Published On: Tue, Dec 13th, 2011

Arburg develops stainless steel clamping for medical

A new Arburg injection molding machine features a fully encapsulated stainless steel clamping unit that can be cleaned quickly and

effectively. It meets clean room requirements of ISO classes 5 to 7.

The machine is aimed directly at the fast-growing medical market which puts a premium on clean operations. One of the new machines will be shown in a clean room from Ionstatex at Medtec Europe, which will be held in Stuttgart in March. The electric Allrounder 520 A has a clamping force of 1,500 kN (153 tonnes) and operates with a size 400 clamping unit.

The 16-cavity mold used in the demonstration is provided by Ernst Rittinghaus and is used to produce dosage chambers for laboratory analyses. The chambers or “collecting tubes” are made from medical-quality polypropylene and have a molded part weight of 1.06 grams. Cycle time is 5.8 seconds.

Special hot runner

A hot runner from Günther Heißkanaltechnik used in the machine features needle shut-off nozzles that are electrically driven by a linear servo-motor. The advantages over pneumatic systems include precision, reduced energy requirements and cleanliness.

The electric Allrounder 520 A meets the hygiene requirements in accordance with ISO 13485, as well as the specifications of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices).

Arburg says it is the only manufacturer that provides an encapsulated stainless steel clamping unit.

Rapid cleaning

The stainless steel surfaces can be cleaned quickly and are resistant to aggressive agents commonly used during sterilization. The raised machine base, which is covered on the injection side, as well as the nickel-coated mounting platens with covered holes are also described as helpful in terms of cleaning. One benefit is reduced downtime.

The clean-room module with air ionization above the machine’s clamping unit ensures that the air in the work area is kept particulate free. Arburg says the module generates a high level of air circulation via a pre-filter and HEPA filter, as well as neutralizing electrically charged molded parts. Liquid-cooled drives and control cabinets are standard at Arburg and also aid low-emission production.

FDA/NSF H1-compliant lubricants are used.


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