KraussMaffei (Munich) reports that it will feature complex applications for its new all-electric PX 320 and PX 25 injection molding machines in hall A7, booth 7303.
The PX 320 will produce a 10-inch human-machine interface display with integrated electronics, a black frame and scratch-proof coating in a single production step. A six-axis robot inserts the in-mold decorated (IMD) film with printed conductor paths on the nozzle side. On the ejector side, an IMD film runs through the mold, transferring paint with a design layer and UV-hardening top coat to the component.
A separate film runs through the mold and provides a second cavity with another decor. This is possible thanks to the IMD SI DUO film feed from Leonhard Kurz, which is the first company in the world to position two single-image decorations independently of each other, accurate to one-hundredth of a millimeter, according to KraussMaffei. A patent is pending. The decorations become visible through backlighting, which can reveal operating symbols, for example.
The additional process is completely integrated into the compact manufacturing cell. On the conveyor belt, UV lamps harden the scratch-proof layer (this step will be deactivated at Fakuma for safety reasons). The material then travels to a laser station, which first removes flakes and flash and then cuts the sprue with the assistance of industrial robots. A cleanroom hood from Max Petek above the clamping unit ensures a dust-free mold chamber.
The mobile PX 320 can be rapidly docked to other machines by means of mechanical fixture points. This increases flexibility in production, as the machines can be simply operated for components with or without IMD technology.
The company is also showcasing the “little sister” in the PX series—the PX 25 with a clamping force of 250 kN. It is suited for molding articles with a low shot weight, such as precision components for clocks, gears and gearbox elements.
At Fakuma, the machine will be running a sealing ring made of liquid silicone rubber (LSR) with an intricate undercut. The part weighs a scant 0.15 g, and cycle time is 14 seconds. A new plasticizing process was developed for this application involving a 12-mm-thin screw complemented with a spring-loaded check valve. There is space under the cantilever clamping unit for a vacuum pump and other peripheral equipment.
The entire process, including demolding and depositing the component, can be automated within the standard enclosure. The SPX 10 sprue picker is suited for use in rooms with low ceilings, such as cleanrooms, as well as for demolding operations that use a swiveling axis, even in multi-cavity applications, said KraussMaffei, whose automation division developed the precision grippers that remove the tiny components.