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International expos foreshadow NPE 2000: Part 1, Japan's IPF '99

December 5, 1999

22 Min Read
International expos foreshadow NPE 2000: Part 1, Japan's IPF '99

The largest plastics trade exposition in Asia, the International Plastics Fair (IPF), is held every three years in Japan, filling the eight halls of the Nippon Convention Center (also called the Makuhari Messe) near Tokyo. IPF is organized by the International Plastics Fair Assn. of Tokyo, Japan and is supported by governmental agencies, including the Ministry of International Trade & Industry (MITI).

There were nearly 800 exhibitors in 2681 booths at IPF’99, significantly more than were at IPF’96. The majority of exhibitors, 475 or 60 percent, were from Japan. Exhibitors from the U.S., the next closest at 73, came in at around 9 percent, followed by Germany (57), Korea (40), and Taiwan (28). Injection molding, molds, molding related equipment, and parts and components for molding machines accounted for the largest percentage of all exhibitors.

Overall, the mood of exhibitors at IPF’99 was upbeat, despite the recent economic softness of the home market and key market slowdowns in major Asian export markets. “Things are getting better, but sales are still slow,” was an exhibitor sentiment echoing through the halls of the Makuhari Messe. Most agreed that U.S. sales have been somewhat flat, but relatively stable. Most also would like to increase sales into European markets, long before the next show, IPF 2002.

For more information:
IPF Show Management Office
12F, Kasumigaseki Bldg., 3-2-5 Kasumigaseki
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-6012, Japan
Phone: +81 (3) 3503-7320
Fax: +81 (3) 3503-7620

FANUC LTD.More intelligent all-electrics. In eight machine displays, Fanuc exhibited its latest lineup of all-electrics, the Roboshot i Series (15 to 300 tons). Fanuc’s Yoshiharu Inaba, a member of the board who lists executive vp, group executive of sales and service, and senior development engineer among his lengthy roster of titles, told IMM that the small, italicized “i” in the new series nameplate stands for “intelligence”—artificial intelligence (AI), to be more precise.

“Now that the all-electric machine in and of itself is the global standard, we needed to add something different to distinguish our machines,” Inaba says.

Advanced AI software in the Roboshot i machines is used to control the Fanuc machines’ hallmark pressure profile trace control system. Fanuc fans know that Roboshot machines memorize and trace the pressure profile determined to be ideal to mold perfect parts—these thinking machines control packing by automatically adjusting their parameters to replicate this optimum pressure profile in real-time during every shot. AI has been extended to control metering and mold protection in the i Series machines.

Its latest machines also are fully wired for direct networking to robots, auxiliaries, remote quality control computer systems, other Roboshots, and so on.

All but one of its show machines were robotized with Fanuc’s own latest series of servo robots—the Robot SR Mate 100i (for machines from 50 to 100 tons), its Robot SR Mate 200i (150 to 300 tons), and its extremely high-speed side-entry model, the Robot SR Mate 100iH.

The single nonrobotized Fanuc running at IPF’99, a 30 tonner, demonstrated high-speed molding (see photo). It repeatedly molded parts in .99 second, without an accumulator, of course. At IPF’96, it ran around 1.24 second cycles.

Regarding the show machines with robots, here’s what Fanuc had on show:

  • A 250-ton i machine with the side-entry Fanuc robot ran jewel cases in eight-cavity tooling at 4.8-second cycles. The robot’s takeout time was .5 second.

  • A 300 tonner ran a 12-cavity stack tool.

  • A 100-ton machine cell demonstrated consistent AI-controlled metering of PBT recyclate.

  • A 50 tonner demonstrated AI mold protection control by shielding a small paper cup inserted into the tooling.

  • Parts removal and orientation with a Fanuc robot was demonstrated in a 15-ton machine cell.

  • High precision and response at fast cycles and cellular networking were demonstrated in two cells with 150- and 50-ton machines.

CAM now means computer-aided molding. In one of our reports covering the big K’98 show, IMM told you of Fanuc’s efforts once and for all to close the loop between design and manufacturing by using CAD and CAE part design and engineering data to set up directly the profile trace control system of its presses (see “The Future of Injection Molding: Part II,” January 1999 IMM, pp. 98-102). As evidenced at IPF’99, Fanuc’s work in this area with its joint-venture allies 3-D CAD supplier Fujitsu and flow analysis software supplier Toray is continuing (see photo). Fanuc sources say they hope to have this technology ready for the marketplace by Spring 2000. Its formal debut could possibly be at NPE 2000.

For more information:
Fanuc Ltd.
Oshino-Mura, Yamanashi, Japan
Phone: +81 (555) 84-5555
Fax: +81 (555) 84-5512
Web: www.fanuc.co.jp

KAWAGUCHI LTD.General-purpose all-electrics. Masanori Kawaguchi, president of the company’s year-old U.S. operation in Wheeling, IL, told IMM that Kawaguchi plans to be in Chicago next June at NPE 2000 with a representative model of Kawaguchi’s coming KXE series of all-electrics. A 50-ton double-toggle electrified prototype was shown at IPF’99 (see photo).

Kawaguchi has been building all-electrics for the home market for some time now. A vertical K-Jection 15-ton all-electric on display at IPF’99 was the latest version of a press series its has offered for nearly a decade. In the design of its KXE horizontal, Kawaguchi has combined its experience in all-electrics with its ability to build reliable, user-friendly, GP toggles driven by hydraulics.

It will be equipped with Kawaguchi’s latest PC-based machine control system, the EZ-2000, a 32-bit multiprocessor with a full-color TFT-LCD display on its molding machine interface (MMI). EZ-2000 has animation, single-page setup screening, injection waveforming, and a help key to make the interface friendlier.

General-purpose toggles. Kawaguchi’s latest KX series of hydraulically driven toggle-clamp injection molding machines (40-220 tons) were shown at IPF’99, and will be displayed next year at NPE 2000. They were scheduled to go on sale in Japan a few months after IPF’99, and should be available Stateside in Q4 2000.

KX presses are equipped with Kawaguchi’s durable, high-performance DV screw. The DV is designed to improve mix homogeneity and metering stability, suppress shear heat, and save energy, while easing color changing and improving transparency, all at high throughputs. Kawaguchi also has improved injection startup response and low-speed injection performance on its KX series, while bringing advanced computer analysis to bear on making its clamp units more robust.

KX machines also feature Kawaguchi’s new DVH digital hydraulic feedback control system. It manages oil flows so well that it can reduce oil requirements by as much as 40 percent, according to the company. KX machines can be supplied fully integrated to Kawaguchi’s own new ROKS-RMX line of parts removal robots.

For more information
Kawaguchi Ltd.
Shimizu, Shizuoka, Japan
Phone: +81 (543) 65-1331
Fax: +81 (543) 66-8564
Web: www.kawaguchi.co.jp

MEIKI CO. LTD.Direct-pressure electrics. Meiki previewed its coming entry into the all-electric age at IPF’99 with its Nadem series of direct-pressure electric molding machines. Two models were shown, the Nadem 800 and Nadem 1200, an 800-kN press and a 1200-kN press, respectively. The former was equipped with a barrel gas evacuation system and molded PC clamps for attaché cases.

The latter had six-stage clamping pressure control and molded acrylic Fresnel lenses. It also was equipped with a closed loop degating and in-hopper recycling system of Meiki’s own design. A platen-mounted, jointed-arm servo robot degated parts and fed the sprues and runners into an in-hopper grinder that proportioned the recyclate directly back into the virgin material stream.

Nadem Series machines are equipped with a single servodriven ballscrew mechanism to move the platen. A small reservoir carries the .2 liter of oil the system uses to generate maximum clamping force. Ryuzo Okuda, director of Meiki’s international department, says this direct-pressure approach is nicer than an electric toggle clamp. As with its direct-pressure hydraulic machines, Meiki finds that servodriven direct-pressure clamping provides better mold protection and longer mold life than toggles, among several other benefits.

Nadem machines also are equipped with all-electric injection units. The company plans to commercialize its Nadem machines in Spring 2000. It also plans to bring the direct-pressure system over to its popular optical media molding presses.

OM molding machine. Meiki has put its 20 years of experience as a market leader in manufacturing optical media (OM) machines into its latest, the MDM-I, a 40 tonner with new controls. Kouzou Hibi, Meiki’s disk department manager, tells IMM that the MDM-I’s smaller tonnage predecessor was fine for CDs and some DVDs, but that the more advanced DVDs and CD-Rs require a bit more clamping force.

Injection-compression speeds things up and keeps quality under control. At IPF’99, its MDM-I molded perfect .6-mm-thick PC DVD substrates in 3.3-second cycles. It retains Meiki’s Dynamelter starve feeder that degasses so well, no vented barrel is necessary.

The MDM-I also is equipped with Meiki’s latest control system specially developed for OM molding, called the VT100IID. Its MMI has a wide-angle color LCD screen. Under the hood there’s a high-speed RISC processor.

High-speed/high-pressure hydraulic. Meiki demonstrated its M-50C-AS-DM, a Moog-servovalved speedster with advanced hydraulic circuitry. The press molded boxes that were only .3 mm thick in PC/ABS alloy and recyclate from another machine in its booth at 7- to 8-second cycles.

The Moog servovalve provides the injection control necessary for the machine’s accumulator-juiced hydraulics—speeding starts and stops, filling in a flash, holding on, and doing it all over again shot after shot.

The show machine also features six-stage clamping pressure control and, naturally, Meiki’s signature Dynamelter starve feeder.

Voice-activated molding. PP attaché cases with a projected area of 2600 sq cm that were less than 2 mm thick were molded in a 450-ton Meiki Model M-450CL-DM using a proprietary injection-compression system that Meiki calls “injection-press.” The same mold usually is run in a 900-ton molding machine. A special nozzle shutoff valve prepressurizes the melt to prevent backflow and achieve shot control accuracies even when shooting into a partially open mold.

Meiki also demonstrated the industry’s first voice recognition molding machine control system on this 450 tonner (see photo). Even from a remote location operators wearing a headset with a microphone can say, “mold open,” or “mold close,” and the machine carries out the command. The machine also confirms in an alluring female voice that the command has been carried out.

Meiki believes this system can eliminate mistakes and speed setups. It is investigating the feasibility of using the voice-recognition system to cover all machine operations, and says it plans to make its machines truly multilingual by having its machines respond in English, Chinese, and Korean, in addition to Japanese.

Servodriven multimolding. ABS spray nozzle connectors with TPE cores were multimolded in a 100-ton Meiki press, a Model M-110C-2CJ-SJ, equipped with an a-c servomotor/belt-driven rotomold with two cavities each, top and bottom, and two L-configured shooters.

Speaking of elastomers, Meiki also introduced an all-vertical 70-ton press for molding rubber. The compact MR-70DL can come equipped with a screw-in-plunger injection unit for large shots. This FIFO design eliminates screw movement during plasticizing, maintaining injection control and obviating the need for starve feeding.

For more information:
Meiki Co. Ltd.
Ohbu City, Aichi, Japan
Phone: + 81 (562) 48-2111
Fax: +81 (562) 47-2316
Web: www.meiki.com

MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTIRES LTD.All-electric series debut. Mitsubishi unveiled its ME series of all-electric five-point toggle presses (350, 450, and 550 tons) driven by servomotors built by a sister company in the Mitsubishi Group. Closing speed is up to 6 percent faster than its similarly sized hydraulic presses, and dry cycling is 30 percent faster.

What’s more, the clamp hits its absolute stopping point in .03 mm, vs. 1.0 mm for its hydraulics. A short crosshead stroke in the clamp mechanism saves floor space.

Gen Hamada, deputy manager of Mitsubishi’s industrial machinery engineering department and one of the company’s chief designers, says, ton for ton, ME Series machines, with two injection servomotors, provide the highest injection rate and pressure of any all-electric machines. With a 62-mm diameter screw, the 350 tonner has a rate of 485 cu cm/sec.

And Hamada says Mitsubishi availed itself of the FEM analysis capabilities of its laboratory in Kobe, Japan to make sure its toggle-clamp and platen designs could keep up with the ME machines’ high-speed cycling. The ME’s 20 to 30 percent price premium is easily offset by its miserly energy consumption, Hamada adds.

A new screw for TPU. Mitsubishi demonstrated a 50-ton model in its MSE line of all-electrics at IPF’99. The MSE Series (15, 30, and 50 tons) is about two years old. What was new in this exhibit was the machine’s injection unit. It featured a peculiar cone-shaped, plunger-in-a-screw preplasticizing unit that Mitsubishi developed and patented for running TPU and TPU regrind.

The screw design accommodates regularly sized pellets, regrind, and even crushed elastomers containing oil, allowing only .002g and .135 percent mass deviation, shot after shot. The original customer used the press for making small printer parts. Mitsubishi sources feel it may also find use in running materials like PMMA and TPE, and in applications such as micromolding.

Shot weights are stabilized by what Mitsubishi calls “relaxtance control”—a brief stop in the injection process before the application of holding pressure. Canceling peak pressure allows for precision molding rubbery elastomers.

Direct-clamping hydraulic. Mitsubishi’s MSV series of midrange, direct-clamping hydraulic machines (80 to 290 tons) replaces its existing midrange machine series and brings a few notable improvements in the process.

Platen rigidity and width have both been increased, 10 percent and 20 percent, respectively, for precision molding work. Platens are guided by linear guide plates—they have no tiebar bushings. And the MSV machines, like the 160MSV-10 on show, feature 3-D parts access under the clamp.

Clamping speed also has been increased by 30 percent, and injection speed has been accelerated 2.5 times for high-speed thin-walling. Overall, the machine design is a whole lot cleaner. An MSV will be at NPE 2000.

Low-pressure backmolding. Mitsubishi demonstrated its closed loop cavity pressure control system, which uses a Kistler sensor, run by its latest controller MMI, the MAC VII, on a 650-ton model of its MMG series (550 to 1050 tons) of hydromechanical presses (see photo).

MMGs are low-pressure/high-speed capable. Precise cavity pressure profile control enables the machines’ clamps to operate at high speeds with reduced peak clamping pressures. Also they allow high-speed accumulator-assisted injection for running large backmolded parts in smaller-than-normal tonnages with no warp, flash, or sink marks.

Cavity pressure control also is a key feature of Mitsubishi’s two-platen MMIII series of hydromechanicals (1300 tons and up). A 5000-ton MMIII recently was delivered to a molder in Illinois, and a 4400 tonner with a robot recently arrived at a major automaker in Ohio.

The new MAC VII is now standard on Mitsubishi presses. The controller features a full color, touch-screen MMI. Control over Mitsubishi’s new line of takeout robots and other cellular support systems can be integrated into the MAC VII.

Injection molding wood powder. Mitsubishi’s Gen Hamada told IMM that his company has begun experimenting with the environmentally correct molding of resins highly filled with powdered garbage, like 50 percent wood powders, or 40 percent coal ash. Such powdered material can improve a part’s mechanical properties while substantially lowering material costs. Special screw designs are being developed for this process.

Mitsubishi has already molded PP dumbbell test pieces in an 80-ton press, and a small PP frame for a concrete panel on a 350-ton machine with such refuse-containing resins. There’s one more environmentally correct advantage: Molded products containing wood powder or coal ash also can be recycled.

For more information:
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.
Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo, Japan
Phone: +81 (3) 3212-9058
Fax: +81 (3) 3212-9785
Web: www.mhi.co.jp

NIIGATA ENGINEERING CO. LTD.Triple-stage injection. Even with the army of all-electric machines Niigata had on display, the hit of its booth was a small, 30-ton, double-toggle, hydraulically driven press called the “Independer.” Designed for ultrahigh-precision thin-walling, the Independer 30 features a three-stage injection unit. One stage is the plasticizing cylinder, the second-stage cylinder has an injection plunger, and the third-stage cylinder has a holding pressure plunger (see photo).

Independent control over injection speed, pressure, and plasticizing is meant to provide super precision molding. At IPF’99, LCP bobbins were molded with walls that were only .06 mm thick. The Independer was capable of reaching its 900 mm/sec maximum injection speed in .02 second.

The injection and holding pressure plunger units are closed loop controlled through Moog servovalving. And a pressure sensor in front of the injection plunger helps provide additional direct feedback control.

All-electrics galore. With the exception of its special purpose Independer 30, the other six machines in Niigata’s IPF’99 booth were all-electrics:

The MD 650S-III is Niigata’s brand-name designation for a 650-ton all-electric press that it developed with Ube’s cooperation. It uses Niigata’s patented, large, twin-servomotor drives, as does Ube’s big servomolding machines. A general-purpose model in Niigata’s standard all-electric lineup also was exhibited—a 50-ton MD 50SIII. It featured Niigata’s new machine mounted control MMI.

Niigata showed two high-speed all-electrics—the 30-ton MD 30SR-III, and the 180-ton MD 180J-III. The 30 tonner uses patent pending direct-drive ballscrew technology to achieve its maximum 600 mm/sec injection speed in 50 ms. The clamp on the 180-ton press has good center load balancing, linear moving platen guidance, and robust platens to deliver repeatable performance when cycling at high speed.

Two all-electric vertical machines were in Niigata’s booth, a 50-ton shuttle-table model designated MCV 50-ST, and the MDVR 30, a 30-ton all-servodriven, high-speed, shock-free rotary table press.

For more information:
Niigata Engineering Co. Ltd.
Ohta-Ku, Tokyo, Japan
Phone: +81 (3) 5710-7756
Fax: +81 (3) 5710-4754
Web: www.niigata-eng.co.jp

NISSEI PLASTIC INDUSTRIAL CO. LTD.Direct all-electric clamping. Nissei’s Elject-ED series of molding machines feature a direct-pressure clamping mechanism design that execution ardent Nissei devotees will immediately find familiar, even if it is driven by electric power instead of oil. ED Series Elject clamps have no belts and no toggles. Servomotors directly drive a single, centrally located ballscrew to open and close the moving platen just like a direct hydraulic clamping cylinder.

“Direct clamping has always been a Nissei philosophy,” Tsukasa Yoda, Nissei’s executive director and president, reminded us. “What we show here at IPF are prototypes in different sizes. We developed our own special clamping servomotor for this application. Our development work continues. It never stops.”

He continued, arguing against direct-clamping hybrid clamps. “Direct all-electric clamping with servomotors is expensive, but there are many things you can do, all-electrically, to lower the cost and ensure it provides maximum clamping, rather than adding hydraulics to the design. If you use even a small amount of hydraulic oil anywhere in an all-electric clamp, why not go all-hydraulic? It defeats the ultimate purpose of an all-electric machine.”

Nissei showed two Elject-ED models at the Makuhari Messe:

  • Model ED200/TM, a 20 tonner, was equipped with Nissei’s all-electric Triplemelt injection unit. Triplemelt is built to provide reliable control over injection pressure, volume, and temperature for repeatable, high-precision molding applications. At IPF’99, this machine ran two-cavity tooling and molded .3 mm fine pitch connectors in LCP. The press also was equipped with one of Nissei’s new robots and with its own auxiliaries.

    Model ED3000 molded Fresnel lenses in two-cavity tooling. Stable plasticizing and mix homogeneity were the results of new developments in screw design, heat distribution, and backpressure control in its all-electric injection unit. No belts are used on Nissei’s all-electric shooters, either.

Direct-drive clamping also was featured on two other machines in Nissei’s booth. One was the Model N40DE, a 40-ton all-electric for advanced OM formats. The other was Nissei’s all-electric version of its all-in-one, 7-ton, wagon-mounted press called the HM7 Denkey.

All-electric toggles. Nissei’s Elject-ES line of all-electric toggles was extended to include high-speed machines. The company also demonstrated a couple of other special purpose all-electrics:

  • ES2000 (20 tons) is a small tonnage racer that uses a high-response, belt-free servomotor Nissei developed to achieve a .02-second injection start time to get to a maximum 350 mm/sec injection speed. Mold opening and closing also has been accelerated. And the press features Nissei's new screw, heating cylinder, and backpressure control modified to ensure plasticizing and mixing stability. It molded HIPS reels in two-cavity tooling at 1.8-second cycles.

    ES6000 (280 tons) adds a high-rigidity clamp design and a high-speed injection unit. It has also been engineered to dampen noise. PS cases were molded in a four-cavity mold.Multimolding was demonstrated on a two-color 60 ton machine designated DCE60. It featured a-c servomotor-controlled core turning, and has two ejectors installed that can operate independently to shorten the cycle time. The servodrive reduces power consumption by 60 percent. Small boxes were molded in HIPS and TPE.Model THE30R is Nissei’s 30-ton all-electric, rotary table vertical press (see photo). It was exhibited in a fully automated cell molding HIPS electronic parts in four-cavity tooling with metal inserts.

Hybrid alternatives. Nissei says it introduced the industry to injection molding machines with hybrid drive systems in 1990. At IPF’99, it demonstrated three of its latest:

  • Model FN1000HD, an 80-ton press with all-electric injection and a direct-clamping hydraulic clamp, molded PC/ABS mobile phone cases that were removed by a new Nissei robot, the highlight of the display.

    The RV4-1 is an electric/hydraulic/pneumatic hybrid for molding LSR. It has a four-station rotary table driven by a servomotor. Molds are clamped pneumatically with 1 ton of clamping force. The injection unit is electrified, providing good control over low-pressure/slow-speed injection. The RV4-1 was demonstrated in a fully automated manufacturing cell incorporating Nissei-built auxiliaries.The Model PN40 represented Nissei’s new PN series of precision molding machines (see photo), which replaces its PS models. It is basically a hydraulic machine, but its uses a specially developed a-c servomotor to assist its dedicated pumping system in helping to reduce power consumption by up to 40 percent. It also uses 40 percent less oil than other comparably sized hydraulic machines, so smaller oil coolers will suffice.

General-purpose hydraulics. Only two straight hydraulic injection molding machines were exhibited at IPF’99 by Nissei:

  • The HM7-C is Nissei’s small, variable-volume hydraulic version of its 7-ton wagon-mounted molding machine. It was demonstrated with a magnetic QMC system.

    Model FV9100 is a compact, 660-ton press. FV Series machines are targeted at North America. At IPF’99 it was mainly used to demonstrate a new, fully-integrated Nissei robot removing PP letter cases.

Nissei robots. Nissei surprised many showgoers at IPF’99 with its own new sprue pickers and parts removal robots (see photo). Tsukasa Yoda, Nissei’s executive director and president, explains the company’s more aggressive move into machine auxiliaries.

“Nissei wanted to propose the idea of building robots that are different from those of other suppliers, because many of the existing robots are too high for the low ceilings at many of our customers.”

Its robot control systems can be integrated into Nissei’s machine controllers. It intends to sell them in turnkey packages, and would prefer to sell them as stand-alone retrofits to existing Nissei machines. Nissei’s engineers can design special-purpose EOAT. Five models are available so far for presses up to 860 tons.

Nissei also demonstrated its NHW line of mold temperature controllers .

For more information:
Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. Ltd.
Sakaki-Machi, Nagano, Japan
Phone: +81 (268) 81-1070
Fax: +81 (268) 81-1098
Web: www.nisseijushi.co.jp

SHINWA SEIKOCO. LTD.A hydromechanical hybrid. Shinwa Seiki’s latest is its Eon Rheomaster series of hybrid presses, which will be made available in 50-, 100-, and 150-ton models (see photo). A 200-ton model may be ready by NPE 2000. Eon machines are equipped with the company’s latest platen-mounted MMI and controller, an all-electric injection unit, and a hydraulically assisted direct-drive clamp.

In the clamp, the ballscrew closes the moving platen, a pancake swings and locks into place, and the system is juiced with a little oil for pressure buildup. It uses only a small amount of oil and consumes little power. Shinwa Seiki sources say a 50-ton Eon consumes half the power of a 40-ton all-hydraulic press.

For more information:
Shinwa Seiki Co. Ltd.
Sakurai-Shi, Nara, Japan
Phone: +81 (744) 45-5565
Fax: +81 (744) 43-3865
Web: www.methodsmachine.com

SODICK PLASTECH CO. LTD.A tiebarless with tiebars. An energy saving a-c servomotor directly drives the moving platen through a large-diameter ballscrew in Sodick’s new clamping mechanism for its latest Tuparl EH series of hybrid presses (20 to 180 tons). The direct drive is engineered to provide even distribution of clamping force.

But what really sets Sodick’s electrified clamp apart is that the moving platen rides on machine-base guiding systems spanning the clamp area, rather than on the clamp’s tiebars. The guides provide near weightless, friction-free wear resistance to the clamping mechanism, while also providing less than .002 mm platen deflection, and excellent mold protection.

Kazuyoshi Taniguchi, manager, and Koichi Ogawa, vp, agree that Sodick intends to demonstrate its precision molding hybrid technology at NPE 2000. However, a new three-axis ram-EDM designated AQ35L (see photo) that Sodick introduced at IPF’99 will not be shown at the big show in Chicago.

Hybrid with two-stage injection. Sodick’s EH series of hybrid injection molding presses (20 to 180 tons) feature the company’s hybrid two-stage injection unit, designed to provide consistent stability in melt temperature, metering, and shot volume. An a-c servomotor drives the fixed screw in a plasticizing cylinder riding piggyback at an angle over the hydraulically powered plunger injection unit.

EH machines also feature Sodick’s direct-drive clamping mechanism, in which mold opening and closing are controlled by an a-c servomotor powering a ballscrew, and in which the moving platen rides on spanning guides, rather than the tiebars.

An accumulator-assisted 40-ton EH Model was demonstrated at IPF’99. It molded 70-mm-diameter polyolefin speaker cones that were only .11 mm thick, reaching its maximum injection speed of 1500 mm/sec in just .008 seconds.

For more information
Sodick Plastech Co. Ltd.
Kaga-city, Ishikawa, Japan
Phone: +81 (761) 72-0027
Fax: + 81 (761) 72-5422
Web: www.sodick.com

SUMITOMO HEAVY INDUSTRIES LTD.All-electric check ring option. Sumitomo has developed a newly patented SK control option for its SE-S Series all-electric machines. It is a check ring designed to deliver zero backflow after plasticizing for more accurate shot control with little or no wear. Positive sealing is built right in.

After plasticizing, the servodriven screw is programmed to rotate slightly counterclockwise very, very quickly. Grooves in the built-in sealing device behind the tip cover the flow paths, positively sealing off the shooter.

Sources say it will be particularly beneficial when running low viscosity materials, like polyolefins and LCPs.

All-electric micromolding and more. Sumitomo’s Model SE18S, an 18-ton addition to its SE-S family of all-electric molding machines, was used to demonstrate the shot volume control of the company's new SK control option and the machine's record-setting 25 ms response time in micromolding (see photo). It ran LCP .5-mm fine pitch connectors that weighed only .06g. The parts were run in four-cavity tooling at cycle times under 5 second.

Five of the eight machines Sumitomo had on display were SE-S all-electrics, including these others:

  • A 50-ton SE-S, also equipped with the SK control option, molded small .25g lenses in eight cavities out of a cyclo-olefin polymer from Nippon Zeon Co. Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan—Web: www.zeon.co.jp). Called Zeonex, this low-specific-gravity material features extremely low water absorption properties, so less drying is necessary. High heat resistance is another plus. A refractive index much better than PC and light transmissi

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