Trexel can point to hundreds of successful MuCell applications validating the weight savings and productivity improvement potential of its physical foaming technology. Still, said the company, many part designers and molders remain apprehensive about the technology because it has often taken a “leap of faith” that desired outcomes would be realized because they lacked the experience or the tools to predict the process accurately.
Successfully implemented mass-produced parts will be on display at stand B46 in hall 13 at K 2016, as well as the complete line of T-Series gas-delivery systems, featuring simple operation, dosing precision and long-lasting process reliability. In order to reduce the uncertainty and close the knowledge and experience gap regarding microcellular foaming, Trexel has developed a MuCell Engineering focus and a network of partners to guide customers through part and tool design.
Upon request, Trexel’s experts will handle project management for all engineering tasks, as well as serve as the central communication and coordination hub for the customer, and it will work with a small number of qualified partners to offer part and tool design services.
“Our best customers—those who have been using MuCell for years as a competitive advantage—have developed internal standards and guidelines to maximize the benefits of MuCell with every application,” said Brian Bechard, CEO and President of Trexel Inc. “Trexel is now focused on moving beyond only supplying the hardware to becoming an engineering resource, using our global experience to reduce the uncertainty by taking a more direct and active role in part and tool design. Our goal is to maximize the return on investment for every system we sell by enabling optimal results with every application.”
Trexel notes that the components exhibited at the upcoming K show in Düsseldorf, Germany, underscore how effective this approach can be. Although saving weight indeed may often be the first desired outcome, the expanded process and design options of MuCell offer additional advantages.
Dr. Hartmul Traut, Business Director, Trexel Europe, said, “One of the highlights is the automobile interior panel, with up to 60% shorter tooling time and, thus, faster component availability.” The component was produced using MuCell design, and the production processes and equipment were adapted accordingly. The results speak for themselves, Trexel noted: “50% faster cycle time, 40% lower weight, 40% lower tool costs,” said Traut, “giving our customer an enormous competitive edge.”
Trexel also continues to enhance its product line and improve the reliability and repeatability of MuCell equipment. The latest generation of gas-dosing equipment, the T-Series, will be on display at K 2016, including the latest product, the T-400, which completed the transition to the new platform upon its release in 2015.
“Our customers who have experienced the T-Series along with the older generation systems have nearly unanimously told us that the T-Series is easier to operate, has better precision and reliability and requires less maintenance than previous generations,” said Bechard. The simplicity of operation is something visitors can experience for themselves. The booth at the K will include the full range of systems: T-100, T-200, T-300 and T-400. The performance range of the T-Series spans very large foaming applications, such as dashboard supports or subfloor paneling, to small components, such as connectors, printer elements and lock casings for cans. The systems are available with or without a separate display. Live production cells will be running throughout the fair at partner companies, including Engel, Milacron and Haitian.