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Engel has integrated the MuCell microcellular foam injection molding technology into its machine controls, allowing molders to see gas supply system on the machine's control monitor. That control now features a flow diagram to give molders a clearer overview of the entire process, including the gas supply system.

PlasticsToday Staff

December 12, 2011

2 Min Read
Engel adds MuCell controls to machine interface

Engel has integrated the MuCell microcellular foam injection molding technology into its machine controls, allowing molders to see gas supply system on the machine's control monitor. That control now features a flow diagram to give molders a clearer overview of the entire process, including the gas supply system.

Engel unveiled the development to more than 100 users and other parties interested in the process of foam injection moulding at an international workshop, organized by Engel Austria and MuCell, creator, Trexel, in Schwertberg, Austria in late November.ENGEL_MuCell_Bild_2.jpg

Engel MuCell Schwertberg, Austria

Previously, only a small number of parameters in the gas-injection process could be manipulated via the injection molding machine's control system. With the next generation control, the whole gas supply system is mapped out on the machine's monitor. Michael Fischer, sales manager at Engel Austria said in a release that this feature "improves understanding of the process and allows users to exploit the possibilities of the technology far better."

MuCell physical foaming involves the injection and homogeneous distribution of mainly pressurised nitrogen or carbon dioxide in a supercritical state into the plastic melt during plastification. Trexel noted that the technology is currently seeing strong growth, with the wider adoption fueled by weight reduction for lightweight construction and the low distortion of parts manufactured under the MuCell process. The process eliminates sink marks from molded parts, while also imparting high dimensional stability and improved rheological properties.

Engel is a global, single-source supplier of full systems for MuCell foam injection molding on a turnkey basis. Earlier this year, Engel Austria finalized a partnership agreement with Trexel, developer of MuCell technology.

Work with Nissei and Chen Hsong

Trexel and Japanese injection molding machinery manufacturer Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. Ltd. entered into a licensing agreement in 2003 for Nissei to supply injection molding equipment utilizing MuCell. Under that deal, Nissei was licensed to sell new MuCell-capable injection molding equipment to their customers worldwide.

Chinese injection molding machinery manufacturer Chen Hsong and Trexel announced a partnership in 2007 to introduce the JM98-Ai/500-MuCell injection molding machine. Stephen Chung, Chen Hsong's executive director, said that partnership was designed to make the MuCell process available to Chinese and other molders on our cost-effective machines.

Trexel's president and CEO, Steve Braig, came to the company in 2010, after stepping down as CEO of Engel North America.

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