct injection into the cavities.
The Babyplast 6.6-ton clamp has maximum daylight of 5.51 in., maximum stroke of 4.33 in. and tie bar spacing of 3.03 x 3.03 in. Maximum mold size is 2.95 x 2.95 in. and minimum mold height is 1.18 in. Ejector stroke is 1.77 in. with 0.55 ton force.
All machine motions are powered by a high-performance pump, submerged in an oil-filled tank for quiet operation and easy inspection and service.
All machine parameters can be
set from the multi-language (English/Spanish) control screen. Cycle time monitoring is standard, and barrel temperature is lowered automatically if the machine times out after a fault. LVDT position feedback provides highly accurate mold close and injection stroke measurement to enable molding of precision micro parts.
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