rame decoration and electronic equipment in one – and in the adjacent cavity another component that has a dead-front design. At Fakuma (October 16 to 20, Hall A7, Booth 7303), KraussMaffei will show how far manufacturing integration can meanwhile go using the example of the all-electric PX 320-2000. The second exhibit, the new PX 25-55 SilcoSet, impresses with the micro-injection molding of liquid silicone (LSR).
Positive market for all-electric machines
“The market for all-electric injection molding machines is developing very positively, especially in Europe and the USA. Manufacturers appreciate the high precision and dynamics, as well as the low energy consumption. With the new PX series, KraussMaffei has set new standards regarding the precision and flexibility of the all-electric injection molding machines, with which we will continue this growth long-term,” said Dr. Hans Ulrich Golz, President of the Injection Molding Machinery segment of the KraussMaffei Group. With the new PX 320 and PX 25, KraussMaffei is expanding the clamping force range at both ends, and will present a complex application case of each at Fakuma.
PX 320: Decoration and function in one
With the PX 320, a single production step creates a complete ten-inch HMI display (human-machine interface) with integrated electronics, black decorative frame and scratch-proof coating. For this purpose, a six-axis robot inserts the IML film with printed conductor paths on the nozzle side. In addition, on the ejector side, an IMD film with single-image decor runs through the mold, transferring its paint with design layer and UV-hardening top coat to the component.
Beside the IMD film for the HMI display, another film runs through the mold and provides a second cavity with another decor. This is possible thanks to the IMD SI DUO film feed from the company Leonhard Kurz, which is the first worldwide to be able to position two single-image decors independently of each other with a hundredth of a millimeter accuracy, for which a patent is pending. “Our customers benefit from the use of multi-cavity molds, and can thus increase their output and flexibility in production,” explains Dr. Golz. The second decor presented at Fakuma shows dead-front surface aesthetics, which comes to life only with backlighting and then reveals operating symbols, for example.
As with the IMD SI DUO, the additional process is also completely integrated into the very compact manufacturing cell. On the conveyor belt, UV lamps ensure the hardening of the scratch-proof layer (at Fakuma, this function will be deactivated for safety reasons), followed by a laser station, which first removes flakes and flash and then cuts the sprue and provides a waste box. Industrial robots with sophisticated gripper technology operate in minimal space for this function. A cleanroom hood from the company Max Petek Reinraumtechnik above the clamping unit provides the technical cleanroom and ensures a dust-free mold chamber in order to prevent inclusions, which would render the components unusable.
A further advantage of the new PX 320 at Fakuma: The cell is a mobile unit and can be rapidly docked to other machines by means of mechanical fixture points. This increases flexibility in production, as the machines can be simply operated for components with or without IMD technology.
Smaller than ever: The new PX 25
The new little sister in the PX series, the PX 25, with its clamping force of only 250 kN, is aimed at articles with low shot weight, for example precision components for clocks, gears and gearbox elements. The Fakuma application will make it clear: A sealing ring made of liquid silicone (LSR) with an intricate undercut and a weight of only 0.15 g, in the field of micro-injection molding and requiring only 14 seconds cycle time. For this purpose, a new plasticizing process was developed with an only 12-mm-thin screw and complemented with a spring-loaded check valve. Below the cantilever clamping unit there is space for the necessary vacuum pump or similar peripherals.
Within the standard enclosure of the PX 25, the entire process including demolding and depositing of the component can be accommodated by means of a coherent automation solution. The SPX 10 sprue picker is suitable especially for low room heights (as in the cleanroom), as well as for demolding scenarios using a swiveling axis – even for multi-cavity applications. KraussMaffei Automation also contributed the intricate precision grippers, which are required for the removal of the tiny components.
In the context of Industry 4.0, visitors to the KraussMaffei booth will be able to observe the application using a HoloLens, which visualizes all the main set-up functions on the machine and the mold.
Other partners for the trade show exhibits are the companies Evonik and Dow Silicones (material), HB Therm and GWK (temperature control), Motan Colortronic and MiniMix ACH (metering technology), and Datronik (laser technology).
KraussMaffei at Fakuma
Hall A7, Booth 7303