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August 23, 2008

3 Min Read
Tiny-tonnage tsunami hits Tokyo

NP_IPF_Toshiba_ac.jpg If you blinked while strolling around the International Plastics Fair (IPF 2002, Nov. 9-13, Tokyo, Japan) you might have missed seeing a really big trend in injection machines. You?re forgiven, though. This really big trend was in really small machines.
Other Japanese machinery OEMs are joining Nissei, their marketplace leader, in developing presses with less than 10 tons of clamping force. Such machines are being promoted for high-margin micromolding jobs and for lean integration into fully automated assembly systems. Don?t blink?here?s what was on show.
Fanuc Ltd., Yamanashi, Japan; www.fanuc.co.jp. Having shipped 14,000 all-electrics since 1984, Fanuc, the number one supplier of all-electrics in the world, introduced the Roboshot S-2000i5A at IPF 2002. It?s a 50-kN (5.5-ton) double toggle with a 14-mm-diameter screw and 145 by 145 mm between the bars. It costs ¥3 million ($24,700) and is equipped with a full-featured controller, a large parts-drop area, and a swiveling injection unit. The press ran mobile phone parts in a single-cavity mold.
The Japan Steel Works Ltd., Tokyo, Japan; www.jsw.co.jp. JSW?s prototype Model J7ELIII, a 7-metric-ton, all-electric toggle, features a two-stage injector with a preplasticating screw and plunger. It was demonstrated in a high-speed strip molding cell.
Niigata Plastics Machinery Co. Inc., Tokyo, Japan; www.niigata-eng.co.jp. Niigata?s entry is the Model MD5SL. Weighing in with 49 kN (roughly 5 tons) of clamping force, the machine features a touch-screen LCD controller, an inline 15-mm-diameter screw, and a lot of access under the clamp. It was equipped with a specially sized Harmo robot, demonstrating its easy incorporation into assembly lines.
Toshiba Machine Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan; www.toshiba-machine.co.jp. We previewed Toshiba?s new EC5 series of 5.5-tonners late last year (November 2002 IMM, p. 81). At IPF 2002 the company demonstrated the two models in the series running end to end. The EC5 S is tiebar-free, and the EC5 P is a four-tiebar model for high-precision jobs. The tiebars reportedly reduce any chance of platen deflection during nozzle touch.
Tsukishima Machine Sales Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan; www.tms-os.co.jp. Never heard of TMS? No harm, no foul. This is the Japanese rep for SMS Plastics Technology, better known in the U.S. as Battenfeld of America. TMS demonstrated Battenfeld?s Microsystem 50, an all-in-one, all-electric micromolding machine for the first time in Japan at IPF 2002.
Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. Ltd., Nagano, Japan; www.nisseijushi.co.jp. Nissei triggered the wave of Japanese-built ultracompacts with its full hydraulic, 7.7-ton HM7, first seen in the U.S. at NPE 1994 (August 1994 IMM, p. 16). Nissei followed up shortly thereafter with its wagon-mounted, all-in-one HM7-C and later with its all-electric HM7 Denkey, its all-vertical THM7, and its Elject AU3E, an all-electric 3-tonner. Its newest high-precision Model NP7-IF is a 69-kN (7-ton) full hydraulic. It?s economical (about ¥3.6 million, or $29,700) and ecologically friendly. It uses a nontoxic, biodegradable hydraulic fluid and comes equipped with a mist-prevention mechanism. It was demonstrated molding .4-mm, 80-pin LCP connectors (a .55g shot) in four-cavity tooling.?Carl Kirkland

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