Sumitomo Demag showcased IML decorated PP bucket

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K Show 2013 saw the world debut of Systec SP from Sumitomo Demag Plastics Machinery (SHI). This addition to the company’s existing El-Exis SP high speed series uses a hybrid drive and has a wide range of standard equipment. The Systec SP 280 is equipped with SHI’s new activeColourChange technology module, a flexible pigment dosing system that allows fast short colour changes.

“SP” stands for “Speed Performance”. SHI has demonstrated the manufacture of 1l IML decorated polypropylene (PP) buckets on a 2,800kN clam force Systec SP 280 with a cycle time of 5.3s and shot weight of 78g. Simultaneous demoulding of decorated buckets and insertion of IML labels into the mould for the next cycle is completed by a high-speed linear robot. Partners in this project are the French companies Sepro Robotique, Machines Pagès for the robot and IML technology and Collomb Mecanique for the mould.

An IML decorated 1l bucket, produced by the new Systec SP 280 packaging machine

An IML decorated 1l bucket, produced by the new Systec SP 280 packaging machine with a cycle time of 5.3s and a two-cavity mould

Systec SP’s hybrid drive includes a strong electrical drive for dosing operation, along with hydraulic drives for mould movements and injection process. Its activeDrive standard drive system combines a frequency-regulated, high-performance engine with a hydraulic pump; all cycle-relevant axles can move simultaneously. Screw feed injection speed is up to 500mm/s.

The Systec SP is designed for the serial production of products with a flow path to wall thickness ratio of up to 350:1, which is a typical range for buckets, stacking boxes, snap locks, caps, etc. with cycle times between 4 and 12s. The Systec SP series will offer a clamp force range of 1,600 to 4,200kN. The new machine was demonstrated at K show alongside a 4,200kN clamp force El-Exis SP 420-2500 making PE-HD screw caps. The 96-cavity hot runner mould produced 28mm caps for mineral water weighing only 1.2g, with tamper-evident protection. The hybrid drive technology, optimisation of all axle movements and the upgraded NC5 plus machine control allowed a cycle time of 2.3s, which means that the 96-cavity mould can produce more than 150,000 caps/h.

A 96-cavity El-Exis SP 4PE-HD produced PE-HD screw caps for mineral water bottles with a cycle time of 2.3s.

ActiveColourChange is a new liquid colour metering system specifically designed for use in injection moulding processes. The colour – one of up to five – is fed directly from a closed system into the metering zone of the melt-filled injection unit. The dosing system is integrated into the NC5 plus machine control and is activated and deactivated automatically. After a few cycles with activated colour feed, the components are evenly coloured and can be removed. During the colour change process the current liquid colourant (colour No. 1) is automatically deactivated once the selected product volume is reached. The screw channel and the front of the screw can be cleaned before the activation of colour No. 2. Cleaning of channels in the colour module above the colour 1 metering zone allows further reduction in colour change time. All production quantities, colour change processes (with or without cleaning or complete decolouring) and colouring sequence are defined by the operator as part of a programme run before production start. After that activeColourChange operates fully automatically; the colour change does not require operator assistance.

Three-colour activeColourChange allows direct feed of liquid colorants into the metering zone of the plasticising system, which helps achieve a reduction in colour change times.

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