Engel Tri-Component Drip Chamber.Each chamber comprises an ABS and a TPE component injection moulded in a single work step; the filter is mounted and joined by means of overmoulding with polypropylene.
After announcing record turnover of €950 mn and 14% growth during its 2012/13 financial year, Austrian injection moulding machine maker Engel have delivered an impressive list of exhibits for this year's K show in Düsseldorf, Germany, on October 16-23.
The family-run company will present 25 machines at the plastics industry's leading trade show, including dedicated medical clean room manufacturing cells. Two of the 25 exhibits (in non-medical) will be brand new machines—the Engel e-speed and the e-motion 30 TL.
The e-speed is a 650-tonne hybrid machine which achieves up to 800 mm/s injection speed available in screw diameters of 80 and 90.
The new e-motion is a small all electric tie-bar-less 30-tonne compact machine. The machine is equipped with an injection unit which delivers a speed of 800 mm/s. A choice of three barrel diameters come as standard—D15, D18 and D20.
According to the press release, the most striking innovation here is a new kind of "intelligent frame concept in place of the double machine frame". Engel say this guarantees very high platen parallelism together with an even distribution of clamping force across the entire mould fixing platen. The sealed three-point toggle lever with maintenance-free crank mechanism works with a servomotor to facilitate very short dry cycles of well under one second.
In medical, visitors to K will be able to see the following two manufacturing demonstrations.
Tri-component drip chamber with filter in a single step
Pitched as a world premiere, Engel will show how drip chambers for blood transfusions, with an integrated filter, will be produced using an Engel e-victory 310H/80W/50V 160 combi tri-component injection moulding machine with ecodrive and a cleanroom design. Each chamber comprises an ABS and a TPE component injection moulded in a single work step; the filter is mounted and joined by means of overmoulding with polypropylene. This unprecedented level of integration significantly improves efficiency in the manufacturing of multi-component hollow bodies with inlays and will revolutionise not only manufacturing practices in the medical engineering sector but also, for example, the production of fuel filters. Conventionally, the two hollow body components are individually injection moulded; the inlay is then fitted and bonded in subsequent process steps.
One key prerequisite in realising the integrated process is servoelectric drive technology for all movements of the index plate mould; this facilitates the synchronous control of mutually independent movements. For this application, the mould production partner is Hack Formenbau of Kirchheim in Germany. The precision platen parallelism setting on the tie-bar-less injection moulding machine ensures a high level of mould protection. As clamping force builds up, the platen parallelism is automatically adapted to the mould parallelism. Platen parallelism is guaranteed, even where moulds are heavy, thanks to prestressing by the patented FlexLink system and the support of the solid C-frame.
An Engel easix multi-axis robot is also integrated in the manufacturing cell along with a system for total quality control. The drip chambers are inspected for seal tightness directly after injection moulding.
All electric e-motion 440/220 T and 96-cavity mould
Larger moulds, higher throughput ... the productivity demands on manufacturing processes are rising all the time. The medical engineering sector in particular has no room for compromise when it comes to process stability and the quality of parts. For this reason, Engel has consistently developed its all-electric series of Engel e-motion injection moulding machines for high performance applications even in the high clamping force ranges. Working with the automation specialist Hekuma (of Eching in Germany) and mould manufacturer Braunform (of Bahlingen, also in Germany), Engel will feature a highly automated manufacturing cell for making needle holders for insulin pens—and thereby demonstrate process reliability that is hard to beat. The cores of the 96-cavity mould have a diameter of just 0.3 mm. To counter deformation of cores effectively, the premium version of the electric injection unit is equipped with a direct drive. Highly dynamic injection movements and injection speeds of up to 500 mm/s are thereby attained. A camera-based monitoring system instantly identifies any problems with parts. Thanks to cavity specific handling, reject parts are automatically separated and the injection mould can carry on producing without deactivating the cavity. The all-electric Engel e-motion 440/220 T achieves cycle times of around five seconds despite the delicate mould cores.