Processors no longer think "Shall I go all-electric or stick with hydraulic or hybrid," according to Nissei Plastic Industrial President Hozumi Yoda. "Now that 'hybrid' machines employing our [inverter-driven] X-Pump drive enable energy savings over standard hydraulic machines close to that achievable with all-electrics, the question is more 'Which is the right machine for my application'," he explains. "You might go for an all-electric for a high precision application but a hydraulic machine if extended holding pressure is required."
|Nissei's Yoda: The U.S. market is strong right now.|
This is even the case in Japan, traditionally seen as a bastion of all-electric machines according to Yoda, who also stressed that while the market has seen a proliferation or servo-driven hydraulic pump-equipped 'hybrid' machines hit the market in recent years, Nissei's key differentiator was its patented control technology.
It wasn't all hybrid at the Nissei stand at IPF, however. The third generation of Nissei Plastic Industrial's all-electric machine series debuted at the IPF show in Tokyo as the NEX III Series. A new 15-inch vertical screen controller allows display of split screens that can be switched via iPad-esque swipes. Heat stability has also been improved in the barrel through insulation and refinements in the heating zones.
China down; U.S., Indonesia up
Nissei continues to manufacture NEX II Series all-electric machines at its China plant in Taicang, currently at the level of 50 per month versus overall production of 200 per month in Japan. "We've reached 55% localization on a value basis and 70% on a parts basis," notes Yoda. Ball screws, controllers, servomotors and screws & barrels are still sourced from Japan, while local Chinese component vendors must undergo monthly audits to ensure quality standards are met.
"The China market has been down since June," says Yoda. "Chinese companies are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain credit, with banks now typically limiting loans to 70% of a company's assets versus a multiple in the past," he notes. "Where we are seeing action is Indonesia's auto sector and a resurgence of the electronics sector in Malaysia," says Yoda. "The U.S. is also buoyant right now," adds Yoda. "We are seeing strong interest from the medical and auto sectors." Yoda also promised an environmental hue to Nissei's presence at NPE2012 in Orlando next April.
More Nissei highlights at IPF
Nissei was also highlighting its PQ Manager software for production monitoring and data traceability at IPF. The software also enable remote access to the machine controller. Furthermore, Nissei demonstrated in-mold melt pressure sensing on the show floor with sensors from Futaba (Chiba, Japan) that are installed in the ejector pins.
Another focus at the Nissei stand was application of an all-electric NEX110III-9EG press for low-pressure molding. The mold is opened slightly during injection by the melt pressure in this process called K-SAPLI (Kindly - Smart Application for Plastic Injection) and compressed afterwards, thereby preventing flash and short shots.
In other refinements on this press, both platens are water-cooled and a linear guide is also employed to maximize platen parallelism. If this wasn't enough, dual hydraulic cylinders are used for nozzle touch, enabling optimization of touch force and minimizing adverse influence on the fixed platen.
Nissei also ventured into three-color molding with its DCE140-9E press outfitted with a side-injection unit. Performance-enhancing features on this machine included a two-piece split moving platen that concentrates toggle clamping force at the center of the tool and a mold-rotating mechanism that separates the tool from the platen ever so slightly so as to minimize wear.
Machine balance is also a key attribute of the TH20E 2VE all-electric vertical press for hoop molding of SIM card connectors. Four tie-bars support the injection unit on top of the press, which itself employs four guide rods: two for nozzle touch and two more that function to balance the injection unit. "Normally you need to build a pretty sturdy machine to absorb the shock of nozzle touch and injection but our balancing system enables a more compact machine, in fact with a 20% smaller footprint," says Nobusuke Takahashi, Director of Engineering & Development at Nissei.-[email protected]