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Getting the 8,000-ton machines from Austria to the Infiltrator Water Technologies plant in Kentucky was a logistical challenge.

Posted by Staff

February 21, 2023

3 Min Read
injection molding machine team at St. Valentin plant
Image courtesy of Engel

Two injection molding machines with a clamping force of 8,000 tons each have now been delivered by Austrian injection molding machine maker Engel to the Infiltrator Water Technologies (IWT) plant in Winchester, KY. IWT took delivery of the first Engel duo 130000/130000H/8200 combi US machine, the largest machine ever built at Engel’s St. Valentin facility in Austria, in February of last year. A second machine, a replica of the first, arrived at the facility this month. IWT, a subsidiary of Advanced Drainage Systems (ADS), produces water management products.

injection molding machine with integrated automation

Automation is integrated to efficiently handle large parts with shot weights up to 270 pounds.

The duo injection molding machines each have two 85,000 cm³ injection units, which allow for injecting a total shot weight of 270 lb (122 kg). Despite the clamping force and shot size, the machines have a relatively small footprint — 96 ft. (29.3 meters) long and 37 ft. (6.4 meters) wide — enabled by Engel’s two-platen design.

Engel said it is increasingly receiving requests for custom solutions in the extremely high clamping force range. Clamping forces of 10,000 tons and more are possible. Machines of this size can process individual shot weights of several hundred kilograms or pounds and achieve two-ton-per-hour material throughput.

Twenty-nine truckloads of machine parts

Special shipping and ground transportation arrangements were needed to move the machine from Austria to the United States and even within Austria. The platens were transported to and from the St. Valentin manufacturing facility along the Danube River on barges. “Each machine was fully assembled and tested prior to shipping and then disassembled to be shipped to the United States,” said Jim Moran, business development manager at Engel North America.

injection molding machine parts on truck bed

Injection molding machine parts were trucked to the Winchester, KY, plant for assembly.

At the IWT site in Winchester, new manufacturing facilities had to be built to house the large machines. As 29 truckloads of machine parts were arriving from Austria, the 59,000-square-foot building expansion went forward. A 150-ton overhead crane was installed to move molds in and out of the machine and was also used to help assemble the new press.

overhead crane to move injection molds

A 150-ton overhead crane was installed to move injection molds.

Engel said it received the purchase order in November 2020 and completed handover of the first machine in February 2022. The second machine, a replica of the first, was delivered this month.

United in sustainability 

Engel added in the news release that it shares a commitment to sustainability with ADS, which claims to recycle more plastic than any other company in North America.

“We have made significant investments in new equipment, and this will allow us to produce our products more effectively and efficiently,” said Bryan Coppes, vice president of engineering and R&D at Infiltrator. “It is the new capabilities and opportunities for continued product development that are truly exciting. This new equipment will allow us to continue to bring new and innovative products to market and meet and exceed our customers' needs.”

Engel was recently awarded a gold sustainability rating by EcoVadis, which relies on data from more than 90,000 evaluated companies and global supply chains to rank companies.

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