• A real hit: overarching topic of “production effi-ciency”
• Future trends: innovations in machine and appli-cations sector
• Crowd puller: Arburg stand with ten exhibits cov-ering 1,300 m²
Lossburg. This year’s appearance at the Fakuma trade fair in Friedrichshafen was a success for Arburg and demonstrated that the company’s focus on the over-arching topic of “production efficiency” was spot on. The two-storey, 1,300 m² exhibition stand was ex-tremely well frequented on all the days and the inter-national trade visitors were highly impressed with the ten innovative exhibits and applications.
Interest was particularly keen with regard to innovations for the machine and applications sector. These demonstrated how moulded parts can be produced even more effi-ciently in the future, as well as new possibilities in product development, e.g. for the booming light con-struction and electric mobility sectors.
For Arburg, the Fakuma in Friedrichshafen is the most important trade fair in Europe in the years between the K show in Düsseldorf, as it provides an excellent forum for presenting innovations to the international trade experts, maintaining existing customer contacts and establishing new ones. These expectations were comprehensively met and Arburg was highly satisfied with the Fakuma 2012. The mood among the visitors was optimistic, but with some reservations regarding future expectations.
A suitable solution for all customers
At the Fakuma, the trend towards ever-greater interna-tionalisation has continued. For example, Arburg wel-comed more guests than ever from overseas, including customers from e.g. Brazil or Singapore. New contacts were made, primarily from the packaging sector. The two-storey stand was very busy on all the days during the trade fair. In addition to the presentations and information, the customary intensive personal discussions held at the Fakuma predominated. In order to provide individual sup-port to all the domestic and international visitors, an aver-age of around 150 Arburg employees were deployed on each day at the exhibition stand.
The company, one of the co-founders of the successful Friedrichshafen fair, was once again the largest exhibitor in attendance, with a stand measuring around 1,300 m². Moreover, a large number of Allrounder injection moulding machines were also to be found at other locations throughout the Fakuma. With more than 20 exhibits and a wide variety of different applications at the Arburg stand and others, the high performance and extensive application range of the Allrounder injection moulding machines were demonstrated very impressively. The application spectrum comprised, for example, multi-component technology, the processing of liquid silicone (LSR) and solid silicone (HTV), Particle-foam Composite Injection Moulding (PCIM), long-fibre direct injection moulding, powder injection moulding, packaging, medical technology and optical applications, as well as the overmoulding of inserts, also using the hotmelt process.
Great customer interest in production efficiency
Arburg has been spot on in emphasising the overarching topic of “production efficiency” as a further development of “energy efficiency”, as the customer feedback confirmed. When it comes to identifying and exploiting all the potential for enhancing efficiency, the entire value-added chain must be taken into account. Consequently, the advantages of each exhibit in terms of production efficiency was explicitly demonstrated. During development of the innovations presented in Friedrichshafen, the objective was always to increase the cost-effectiveness of moulded part production.
In the machine sector, these include the new 630 A size for the electric Alldrive machine series, the productivity package for the hydraulic Golden Edition series and the servo-hydraulic drive concept for the large Allrounder S. The fact that the company’s innovation capabilities extend far beyond the machines alone was demonstrated by world innovations in the applications and process sector, which Arburg has developed in co-operation with partners: Iong-fibre direct injection moulding, Particle-foam Injection Moulding and inline printing.
Innovations in the machine sector enhance efficiency
With the Allrounder 630 A, featuring a clamping force of 2,500 kN and a size 1300 injection unit, the electric ma-chine series has been rendered even more comprehen-sive in terms of clamping force and performance. This makes it possible to precisely tailor the machine to the application, which is a major factor in the efficient produc-tion of moulded parts. With the productivity package, the efficiency of the hydraulic Allrounder Golden Edition machine series can be increased. This package comprises the Arburg energy-saving system (AES) with variable speed pump drive and a water-cooled drive motor. The advantages here are a reduction in energy requirements by up to 20 percent, five percent shorter dry run times and minimised emissions.
The large hydraulic Allrounder S machine with a clamping force of 2,500 to 5,000 kN enables energy savings of up to 50 percent compared to previous-generation machines when using the servo hydraulic drive concept. Further benefits include minimal machine cooling and low noise levels.
New processes demonstrate potential for increasing efficiency
In terms of cost-effectiveness, the subject of lightweight construction is growing in importance, explaining why Arburg presented two relevant innovative applications. The new “long-fibre direct injection moulding” process developed together with Süddeutsches Kunststoff-Zentrum SKZ in Würzburg, allows inline feeding of the fibres and melt, enabling longer fibres than ever before to be processed, so that e.g. even lighter injection moulded parts with thin walls and high strength can be produced. Further advantages of this process are that the fibre length, fibre content and material combination can be individually influenced.
Particle-foam Composite Injection Moulding (PCIM) is a joint project with Krallmann and Ruch Novaplast in which a foamed component is combined with polymer for the first time using the injection moulding process. The two components are bonded together, so that there is no need for subsequent assembly steps and a finished part is pro-duced in a single step. This production of composite parts made from particle foam and injection moulded plastic opens up completely new options in the fields of electric mobility, lightweight construction and insulation.
This represents a further example of how production effi-ciency is being enhanced through product design and process integration is the production cell with inline print-ing system. The so-called Inkbot process from FPT Ro-botik combines digital printing and robotics and enables parts with irregular geometries and curves to be printed. This means that individualised moulded parts can be pro-duced fully automatically in a single step. The integrated finishing process for the plastic parts means that injection moulders can increase their added value and respond quickly to new demands with regard to decorative re-quirements, thus achieving a competitive edge.