Ten to see at NPE

  • The last NPE in 2015 broke records in size and attendance, and there’s no reason to doubt that this year’s show won’t be another banner year. The economy is doing well, which means the plastics industry also is prospering, setting the stage for a very busy event at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, on May 7 to 11.

    We have sifted through bushels of press releases from exhibitors and selected 10 new product announcements that we think merit your attention. Most of these machines and products are being shown for the first time in North America.

    As you start to draft your show itinerary and put together a list of must-see exhibitors, you might want to check out this slide show. And be sure to keep an eye on our NPE2018 page—we’re adding show news and exhibitor previews almost every day.

    Now, on with the (slide) show.

  • Tinius Olsen

    Tinius Olsen (Horsam, PA) will exhibit an automated materials testing system for the first time at NPE this year to make a point. The maker of materials testing instruments wants to demonstrate that its technology is now viable for plastics processors who may have thought they needed elevated production volumes to move away from manual testing.

    Tinius Olsen can deliver dedicated or combination systems that test tension, compression flexion or hardness, whatever the material or the quantity. Typically, an operator can spend 8.4 hours per 24-hour day watching and waiting for tests to run, according to the company. By contrast, a robotic system for materials testing can run continuously, saving an operator 127 days over the course of a year. 

    The company is also showcasing its MP1200 melt indexer with a streamlined design and selectable weights. The new system provides a time-saving way to configure a melt flow test. Weights are held and selected from a weight cylinder holder and are automatically delivered onto the piston. The user does not have to lift any weights manually and can be assured of increased throughput, said the company.

    Tinius Olsen is exhibiting at booth W723.

  • Absolute Haitian

    Absolute Haitian (Worcester, MA) will show its new Zhafir Jenius (JE) series for the first time in North America at NPE2018. Designed for processors seeking an energy-efficient solution for mid- to large-part precision molding, the JE Series combines the advantages of proven electric screw drive technology from the Zhafir brand with the compact two-platen clamp design and servo-hydraulic clamp movement from the Haitian Jupiter series. The Jenius Series is available in tonnages ranging from 506 to 3,709 U.S. tons.

    In booth W143, Absolute Haitian (Worcester, MA) will run a JE6500 (731 U.S. tons) equipped with a bi-metallic barrel molding an automotive grille made from an ExxonMobil polypropylene compound with 19% mineral filler for reinforcement. Shot size is 22.57 ounces (640 grams) and cycle time is 60 seconds. Part removal will be handled by a Sepro integrated top-entry robot.

  • Arburg Allrounder 1120H

    The newest and largest Allrounder from Arburg (Lossburg, Germany), with a clamping force of 730 tons, will be shown for the first time outside Germany at booth W1325. The hybrid Allrounder 1120 H combines the speed and precision of an electric toggle-type clamping unit during mold movements with hydraulic power and dynamics during injection, said Arburg.

    In designing the machine, special emphasis was placed on functionality and ergonomics. As examples, Arburg cites the fold-up steps to the clamping unit and integrated LED light strips that indicate the machine’s operating status. The generously dimensioned safety gate with linear guides simplifies mold changes and improves robotic system entry.

    At NPE2018, the machine will be producing a folding step stool in a fully automated process. The eight individual polypropylene parts are produced each cycle in a single shot on a family mold. With the aid of a six-axis robotic system and assembly station, the finished step stool is assembled in a cycle time of 60 seconds.

  • Vecoplan

    Vecoplan (Archdale, NC) will introduce its new VTH 65 grinder in booth W6283. 

    The VTH 65 is engineered for the single-stage size reduction of lineal plastic scrap, producing granulate that can be reintroduced directly into the manufacturing process. By eliminating the need for multiple machines and processing steps, the VTH 65 not only saves on initial capital investment, but it also saves valuable production time and plant floor space, said the company

    The VTH 65 handles production waste such as sheet extrusion strips, profiles, molding scrap and pipe. It produces a consistently sized three-dimensional re-granulate with an extremely low proportion of fines. This consistency is achieved through the interaction of the VTH 65’s patented in-feed system with Vecoplan’s exclusive geometric cutting sequence.

  • Maguire

    Maguire Products Inc. (Aston, PA) is bringing what it calls a new type of raw material handling device for small-volume plastics processing to NPE2018. Loading, dosing, mixing and dispensing functions co-exist in one compact system governed by a single controller. The MMT Micro Tower will be featured in booth W5747.

    The Micro Tower mixes up to three materials—such as virgin resin, regrind and masterbatch—in 10-pound batches for injection molding or extrusion processes at throughputs up to 100 pounds per hour. The compact tower mounts at the throat of the processing machine, with no floor space required for a vacuum pump. To ensure accuracy, the loader and three material hoppers operate on a loss-in-weight basis under simultaneous direction by the controller.

  • Engel e-temp

    IQ flow control from Engel (Schwertberg, Austria) will have its North American launch at NPE2018. The company will demonstrate the integrated temperature-control system, which is designed to improve the stability of injection molding processes, reduce rejects and boost energy efficiency, at booth W3303.

    Software networks the temperature control units and the injection molding machine to create a single unit. The entire temperature control process can be set up, monitored and centrally logged at the CC300 machine control display, while the ideal operating point for the particular temperature control unit is determined and set automatically.

    To integrate the units with the CC300 controller, Engel collaborated with temperature control unit manufacturer HB-Therm (St. Gallen, Switzerland) to develop the e-temp series pictured here.

  • Converting Systems Inc.

    The new Vertical Head Servo Shuttle Style Bag Machine is the sixth and fastest addition to the bag machine series from Converting Systems Inc. (CSI; Schaumburg, IL). The 1801V features faster line speeds, enhanced safety features, easier maintenance and HMI touchscreen access for set-up, operation and troubleshooting. It will be unveiled by CSI at booth S14107.

    The machine features the p500 controller and HMI as well as MCS servomotors from CSI partner company Lenze Americas, a global manufacturer of electrical and mechanical drives, motion control and automation technology.

    Upgraded touch-screen functionality allows easier operation, greater start-up acceleration and higher bag length accuracy.

  • Kistler

    The ComoNeo injection molding process monitoring and control system from Kistler (Winterthur, Switzerland) continues to evolve since it was introduced three years ago. Version 2.1.0, which will be featured at NPE2018, can control multi-component and resin transfer molding processes. Previously, two or more processes had to be recorded and evaluated separately; with the ComoNeo 2.1.0, it is possible to monitor up to four components in various tool technologies.

    ComoNeo also now offers model-based prediction of component quality based on specified tolerance limits. All collected data can be stored in the central ComoDataCenter database and are available for further analysis. ComoNeo also controls the transfer of tool configurations to other machines as well as the balancing of the hot runner in multi-cavity molds.

  • Forward Technology

    Forward Technology (Cokato, MN) in collaboration with KLN Ultraschall (Heppinheim, Germany), part of the Crest Group Co., will present a German-engineered, American-built fully and semi automatic quick-change hot plate plastic welding system at NPE2018. The system is based on the successful KLN Toolmaster series of hot plate welders.

    The KLN Toolmaster Automatic Hot Plate Welding system enables the exchange of a hot plate welding tool set in approximately 90 seconds. The technology appeals to high-volume manufacturers who require frequent weld tool changeovers.

    Forward Technology will begin offering a domestic version of the system this year. The German-designed system is manufactured by Forward Technology in the United States using domestically available components and materials. It features an Allen Bradley HMI display and PLC systems.

    You will be able to check it out in booth W5173.

  • Milacron is going big—really big—at this year’s NPE. At booth W2703, the company will feature the largest tonnage Roboshot it has ever built as well as the largest tonnage injection molding machine to operate at an NPE show.

    The new Milacron-Fanuc Roboshot 500 has an increased tonnage option up to 550 U.S. tons (558 metric tonnes) and is designed for large molds with tie-bar spacing of 36.2 inches (91.94 cm). It will be molding a detergent cap with a 24-cavity mold at 6-second cycle times.

    But wait, there’s bigger. Milacron also will be exhibiting its new Cincinnati injection molding machine, which boasts 2250 tons of clamping power!

    Proudly taking its name from Milacron’s home city, the Cincinnati is a new large-tonnage, true two-platen machine designed to meet the demands of the global automotive, appliance and other large part molding markets. The Cincinnati product line expands on Milacron’s large machine technology with a platform that adds performance and a shorter footprint, said the company. The machines are powered by proven Fanuc servomotor power packs. An improved machine layout and enhanced access to the eject and die areas make operation, maintenance and servicing easier, according to Milacron.

    The Cincinnati 2250 that will be on display at NPE2018 has been sold to i2-tech custom injection molders in Iowa, who bought one of Milacron’s first injection molding machines ever produced in the late 1960s. It carries the serial number 3!

    On the show floor, the Cincinnati 2250 will be molding a large ATV side-by-side dash in a single-cavity mold.

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