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Plastec West 2017: enhancing high-volumes in single-unit batches

28.12.2016

Arburg will present the combination of injection moulding and additive manufacturing for the individualisation of high-volume parts in single-unit batches. An electric Allrounder, equipped with a Multilift Select linear robotic system, produces two-part iPhone cases on the Arburg stand 3925. In the next step, a Freeformer individualises the insert with a 3D logo according to customer wishes.

“At the Plastec West 2017, we will demonstrate how the combination of Allrounder-injection moulding machine and Freeformer can be personalised with customer wishes and cost-effectively integrated in the value-added chain for the additive manufacturing of high-volume parts in individualised production,” explains Friedrich Kanz, Managing Director of Arburg USA. “Especially interesting for the US market are also the new Allrounders of the Golden Electric entry-level machine series, because they provide a cost-effective entry into electric moulded part production.”

 

Automated high-volume production of iPhone cases

The precise manufacturing of technical quality components will be demonstrated by Arburg at the Plastec West 2017 using the example of iPhone cases: an electric Allrounder 520 E with a clamping force of 1,500 kN (16 US tons) and a size 290 (6.1 oz) injection unit produces the two-part cases made from PC on a 1+1 cavity family mould in a cycle time of around 25 seconds. The moulded part weight is about 17 grams. A vertically-operating Multilift Select robotic system with servo-electric drives performs part handling. The automation solution comprises not only the machine and the robotic system, but is also supplied as a complete production unit including safety enclosure with electrical connections and conveyor belt. The Multilift Select is completely integrated in the Selogica machine control system. For the operator this means: only one data set, a familiar approach during programming and perfect synchronisation of robotic system and machine.

 

Individualisation in single-unit batches

The injection-moulded iPhone cases can be individualised by additive manufacturing in a next step. The visitor creates an individualised logo for that first on a tablet PC. The data is recorded digitally and forwarded directly to the second exhibit, a Freeformer. The additive manufacturing system then applies the Arburg logo and the desired 3D logo made from ABS. Depending on the number of characters, this can take around three to four minutes.

 

Freeformer for industrial additive manufacturing

The Freeformer and Arburg Plastic Freeforming (APF) are designed for a broad application range in industrial additive manufacturing. The system, which works with inexpensive, qualified standard granulates, continues to be developed on an ongoing and practical basis. The focus is on qualifying further materials. The Freeformer is equipped with two discharge units as standard. This enables it to process an additional part in order, for example, to manufacture a functional component in different colours, with special tactile qualities or as a hard/soft combination. Alternatively, it can be used to build structures from a water-soluble support material, enabling complex part geometries to be realised. After the support structures have been removed in hot water, the parts can be used as design prototypes, for example, or for functional and assembly tests. The build chamber offers space for parts with maximum dimensions of 154 x 134 x 230 millimetres. For customers that want to enter into industrial additive manufacturing with the Freeformer, Arburg Inc. has installed its own Freeformer laboratory at its headquarters in Rocky Hill.

 

New entry-level Allrounder Golden Electric series

With the Golden Electric, Edrive and Alldrive series, Arburg now offers a wide range of electric Allrounders – from the entry-level model to high-performance machines. Allrounder Golden Electric has been available since the spring of 2016 in four machine sizes with clamping forces from 600 to 2,000 kN (66 to 220 US tons).

The double five-point toggle system ensures fast, high-performance cycles. The play-free spindle drives operate with high precision. The position-regulated screw ensures high moulded part quality.

The new electric entry-level machine series also features liquid-cooled motors, direct drive and servo inverters. Moreover, it offers benefits in terms of energy efficiency, short dry cycle times and high reproducibility. Compared to hydraulic standard machines, the high efficiency of the servo motors, continuous power adaptation and energy recovery during braking achieve energy savings of up to 55 percent. The machines are also easy to maintain thanks to swivelling injection units, plug-in cylinder modules and further optimized lubrication and cooling.

 

 

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