Austrian injection machine builder Engel has undertaken a major expansion at its production facility in Pyeongtaek, Korea, doubling capacity from 600 machines to 1200 machines annually. The company claims an approximately 50% of the market in Asia for European brand machines.
|Engel scores mega deal for BMW electric and hybrid vehicle body part molding.|
In a separate announcement, Engel said it had delivered Engel duo injection molding machines with clamping forces of 4000 and 2700 tonnes to the BMW factory in Leipzig, Germany. BMW has announced that the Leipzig plant will be used to manufacture lightweight components for car body shells for the BMW i3 urban electric car that the automaker will start manufacturing later this year, as well as the i8 plug-in hybrid vehicle.
"Lightweight construction and injection molding are key concepts for meeting the increasing demands of the transport and mobility sectors. Engel recognized this as a trend of the future early on and therefore placed a great deal of emphasis on basing the further development of its machines and technologies for the car industry on it", says Peter Neumann, CEO of Engel Holding (Schwertberg, Austria).
One special feature of the injection moulding processing cells in Leipzig is that they are each made up of two large-scale ENGEL duo machines which have been installed back-to-back to create double systems. In master/slave mode, both machines can be controlled together so that two components are injection molded and completed simultaneously. The bodywork components will only comply with the high quality requirements if they both undergo exactly the same aging process after the injection molding stage.
Machines which have been linked together can also be separated from each other and fitted with different molds. This increases the availability of the systems and enables them to guarantee a high degree of production flexibility.
All the injection molding machines are equipped with industrial multi-axis robots, and as the general contractor for the manufacturing cells, Engel took responsibility for ensuring that automation was incorporated in the solution it provided BMW with. This also included a menu-driven mold changing feature, a system display screen, and data tracing. The huge range of parts which the manufacturing cells will be making in the future was taken into consideration from the very beginning. Comfortable and easy to operate, the new machines' control system also meets the demand for outstanding efficiency and maximum flexibility.
To augment its offerings to the auto sector, Engel is also working on the development of bulk molding compound molding machinery for the processing of carbon fiber reinforced compounds. The company believes its machines will be cost effective given its plastics background.