Vacuum coating of plastic substrates using conventional batch process machinery requires a significant investment on the part of the processor as well as high labor requirements for manual loading/unloading of parts. By moving this process in-line and machine-side, The Japan Steel Works (JSW, Tokyo) reckons it has a lower cost and more flexible solution.
Machine-side in-line sputtering brings productivity enhancements.
At IPF, the vacuum coating unit from Watanabe Co. (Yokohama, Japan) sat alongside a J55-AD-60H all-electric JSW injection press molding toy blocks from polycarbonate (PC) resin in a four-cavity mold with a 20-second cycle time. These blocks were transferred robotically to the vacuum coater three shots at a time for the 60-second vacuum process with stainless steel and polymer coating process.
Special jigs are also used in the vacuum coater to enhance flexibility and cater to complex part shapes.-[email protected]