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Medical injection molding: Arburg taps Micron to evaluate new all-electric press

Medical device manufacturer Micron is home to a new all-electric injection molding machine made by Arburg, and will supply the machine OEM with feedback on the machine as it is put through its injection molding paces. The new press joins 20 others at Micron that carry the Arburg name.

Micron, based in Fitchburg, MA, is world's largest producer of high-performance ECG disposable electrode sensors. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Arrhythmia Research Technology Inc. Arburg (Lossburg, Germany) selected Micron as a product evaluation site for its new Allrounder 370 E, a 66-ton (clamp force) all-electric injection molding machine. The E stands for Edrive, the Arburg product range (66 to 220 tons) marketed as an economical electric alternative to hydraulic injection molding machines; the manufacturer launched the range at its annual Technology Days event in March.

PlasticsToday attended that Technology Days event and reported then on the new press; surf to that coverage here. In short, the Edrive is Arburg's answer to processors' requests for a machine that delivers the benefits of all-electric drive technology, but at a price closer to comparable hydraulic machines than most all-electrics currently available. How close? A molder should expect to pay about 20-30% more for an Edrive than for one of the company's hydraulic machines of the same clamp force and injection unit size. Compared to the company's Allrounder S hydraulic machines, though, the Edrive molding machines are faster and more energy efficient, according to the company. The Edrive's control unit is the same as on all of the company's Allrounder presses, so that operators already familiar with Arburg machines will not have any learning curve to climb. It is designed to minimize emissions, making it suitable for producing medical components in a clean room.

"Micron Products enjoys a productive, long-standing relationship with Arburg. We are very pleased to participate in the evaluation of the new electric machine that is being introduced into this market," said Peter Pignone, VP engineering for Micron Products. He added, "Arburg knows our operation well, as we already utilize their electric Allrounder A series in our facility. For the new unit, Arburg chose a size appropriate to the needs of our electrode manufacturing operation and allowed us to customize the barrel and accessory configurations according to our specific requirements. The machine is an evolution of the modular concept in electric form."

As reported earlier this week, Micron also has recently boosted its staffing; it hired Thomas E. Kokernak as its director of engineering and supply chain management, and Andrew Santin as director of business development and sales engineering.

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