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June 28, 2000
2 Min Read
What will an injection molding machine look like in 15 years? One manufacturer, Mir SpA of Brescia, Italy, envisioned the molding machine of the future, specifically at the company's 50th anniversary in 2017. They put some of their ideas into what they call the Mother Project, shown here. Magnetically activated platens, laser injection, supermotors, fiber optics, and a voice/visual control system worn by an operator anywhere in the plantâ€”these are some of the concepts. Mir calls this an engineering study, much like a concept car at an auto show. It provides a platform to further stimulate engineering creativity. The company is also looking for molder feedback ([email protected]). Is any or all of this feasible? Mir notes that all of these technologies exist at some level in various business sectors. Applying them economically to increase the quality, productivity, and flexibility of injection molding is what must come next. Electric machines, Mir says, are not the final goal.
Mir's machine of the future uses a magnetic locking system to generate uniform clamp pressure. The press also has antimagnetic protective screens to maintain safety.
Kiss the screw good-bye. This machine uses a laser injection system to bring material to an "unthinkable fluidity," making thorough filling a breeze.
The machine's fiber optics are integrated into every aspect of the press and interface with the controller (see right). Even system failures can be predicted before they occur.
The operator uses voice commands via a wireless helmet control system to direct machine functions. All production data is displayed for easy viewing on the flat screen monitor.
Submissions to Parting Shots are welcome. If you have a favorite sign, saying, quote, or part that is used in this section, we'll send you a check for $25. For our What Is It? series, be sure to identify the part, material, manufacturer, and function. We're also looking for stories about molding ingenuity. Send your submission ideas to Karen Wood, managing editor, fax (303) 321-3552, or e-mail [email protected].
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