K 2013 Report Part 4


Automated inspection for plastic tube extrusion

Hall 10 | Booth E19

Beta LaserMike’s range for online and offline measuring systems (photo: Beta LaserMike)

Beta LaserMike showcases its UltraScan measurement system for plastics and rubber manufacturing applications. The system provides non-contact precision measurement of product wall thickness, eccentricity, diameter and ovality. UltraScan is used across a broad range of industries in a variety of plastic pipe and tube applications. It is capable of measuring products with wall thicknesses down to 25µm (0.001in) on tubes as small as 250µm (0.010in) and larger products with diameters up to 660mm (26.0in). For example, this on-line gauge is said to provide high-precision measurements for medical tube, automotive tube, heat-shrink tube and other industrial tube applications. It uses multiple transducers to continuously monitor tube wall dimensions. The patented “Snap Technology” tracks tolerances to catch wall variations, and provides higher accuracy of average wall and concentricity measurements. This gives the manufacturers the ability to immediately make process adjustments to avoid scrap and ensure quality results.

The company will also exhibit the latest AccuScan 5000 series of high-speed diameter and ovality gauges. These dual-axis gauges capture measurements at a rate of 2,400 samples per second per axis and can measure outer diameters (ODs) up to 80mm (3.15in). AccuScan gauges can reliably measure transparent, translucent and opaque products.

Also on display is the company’s LaserSpeed non-contact gauge for measuring the length and speed of products. This measurement solution delivers better than +/-0.02% repeatable accuracy, making it an alternative to error-prone, high-maintenance contact tachometers. The latest version of this gauge, the LaserSpeed 9000, detects both forward and reverse directions as well as zero speed (non-moving product).

For off-line sample and cut part inspection, Beta LaserMike presents its BenchMike system for Quality Control (QC) and plant floor environments. This bench-top system gives operators a simple system for measuring product samples and immediately knowing whether they meet specifications within tolerances of less than 1µm (0.000040in).


Dual cells ensure precise weighing

Hall 10 | Booth A21

The Graviko GK 65 gravimetric dosing and mixing device in the Koch modular system. For rapid material changes, the user can move, swivel away or fold up all device components – directly on the machine and without the need for tools. (photo: Koch-Technik)

Werner Koch Maschinentechnik (“Koch-Technik”) will showcase the further development of the patented Graviko range, a gravimetric dosing and mixing system dosing material for injection moulding, extrusion and blow moulding. Depending on the Graviko device type, material throughputs of 3kg to 2000kg/h are possible.

The recently unveiled GK 65 is the latest addition to the series of gravimetric dosing products and provides a throughput of up to 70kg of plastic an hour. Alongside the main component, the basic version weighs up to three volumetrically added material components in its internal, vibration-free weighing container. This is the first Graviko product which has two synchronous precision load cells to further improve the precision of the weighing process. Every filling is weighed one hundred times in succession. The dual weighing unit registers the values and transfers them to the Koch control unit. This in turn compensates for fluctuations until the dosing recipe is reached accurately. Once all values match, the dosed batch is emptied into the mixer below. Here a horizontal agitator homogenises the mixture before it is processed in the subsequent shaping process.

Due to the company’s modular system, the user can move, swivel away or fold up all device components for rapid material changes, quickly and without the need for tools. The gravimetric devices are used directly on the processing machine or as accompanying dosing and mixing stations.

The Mcm-g Touch control unit from Koch-Technik is used to calculate and control the dosage values as stated in the recipe. Once the recipe has been entered, dosing takes place starting with the first cycle without the need for calibration. There are options for saving programs and recipes, a ground material program, FTP server and control for the hopper loader and blower which makes the Graviko series independent of a centrally created material conveyance if required.


Multifunctional pulse-cooling system

Hall 11 | Booth G63

Manifolds of the PulseTemp temperature controller (photo: Hahn Enersave)

The chiller and temperature control systems manufacturer Hahn Enersave, Germany, will present an overview of its product range. The presentation focuses on the PulsTemp multi-circuit temperature control system and the potential energy savings with the high efficiency chiller.

The PulseTemp temperature control combines different tempering systems in one, thus offering the option of both the classic operation mode “continuous tempering” as well as the “impulse-tempering”-mode, which is said to offer a potential for shortening the cooling time of up to 30%. The ability to work with two different primary temperature levels (hot and cold), is another feature, that contributes to process optimisation.

The PulseTemp series is available in three models for media temperatures of up to 180°C. As a novelty, the PulseTemp 100 dynamic will be presented which was specifically designed for applications that require a dynamic thermoregulation. Depending on the particular phase of the injection moulding cycle the unit switches alternating between two different media temperatures (hot and cold). The result is a much later freezing of the flow front, and thus a reduction or even the elimination of the visible weld lines.

The company will also introduce the new SmartTemp temperature controller line which is technically positioned and priced below the existing ProTemp-series and include all common standard features for basic models with a heating capacity in the range of 6 to 9kW. And for the first time the company will show its products of high capacity refrigeration plants with cooling capacities up to 1,000kW.


Plasma installations and demonstrations

Hall 11 | Booth G4

The plasma Openair process selectively cleans and simultaneously activates the plastic surface in a single operation (photo: Plasmatreat)

Plasmatreat will be staging its latest plasma systems and developments for the environmentally friendly pretreatment of material surfaces. Furthermore the company will also demonstrate its Openair plasma technology live throughout the entire K. On their joint 160m² exhibition stand, Plasmatreat and its system partner and foam technology specialist CeraCon will use a new out-of-the-box robotic cell to demonstrate how a strong bond can be achieved between nonpolar polypropylene (PP) and 1-K polyurethane (PU) foam simply with the aid of plasma. In addition, atmospheric plasma treatments followed by subsequent coating and bonding applications will be conducted manually throughout each day in a dedicated “plasma demo corner”.

This year, Plasmatreat will focus on five particular fields of application: The latest Openair plasma system has been designed to pretreat EPDM profiles of varying size in a fully automated production process. Prior to digital printing or coating, large panels or lightweight boards can now be pretreated using the world’s first 180cm-wide atmospheric plasma system. The high contour precision treatment of geometrically complex headlamp housings will be used to demonstrate how the fully automated, integrated surface analysis tool delivers surface treatment results during the plasma process. “Plasma & Powder” will highlight the environmentally friendly and rapid fine powder coating (FPC) plasma process for creating functional plastic metallised surfaces. The company will also be introducing for the first time at a German trade show a product range which uses low-pressure plasma technology to modify and functionalise polymer surfaces. Aurora was developed jointly with 4th State, USA and has been marketed in North America for the past two years.


Pre-loaded ultrasonic unit saves time in automation

Hall 11 | Booth E26

Ultrasonic robot application (photo: Herrmann Ultraschalltechnik)

Herrmann Ultraschall will showcase its range of ultrasonic welding systems for the welding of thermoplastic parts and will show how pre-loaded ultrasonic units can save time in automation.

Leightweight compact ultrasonic actuators can be easily mounted on robot arms and are thus well suited for fast and low-energy joining of plastic parts, according to the company. Pre-loading the pneumatic cylinder of the actuator saves time, up to 1s per weld spot. This is particularly noticeable in applications with many weld spots. Pre-loading means that the cylinder has already been extended via an intelligent pneumatic system when the weld tool gets in contact with the material so that the machine can immediately start the welding process. This results in time savings. For example, the joining of acoustic foam for an engine compartment with up to 20 weld spots is increasingly realised by means of robots. In this case, time savings may amount to as many as 20s.  

It is also possible to use several ultrasonic welding systems within automation lines, commonly referred to as multi-head applications. Herrmann Ultraschall has specially developed the VE Slimline product range for automation. The machines are available with frequencies of 20, 30, and 35kHz and with outputs of up to 6,200W. The 35kHz VE Compactline, which is even smaller, is mostly used for robot applications. In addition, the company supplies the new HiQ control concepts that can be adapted to the complexities of the various joining applications.

The high processing speed of ultrasonic welding makes it attractive for mass production despite higher initial investment. During the process, the ultrasonic vibrations that are generated from electrical voltage precisely melt the plastic at defined joining points and create a homogeneous bonding. Cycle times of up to 60 cycles per minute can be realized, depending on the required weld times between 200 and 800ms. The cold weld tools do not require a heat-up phase and are ready for operation at any time without the need of maintaining a certain temperature level.


Automated inline quality control of profiles

Hall 11 | Booth E14

ProfilControl PC6 DualHead checks profiles with maximum cross-sections of 70mm and at product speeds of up to 60m/min. (photo: Pixargus)

Pixargus employs the features of the ProfilControl PC 6 system also in its DualHead system for integrated optical profile inspection. In addition to the PC 6 system for surface inspection, the DualHead solution includes the PCDX system for dimensional measurements. During surface inspection, whenever a product changes, the PC 6 automatic head positioning (AHP) system automatically adjusts each of the six camera positions to the new profile. This ensures that the system always captures the complete surface, even if the profile shapes are complex. By adopting the AHP feature to the inspection system, the system is easier to use and eliminates possible sources of error, by relieving the operator from his task of having to readjust the cameras whenever the profile shape changes. At the same time, it guarantees reproducibility of the system settings.

The system provides real-time detection and classification of surface defects such as inclusions, grooves, scratches or flaws in the texture, like missing flocking. As soon as a system detects a defect, it triggers a graphic display of the defect and a signal, which may be used to mark out-of-spec sections of the profiles or control downstream cutting and sorting equipment.The system comes with a new function: the drill hole inspection, which has become indespensible for many users producing car door seals suitable for being installed in an automated assembling process. The PC6 unit checks whether all required drill holes are in the right place. This guarantees that the door sealing profiles can be installed without problems.


Technology for injection moulding of large containers

Hall 12 | Booth E49-5

That mould construction consists of a minimum of platens and components and allows for a minimum shut height and cross section.(photo: Haidlmair Tool)

Haidlmair Tool has commissioned production capacities for extra large parts and the assembly of extra large injection moulds. Thus, the mould making options cover the entire size range from the slip box to large waste bins with a mould weight up to 120t. Main feature of the injection moulds are the compact size combined wth maximum stability. The compactness results from a mould design with an innovative power distribution within the mould system. Central principle is the indentation of the container exterior through a four-side core system with the separation lines along the container corners. The outer side cores are located on the fixed mould side and are locked within the mould assembly on both sides in a tapered holding frame with wedge-shaped cross-section, where they are simultaneously centered and fixed. With that system a high percentage of the lateral pressure applied on the side cores is transmitted to the adjacent mould structure.

The larger proportion by weight, for instance, injection runner and the side core system are on the fixed mould side. Thus, only the lighter core side needs to be moved by the machine, requiring less drive power and energy compared to conventional mould concepts with heavier moving halves. A side effect of this mould concept is the totally free accessibility of the core side for a handling systems resulting in an easy parts removal.

During the show Haidlmair moulds can be seen in production also on the stands of other machine manufacturers such as Engel and Wittmann Battenfeld. Engel, for instance, presents the result of a special container called “S + Smart Cube”. The product design had been developed in cooperation with the raw material producer Borealis, the measurement technology company HDEMC, hot runner manufacturer PSG and in-mould label manufacturers Viappiani. The design object features large label areas on all four sides, surrounded by a space frame structure in paper crease.


High speed laser printing on the fly

Hall 12 | Booth A51

Laser marking device for speeds up to 300 m/min (photo: The Machines)

The marking of pipes is of high importance in the drip irrigation field. It allows the client to identify the type of product being deployed on field/crop, facilitating his work, and also enables the manufacturer to analyse a faulty product. Marking can be split into two types – non-permanent and permanent. The difference is the possibilities to identify the characters of the ‘permanent’ marking even after prolonged use in the field. International standards define a ‘permanent’ marking and producers are obliged to apply this.

The currently available inkjet printers used in pipe extrusion lines have a lot of disadvantages and their use at high speed is usually limited to 100m/min production speed. Using ink in marking in general and in especially on black pipes poses difficulties in particular the adherence to polyethylene (PE). Another disadvantage is that ink is a costly item, which has to be added to production cost. Furthermore the environment and machines are contaminated by ink. Laser marking allows to overcome these problems as it leaves a ‘permanent’ marking on the product surface. It also enables these markings at any wall thickness at high production rates whilst maintaining a ‘clean’ environment.

The Machines has developed a completely new way to print black and other colour PE pipes. The system can be used at speeds up to 300m/min. Printing is said to be abrasion resistant, compared to printing with ink the laser print cannot be erased, even not after exposure of the pipe in the field. Substantial cost savings due to non-utilisation of inks and solvents can be achieved. In addition, no surface treatment is required.


Processing technologies for PUs, epoxies, composites and thermoforming

Hall 13 | Booth B76

The Cannon DX is a compact, transportable, precise dosing unit for Epoxy resin Vacuum Resin Transfer Moulding (VARTM). (photo: Cannon)

The Cannon Group will present their developments in the fields of processing technologies for polyurethanes (PUs), epoxies, composites and thermoforming. A special attention will be paid to the field of energy efficiency.

The vacuum assisted injection (VAI) of rigid PU foams in refrigerator cabinets and sandwich panels for insulation represents a suitable manufacturing method to obtain superior filling properties, good adhesion to metal facings and significant thermal insulation values. Several foaming plants using this Cannon technology have been supplied in the past three years, providing numerous technical and economic advantages to the end users. Their configurations will be illustrated and discussed by the specialists who that conceived them.

In the automotive field numerous Cannon machines have been recently supplied to primary car makers for the injection of PU formulations against noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) in the cavities of a car body. A new technical solution will be shown for this demanding application with a dedicated presentation.

A new dedicated equipment conceived for the manufacture of glossy, clear-coated decorative parts for the transportation industry – including applications for luxury boats and private jets – will also be shown.

Five new mixing heads for reactive components will be on show, specifically conceived and optimised for rigid foams for thermal insulation and refrigerators, flexible foams for automotive seating, co-injection of PU and glass fibres (InterWet technology), fast RTM moulding of epoxy-based composites (Estrim technology).

The manufacture of special grades of flexible slabstock foams (extra-soft, very low-density, highly-filled, etc) made possible by the introduction of the patented CarDio technology years ago, will be illustrated within the wider range of Cannon Viking continuous and discontinuous plants for flexible and rigid foams.

Innovative and complex thermoforming packages will be presented for demanding applications: those involving the process of thick sheets made with multiple-layers of different plastics for automotive fuel tanks, the use of Twin Sheet forming technology, the manufacture of very large parts for aeolic generators nacelles and other wide bodies, the production of domestic refrigerators with high-productivity in-line models.


Lightweight design and physical foaming

Hall 13 | Booth B46

New MuCell dosing system (photo: Trexel)

The MuCell lightweight design of plastics parts from all different markets and in all his facets will be the focus on the booth at Trexel. The limitations coming from the “design-rules-for-plastic-parts” for conventional moulding processes are said to be no longer valid with MuCell. This trend was developed due to the MuCell side effects like no back-pressure, lower viscosity, and minimising/eliminating of sink-marks and warpage. On the Trexel booth, parts from different application parts are intended to show that the physical foaming technology has been converted to a “tool” which has opened new ways how to optimise weight: Pure foaming will give a 6–7% density reduction on top to 15% and more weight reduction when the parts are designed according MuCell design rules. Furthermore, a new generation of MuCell equipment will be showcased, resulting of over ten years of collaboration with the many hundreds of customers. It will be the first time that blow-molding will be presented in conjunction with MuCell. The application will be an air duct which is 40% lighter as a part which is built conventionally. Acoustic and thermal requirements will be improved. Together with the company 3M Trexel will present a new process technology.


Portfolio for PU technologies

Hall 13 | Booth B63

Hennecke’s new slabstock plant: continuous foam production with compact dimensions (photo: Hennecke)

Developments presented by Hennecke are a compact metering machine called Highline as well as a continuously producing slabstock line.

With the new Highline metering machine, Hennecke intends to launch a cost-efficient PU processing solution. The modularised system is said to offer an attractive price/performance ratio and to come on a space-saving and economical compact design.

Furthermore, the company will present a newly developed, continuously producing slabstock line. The focus will be on slabstock manufacturers that do not need a very high production output as for example, when it comes to producing mattresses and seating furniture. The fundamental redesign of the infeed section within the patented pouring and reaction zone enables the system to produce foam continuously with compact dimensions. In its standard configuration, the line is less than 10m long. Despite this small size, foam blocks with a width of over 2m can be produced without any problems. The production speed is approximately 1m/min. With a low investment cost, the plant is said to be attractive to PU processors who want to change from discontinuous to continuous production.


Extrusion and injection moulding technology on display

Hall 13 | Booth 41

The Tex 44 Alpha III has 36% higher torque than its predecessor (photo: JSW)

Japan Steel Works is presenting the TEX 44 Alpha III co-rotating twin screw extruder which is able to process a wide range of standard polymers as well as engineering plastics, and which can be employed for compounding, masterbatch production, devolatilising, under water pelletising and rubber/elastomer de-watering.

The extruder, featuring the main operating structure of the predecessor series Tex Alpha II, claims to have a 36% higher torque and to achieve higher throughput at a reduced screw speed and lower polymer temperature. The company’s twin screw extruder uses the latest 64-bit RISC high speed control system Exanet. All settings and process parameters, auxiliary equipment from the feeding and mixing system downstream to the pelletising plant’s strand cutter can be integrated. After the K 2013 show, interested parties can see and test the new Tex 44 Alpha III extruder in JSW’s Technical Center in Overpelt, Belgium.

The company will also present two injection moulding machines of the J-AD series with 1,400 and 3,500kN clamping force. The J140AD moulds a technical hollow part in PP (injection weight: 80g, cycle time: 60s). Thus, two geometrically different parts are moulded simultaneously in varying cavities of the mould. The parts are then assembled in the mould and finally overmoulded with PP.

The J350AD produces a transparent hemispherical container in PP (injection weight: 400g, cycle time: less than 17s). This feature represents a cycle time saving of 30% relative to comparable machines. The control system allows registering relevant process parameters every 62µs which can also contribute to energy savings. The energy-optimised 1,400kN exhibit, for instance, just needs 14,7KVA of power supply.


Customised products for EPS plants

Hall 13 | Booth D51

EPS plant (photo: Ege Proses Machinery)

Particle foam (EPS) machinery and equipment manufacturer Ege Proses Machinery, located in Turkey, has recently started to manufacture a series of machinery and equipment for EPS facilities requiring high multi-expansion expanding capacity.

Batch-type Pre-Expander, EP-5500B series, has been the first pre-expander producing EPS beads at 16-20g/l density and 1,500-2,000kg/h capacity. Major purpose of this multi-expansion design is to have a second expansion capacity of 120/150m3/h.

The fluid bed dryer with heat coil type, manufactured from stainless steel metal, additionally, fully stainless steel steam vessel’s steaming surface is wedge wired and the machine is fully automated with a touch screen and PLC under Mitsubishi trade mark as automatic control partner, is optionally provided with a vibration sensor and automatic density control unit.

Ege Proses Machinery manufactures all types of block and shape moulding EPS process machinery and equipment, such as vertical-type block moulding machine, automatic cutting line, shape moulding machine.


Injection technology takes centre-stage

Hall 15 | Booth B22

On a 800m2 stand entirely dedicated to injection, Negri Bossi will be showcasing eight integrated production centres featuring machines with two-platen and toggle-clamp injection technology, all equipped with smart energy devices.

For instance, there is the new Bi-Power VH 1000, the smallest of the two-platen range which is commonly used in automotive, environmental, large-scale packaging and construction industries. These machines are able to mould “one step” articles of wide dimensions and complex design with reduced cycle times.

Also on display, a 650t injection moulding machine of the evergreen Vector series with integrated robot, set up with a mould for polycarbonate (PC) headlight reflector ishes. And there will b

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