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Large vertical press delivers process flexibility

Large vertical press delivers process flexibility
For overmolding of organic sheets and tapes, and in high-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) processes, if often makes sense to work with gravity according to machine builder Engel (Schwertberg, Austria). "This reduces the effort in the handling of parts and the fixation of insert parts in the mold, and also facilitates manual intervention," it notes.

For overmolding of organic sheets and tapes, and in high-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) processes, if often makes sense to work with gravity according to machine builder Engel (Schwertberg, Austria). "This reduces the effort in the handling of parts and the fixation of insert parts in the mold, and also facilitates manual intervention," it notes.

Vertical the way to go for composite part processing.
This rationale will now be put through its paces with delivery of the first Engel v-duo to the BMW Works in Landshut, Germany for molding of components enabling lightweight automobile construction. The Engel v-duo 3600 with a clamping force of 36,000 kN, will be used for manufacturing large structural elements from fiber-reinforced plastic composites using the HP-RTM process.

The press is equipped with two horizontal, moving slide tables to remove finished parts and insert new fiber during the pressing process. This manufacturing principle reportedly reduces cycle times and increases energy efficiency, because the mold is only open for a brief period each cycle. 

 In contrast to presses traditionally used for fiber composite applications the new vertical machine by Engel possesses comparably small footprint. The machine is only about half as high and the machine weight is also significantly lower, which reduces the overhead for building a foundation.

Furthermore, the clamping unit can be accessed from all four sides instead of just two. It reportedly features a very high degree of rigidity and excellent platen parallelism. Control of platen parallelism for injection compressing molding processes is also included in the standard version of the machine.

In addition, since the Engel v-duo does away with hydraulic accumulators and instead adopts Engel' ecodrive servo-hydraulic system as standard, it reportedly sets new standards in terms of energy efficiency for large-size machines. When using ecodrive, the motors are only active when the machine is actually moving. Idle cycle losses are thus prevented.

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