Intelligent Solutions for a Sustainable Future

Schwertberg, Austria – March 2022
Technology competence, digitalisation, sustainability – these are the three success factors with which ENGEL solves the toughest challenges in injection moulding. The Austrian injection moulding machine manufacturer and system solution provider with its own production facility in Shanghai is bringing four applications to Chinaplas 2022 from 25 to 28 April.

Featuring two exciting applications on e-mac injection moulding machines, ENGEL is demonstrating the amazing sustainability and precision potential of its all-electric drive technology during the four days of the trade fair.

“The demand for all-electric machines is growing, also for applications where hydraulic or hybrid machines have been used previously”, as Gero Willmeroth, President East Asia and Oceania at ENGEL reports. “There are three main arguments in favour of electric drive technology: precision, total cost of ownership over the entire machine service life including maintenance and energy consumption, and sustainability, that is, the smallest possible CO2 footprint.”

All-electric for great overall efficiency
Ecology and economy need to go hand in hand; this is clarified by the two applications in Shanghai. Barrels for 1-ml syringes made of polypropylene in a 32-cavity mould by Liankai are being produced on an e-mac 465/180. Another e-mac 465/180 is demonstrating an LSR application, by manufacturing seals in a 128-cavity mould. The partner for mould-making and the LSR metering technology in this application is Nexus.

Among the all-electric injection moulding machines on the market, the new generation e-mac machines are some of the most compact worldwide. For example, the 180-tonne machines on show in Shanghai are 450 mm shorter than the previous 180-tonne version, without reducing the opening stroke, thanks to their optimised toggle lever geometry. The result is aboost in productivity per unit of area, which is an important gage of efficiency in many operations. All movements of the ENGEL e-mac – including the nozzle movement and ejection – are performed by servo-electric drives. This means that the machine achieves very high overall
efficiency. If required, a servo-hydraulic unit can be integrated into the machine frame without requiring additional space.
The ENGEL e-mac injection moulding machines combine precision with efficiency and are the most cost effective solution for many applications in the field of all-electric injection moulding machines and applications with cycle times of more than four seconds.

They are deployed in a wide range of applications, from medical technologies, through technical moulding, to packaging and to teletronics.

Smart assistance for high process consistency
Whether for headlamps, front panels with integrated sensors or displays, whether in the vehicle interior or on the exterior, applications with transparent materials, for which the most exacting optical requirements apply, are increasing. With a wide spectrum of technologies and a wealth of experience with the optimelt and glazemelt technologies, ENGEL develops
production solutions which are a perfect fit for all types of transparent parts. At the trade fair, ENGEL is demonstrating what this can look like in practical terms by manufacturing polycarbonate outer lenses for vehicle headlamps on an ENGEL duo 5160/800 injection moulding machine with an integrated ENGEL easix articulated robot. With a wall thickness of 1.8 mm and a length of more than 800 mm, the part poses strict requirements in terms of reproduction of surface detail. Smart assistance systems from the ENGEL inject 4.0 program supplement the great precision of the duo machine’s movements. While iQ weight control keeps the injected melt volume consistent from shot to shot, iQ clamp control determines the optimum clamping force for the mould in order to avoid burn marks and flash. The integrated easix robot offers great flexibility for the integration of downstream process
units, such as quality control or assembly systems. The fact that the ENGEL robot’s control unit is fully integrated in the CC300 control unit of the injection moulding machine makes using articulated robots particularly easy. The complete production cell offers a uniform control logic.

The robot and machine access the same database and can precisely coordinate their motion sequences. This reduces the handling time in many applications. New process technology for high optical purity LEDs are becoming more and more versatile in their use in vehicles, increasingly being added as distinctive design elements. The level of variation in their shape is growing accordingly,
creating new challenges for optical fibre manufacturers. ENGEL has developed a new plasticising process specifically for PMMA processing to ensure high luminous efficiency, also for use cases involving complex geometries and long structures. The principle of starve-feeding is decisive from a technological standpoint. It allows the plasticising screw to be only partially filled with pellets in the intake zone, which in turn reduces the shear load of the melt. In this way, the melt homogeneity and purity can be improved.
ENGEL is demonstrating the huge potential of the new processing technology by produced light guides of different lengths and curvatures in a family mould by Oerlikon hrsflow on an ENGEL victory 320/120 injection moulding machine with an integrated ENGEL viper 20 linear robot. The ENGEL victory machine with its tie-bar-less clamping unit ensures high overall efficiency here. Thanks to tie-bar-less technology, the large family mould fits on a relatively small injection moulding machine. The robot can reach the cavities directly from the side without needing to working around interfering edges, which keeps the handling time short.

ENGEL at Chinaplas 2022: Hall 5.1, stand B48

Chinaplas 2022 website

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Online support for a high degree of machine availability
All four production cells at the stand are equipped with e-connect.24, ENGEL’s online support and remote maintenance tool, and connected to the same network. All of the production cells can be monitored and controlled via a central monitor at the stand. In daily production, the tool is used to enable ENGEL service staff to connect to the injection moulding machine from an external location to be able to respond without losing time in support cases, for example. The screen pages of the machine control unit are mirrored via the internet on a computer that can be several thousand kilometres away. The current state of the machine is reflected at all times. As a result, the machine operators on the ground and external support staff can see the same settings and production data and can consult and guide each other. The manufacturing cell can even be controlled remotely when necessary. Thanks to this range of options, e-connect.24 ensures very high machine availability and delivery capability, also in times of crisis such as those experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In the past two years, in which options for on-site service calls have been limited, many customers have made intensive use of e-connect.24”, says Willmeroth. “Not only in service cases, but also in the scope of on-going projects. Virtual collaboration with econnect.24 has enabled us, for example, to successfully conclude process optimisation projects started before the pandemic broke out without any loss of time.” Live on site and virtual at the same time Personal contacts always have been and always will be important – as was confirmed by the first face-to-face events after two whole years of the Corona pandemic. Even though the pandemic has shown in the past few months that digital formats work very well, and even offer advantages in certain areas. The future is hybrid – ENGEL is convinced of this and has established a virtual showroom for this reason. More than 20 machine exhibits with many challenging applications are waiting to be explored in the virtual showroom. At Chinaplas, ENGEL is building a bridge between the physical and virtual trade fair world. Trade visitors can use large touchscreens to access the virtual exhibits. “This means that, in Shanghai, we are exhibiting the widest range of applications, machines and system solutions that we have ever shown at Chinaplas,” says Gero Willmeroth.

ENGEL at Chinaplas 2022: Hall 5.1, stand B48