Guangzhou, China - Kathy Hong, general manager for DME Mold Technology (Shenzhen), said that hot runner demand continues to grow in China.
"It's been growing every year - quite stable," she told PlasticsToday, at Chinaplas 2013.
While hot runner systems have been widely used in Western countries for a number of years, it's only been more recently that global demand has picked up, particularly in China.
"More manufacturers appreciate the value of using the hot runner systems in the molding process," she said. "We make sure the standards are understood and met."
It seems every year, various companies offer up big announcements about opening a branch in the Chinese market. But for mold equipment supplier DME, having a presence in China has been a standard part of business since 1989 when the company established its subsidiary, DME (China).
"We've had a presence in Asia since the '80s," said David Lange, director of sales for DME. "It was critical for us in the market to have our own subsidiary to help meet the needs of the Chinese market."
Lange said in China, there is a growing need for hot runners in automotive, packaging and consumer electronic markets.
DME's product line includes hot runner systems; control systems; mold bases and components; moldmaking and molding supplies; and cold runner systems for elastomers. Earlier this year, it was announced that Milacron had acquired Mold-Masters, which resulted in a combined enterprise with five distinct businesses, including DME.
Smart & Zeus hot runner series
At Chinaplas, the company was touting its Smart and Zeus series open and valve gate hot runner systems.
The Smart series hot runner system has two options: the Smart open gate system and Smart series valve gate system. It's specifically design for PET, closures, syringes and multi cavity application and the open gate and valve gate structure is designed to the specific application. Lange said this system is popular among clients in the packaging and medical industries. The company said the best option for the application is when the injection weight of single nozzle is less than/equal to 20g.
The key parts adopt a composite of a thermally conductive, wear-resistant material. DME touts it extends the service life of the whole system to 3 million cycles, as well as provides easy start-up and a wide operating window when processing olefins or engineering grade resins. There's also a special resin leakage protection design, so the resin won't go inside to mold.
The Zeus series hot runner system also features two options: open gate system and valve gate system.
Lange said the Zeus series is popular with larger moldings, including high pressure injection in the automotive industry. The open gate and valve gate design is optional according to the actual application.
The Zeus system has different gate structures for glassed-filled material and non glass-filled material. Injection weight can reach to 500g per nozzle. The system is actuated by hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders. The pneumatic cylinder doesn't need piping. In addition, the system is sealed by a screw and can resist pressures up to 3000 bar. The Zeus nozzle body is made from what DME calls a "special material" that is reportedly not easy to crush or deflect.