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Six injection molding cells, including the North American debut of the high-speed EcoPower Xpress 400/3300+ machine, will demonstrate the features and benefits of Wittmann 4.0 technology.

Clare Goldsberry

March 29, 2018

5 Min Read
Wittmann Battenfeld connects the dots on what Industry 4.0 can do for you

Wittmann Battenfeld Inc. (Torrington, CT) will put the spotlight on its Wittmann 4.0 technology at NPE2018 in booth W3742. The theme has been announced as “Pathway to 4.0,” and the booth will include six injection molding machine work cells with integrated robots, automation, material handling and auxiliary equipment, all showcasing Wittmann 4.0 and its various features and benefits. There will also be sections of the booth dedicated to specific products in Wittmann Battenfeld’s portfolio, including a robot and automation section and several displays of Wittmann Battenfeld auxiliaries.

“Our Pathway to 4.0 theme will allow us to show off all of the capabilities of our Wittmann 4.0 technology, so visitors to our booth can leave with a better understanding of what this tech can really do and how it can help improve their company’s processes in ways they might not have thought of before,” said Crystal Gagnon, Marketing Communications. “We also like to bring some excitement and have fun at NPE, and this year will be no different!”

Several new products will be featured in the Wittmann Battenfeld booth, as well. These will include the high-speed EcoPower Xpress injection molding machine, the X Series robot, a TCU featuring the new SpeedDrive technology, an S-MAX screenless granulator line and the Aton H Portable dryer. Each of these new pieces of equipment will be integrated into Wittmann 4.0 displays, in keeping with the Pathway to 4.0 theme.

Wittmann Battenfeld will display the following six injection molding machine work cells:

  • An EcoPower 180/750 machine molding a shampoo flip top with a four-cavity mold from StackTeck using polypropylene from Washington Penn with color from UCC. The cell will include a W833 Pro robot integrated with Mold Following, which allows for high-speed removal. It will also feature a vacuum EOAT, conveyor, feeder, Flowcon Plus water flow control and a hot runner control system from Gammaflux.

  • An EcoPower 110/350 B6P cleanroom molding machine running Washington Penn polypropylene pipettes in an eight-cavity mold from Cavaform. The cell will run a W823 robot with a Servo B Axis and cleanroom options, as well as an extension allowing for dual placement onto pipette trays. It will also feature a high-flow vacuum EOAT, tray filling conveyor system, Tempro D Plus temperature controller and Aton H dryer.

  • A MacroPower 850/8800 machine producing a spoiler with a single-cavity mold from HRS Flow that includes five servo-valve gates and several cavity pressure sensors to demonstrate true intelligent closed-loop molding. With Wittmann 4.0 integrated with a hot runner, as well as HiQ-Melt, HiQ-Flow and HiQ-Cushion technologies, this cell offers the most complex example of how Wittmann 4.0 can be utilized. The cell will complement these complex operations with a GMax granulator, Tempro Direct Plus TCU, Gravimax G34 blender, W843 Pro robot, hot runner controller from Gammaflux and Flowcon Plus water flow controller. This cell will also show the new Condition Monitoring System (CMS) used for preventive and predictive maintenance.

  • The EcoPower Xpress 400/3300+ machine is Wittmann Battenfeld’s newest high-speed injection molding machine, which is being shown for the first time in North America. It will be molding closures using a 96-cavity bottle cap mold from Bauer Plastisud using HDPE from Borealis, a hot runner controller from Gammaflux and a Feedmax central vacuum receiver. The new EcoPower Xpress is a high-speed, all-electric machine primarily geared to the requirements of packaging and thin-wall applications.

Wittmann Battenfeld will introduce the EcoPower Xpress 400/3300+ to the North American market at NPE2018.

  • A SmartPower 110/350 machine molding wood-plastic composite building blocks with an eight-cavity mold using wood-plastic compound from Fasal. The cell will include a W822 robot, eight-cavity gripper EOAT, U-shaped conveyor pallet loading system, Tempro Plus D TCU, Gravimax G14 blender, Junior 2 compact screenless granulator, Aton H dryer with integrated vacuum station conveying system, and Flowcon Plus water flow controller.

  • A two-shot MicroPower 15/10-10 machine with two parallel injection units and a rotary disk molding a plug inside the recording head of a vinyl record player with a single-cavity mold from Ortafon. The parts are made of PC and electro-conductive PC. Parts removal and depositing will be handled by a Wittmann W8VS4 Scara robot specially designed for this machine. In addition a built-in camera system inside the machine will provide fully automatic quality inspection of the parts.

Robots and automation

Wittmann Battenfeld has introduced numerous innovations in its robot technology since the last NPE. Robots will be included in every work cell and will be a major feature of the booth. The centerpiece will be the new X Series robots, which were unveiled for the first time at Fakuma 2017. The robots are functionally and technologically unmatched in the industry, with standard features that can outclass even the custom packages of older models, according to the company.

In addition to the X Series, the new cost-efficient Primus 14 will be shown, as well.

All of these models will be running with the new R9 control, which has been refined with various new visualization options and functionalities.

Material handling systems and auxiliaries

A complete range of Wittmann Battenfeld material handling systems and auxiliary equipment will be operating in the booth. Featured products include:

  • Tempro Plus D temperature controllers with the new SpeedDrive option, a variable frequency controlled pump that can increase process reliability, decrease energy usage and enhance efficiency;

  • central material handling systems showcasing both Wittmann M7.3 Central Control Platforms and new Teachbox Net 5 Control Platforms;

  • a central drying system showcasing Drymax 1200 FC Plus redundant dryer technology, Silmax Smartflow technology with material saver function, a new Modular Silmax 5000L drying hopper and new Modular Silmax 2000L-Auger model for use with hard flowing materials or PET crystallization processes;

  • a new Aton H beside-the-press dryer, fully integrated with 4.0 capabilities;

  • self-contained S3 net loaders, Feedmax central loaders and MC Balance throat-mounted feeders;

  • a new S-MAX screenless granulator line, G-MAX conventional granulators and below the mold Auger feed granulators; and

  • Gravimax blenders showcasing real-time, live scale blending technology.

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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