This year more than 5200 plastics professionals have pre-registered for the event; Lossburg, Germany, where Arburg is based, and the towns immediately surrounding it, are home to just 8000. Arburg employs just over 2060. The Technology Days event runs through this Saturday, March 26.
The Edrive is Arburg's answer to processors' need for a machine that delivers the benefits of all-electric drive technology, but at an "attractive price" closer to comparable hydraulic machines, explained Michael Hehl, managing partner at the family-owned company. Comparing all-electric machines to hydraulic machines is an apples-to-oranges comparison, explained Herbert Kraibühler, MD technology at Arburg, in that an electrically powered machine has a drive motor on every axis. A hydraulic machine has a single synchronous drive motor and a hydraulic pump. The additional drive motors of the electric machine enable it to make various movements simultaneously, which makes for reduced cycle times.
But if you're making an apples-to-apples comparison, expect to pay about 20-30% more for an Edrive than one of the company's hydraulic machines of the same clamp force and injection unit size. Compared to the company's Allrounder S hydraulic machines, though, the Edrive molding machines are faster and more energy efficient, according to the company. On the Edrive, all of the main axes are fitted with all-electric servomotors, while secondary axes are optionally servo-electric or hydraulic.
Four of the new Edrive machines were running at the annual Arburg event. These four processed technical parts from a variety of materials; the Edrive range makes use of a ball spindle system so it is not really suited for high-speed packaging operations, but rather for technical parts requiring slightly longer cycle times.
Kraibühler emphasized that the Edrive's control unit is the same as on all of the company's Allrounder presses, so that operators already familiar with Arburg machines will not have any learning curve to climb.