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Demag's IntElect series injection molding machine for medical applications showcased at Interplas 2011

Demag Hamilton Ltd, a subsidiary company of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag importing injection molding machines to the UK market, presented

an all-electric cleanroom injection molding system, the IntElect series, for medical micro components at the recently concluded Interplas trade fair in Birmingham.

As the smallest model of the IntElect series, an IntElect 50-45 with a clamping force of 500kN was seen producing control knobs with a diameter of 3.5mm made of polyacetal (POM) for hearing aid devices in a cycle time of 10 seconds at Interplas.

These moldings, weighing a mere 10mg and having a shot weight of only 280mg, require high quality and absolute reproducibility. The IntElect machines, with their precise and sensitive drives and automation integrated in the machine, satisfy these specific requirements with zero-defect production, Demag stated.

Sumitomo (SHI) Demag have designed and developed this production cell in a joint effort with several partners. The four-cavity cold runner mold with a tunnel gate was designed and built by Stamm AG of Hallau, Switzerland. This established mold making and injection molding contractor specializes in the production of particularly challenging micro moldings from a wide variety of different plastic materials and uses a number of machines supplied by Sumitomo (SHI) Demag.

The cell, built according to cleanroom standards, and the laminar flow unit above the production system have been made by Max Petek Reinraumtechnik of Radolfzell, Germany. The filter fan unit (FFU) of the laminar flow unit purifies the air brought in from the outside, and provides a constant laminar air flow above the mold mounting space of the machine, which guarantees a cleanroom class ISO 7 production environment, and prevents particles from entering, according to the press release.

MAi GmbH & Co KG of Küps, Germany, a specialist in automation solutions, integrated the six-axis robot from Yaskawa Europe GmbH into the injection molding machine, whose guarding is extended by only 200mm on the non-operator side. This robot is suspended on the stationary platen. Demag said this design and configuration keeps the cell compact, the mass to be moved low and the robot’s strokes short. It also ensures that the susceptible moldings are far less likely to become contaminated during unloading, inspection and packaging. The control knobs are subjected to a complete, fully automatic visual inspection within the cleanroom production cell.

With the IntElect smart, its NC5 control system and its broad catalogue of options, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag offers injection molders a flexible and economical machine, selected from the modular system of its electric machine range. Owing to its many features, the IntElect 50 is equipped to produce medical plastic components, even in its basic configuration.

It features large tie bar clearances, linear guidance for maximum platen parallelism, outstanding reproducibility and process capabilities as well as high levels of reliability and availability. These features are the basis for the zero-defect production of precision moldings for medical and medical engineering applications. The comprehensive preparation of the machine for special options makes it particularly flexible for customized applications, said the company.

The IntElect 50-45 showcased at Interplas trade fair was fitted with a 14mm screw for plasticization of small volumes of material for low shot weights. The patented activeLock non-return valve is designed to prevent any material back flow over the screw tip, by mechanically closing the valve, using a brief counter rotation of the screw prior to injection. In this way, it guarantees a precise and consistent shot volume over a large number of cycles, stated Demag.

The company also said this delivers high levels of process consistency, and guarantees high product quality, especially for precision moldings with very low shot weights, such as the hearing aid device component. Combining the comprehensive monitoring of closing force during mold movement and the fast NC5 machine control system, the highly sensitive activeQ mold protection system is designed to effectively protect the, often expensive, mold against wear or damage.

Sumitomo (SHI) Demag produces the IntElect smart at its center of excellence for electric machine technology in Wiehe in Thuringia, Germany. The IntElect smart is available in eight clamping forces of between 500kN and 4,500kN.


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