Injection World - Sep 2010


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The global magazine for injection moulders, mould makers and product designers. Published monthly, it covers developments in: injection moulding machines; ancillaries; tooling; software; polymers; additives; and key end-use markets.

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Injection World - Sep 2010

  1. 1. September 2010 Zooming in on micro-moulding K 2010 exhibition preview in-mould labelling in action german marKetS analySed
  2. 2. Netstal at the K 2010 Netstal 20I0 One step ahead Bring on the future. Injection moulding solutions from Netstal. Now is the time: at the K, the world’s biggest plastics trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany, Netstal will showcase innovations that leave previous industrial solutions 10 far behind. Why not drop in and take progress home with you? the K 20 Netstal at nd D24 Sta Hall 15 / Netstal-Maschinen AG |
  3. 3. contents 04 Industry news A round-up of the latest injection moulding related news from around the world. pAge 4 06 Deutschland delivers As the world’s plastics industry gets ready to converge on düsseldorf, AMi’s carole Kluth examines market trends in the German plastics industry. 12 Great achievements in small packages Peter Manser reviews the latest micro moulding machinery developments that are pAge 6 allowing the production of ultra small, high specification parts. 19 In-mould labelling: From milk to moulding in-mould labelling offers a wide range of benefits and is not as hard to do as you may think, as one Scottish dairy farm recently discovered. pAge 19 23 Automation drives IML growth As demand for in-mould labelling grows around the world, automation systems are becoming more sophisticated. we look at new developments from wittmann. 27 What’s new in labelling and decoration the latest applications of durable in-mould decoration from ornamin; and Arburg and Swiss robotics demonstrate iMl capabilities. pAge 2 28 Optimising the operation of non-return valves in the latest article in his process optimisation series, john Goff focuses on how to obtain the best performance from the non-return valve assembly. 33 K 2010 preview: This way for innovation... pAge with the countdown to K well underway, we report on a selection of innovative machinery and materials developments to look out for in düsseldorf. 48 Dates for your diary coming next issue ❙ K 2010 exhibition show issue ❙ Quick mould changes ❙ Automotive applications ➤ Click here to make sure you get your copy contact us Applied Market Information Ltd Head of business publishing: Andy Beevers e-mail: AMi House, 45-47 Stokes croft, Editor: Annie ellerton e-mail: Bristol, BS1 3QP, United Kingdom Contributing editors: lou reade e-mail: tel:+44 (0)117 924 9442 nadya Anscombe e-mail: Fax:+44 (0)117 989 2128 Advertisement manager: claire Bishop e-mail: direct tel: +44 (0)20 8686 8139 © Copyright Applied Market Information. No part may be reproduced without the prior written permission of the publisher. September 2010 | injection world
  4. 4. news cinpres acquires Melea gas-assist patents cinpres Gas injection’s agree- based Gain technologies. For financial and legal claims.” Front fenders made from ment to buy gas-assisted nearly two decades there has “the positive thing is that Sabic’s resin achieve a 50% moulding patents from the been an international legal there can now be no further weight reduction liquidator of Melea means that dispute between the companies confusion – cinpres will be the moulders can now confidently after Gain technologies undisputed owner of all the Sabic helps automakers benifit from the technology, launched patent lawsuits appropriate gas-assisted free from fear of potential against cinpres. Melea was technologies. customers can legal issues. cinpres’ managing director wound up last year after it lost a defining case in the english now buy our technologies without fear of contested lose weight jon Butler confirmed that he is patent courts. cinpres will claims and counter-claims Mitsubishi Motors’ new rVr acquiring all the remaining acquire the Melea trading name. between cinpres and Melea – has front fenders made from Melea patents, which are part the patent dispute has held or any other party,” he said. Sabic innovative Plastics’ of a complex web of intellec- back the adoption of gas- in gas-assisted moulding, noryl GtX resin. By replacing tual property divided between assisted moulding over the gas, usually nitrogen gets steel with this high-perform- the two companies. “we’ve years. Butler continued, “we pumped inside the mould, ance resin, Mitsubishi has agreed a price and payment didn’t seek the original dispute producing hollow parts as it reduced their weight by terms and we’ve made the first and felt that we had little pushes the melted plastic out almost 50 percent. of the payments,” said Butler. choice but to defend our against the mould. Gas-assist in developing its newest Melea, which is based in intellectual property – not the can reduce resin costs, improve compact crossover rVr, Gibraltar, is in liquidation. it least, to protect those of our surface finish and reduce Mitsubishi engineers made owned the gas-assist patents customers, who were using our moulded-in stresses in parts. every effort to reduce part that were marketed by US- technologies, from unjustified ❙ weight to achieve best-in- class fuel efficiency. the resin has contributed to this Asahi Kasei PP compound by reducing vehicle body weight by 3 kg. can compete with lFts the material also provides greater design freedom than metal, says Sabic. By Asahi Kasei Plastics north economic benefits of short- creep resistance at elevated injection moulding noryl GtX America has developed a new glass-filled PP. thermylene P8 materials. resin, Mitsubishi designers PP compound that its says can is claimed to give superior the compound has been were able to create a compete with long-glass-fibre- creep resistance at room selected by Faurecia interior complex fender geometry filled PP, while offering the temperature and comparable Systems for the inner door that featured a sharp front module on the jeep liberty edge and a side slot for an SUV. one of the reasons for indicator lamp. this design specifying thermylene P8 for would have been difficult to this part, which would typically fabricate in steel because it be moulded using long-fibre- would require multiple steps, filled PP, was the compound’s tools and operations. the screw/torque retention. resin also has greater ❙ flexibility than steel, which helps provide better impact This inner door module for absorption in pedestrian the Jeep Liberty is being incidents, as well as recovery moulded using Asahi Kasei’s after minor collisions. PP compound ❙ injection world | September 2010
  5. 5. International Trade Fair news No. 1 for Plastics and Rubber Worldwide Iwasaki and Teijin make plastic LED breakthrough Iwasaki Electric and Teijin of says that it cuts energy Japan have jointly developed consumption by 90%, lasts the first all-plastic LED lamp roughly seven times longer for outdoor applications. It is and is brighter. moulded using a high thermal Teijin is scaling up produc- conductivity polycar- tion of its Raheama bonate compound carbon fibre filler that incorporates that it says can Teijin’s Raheama conduct heat conductive carbon better than silver or additive. Such lamps copper. It is made of are typically made using 50-200 micron long fibres aluminium. Named the LED cut from cylindrical graphite with a diameter of about 8 Eyelamp, the new lamp will microns. The material is said go on sale by the end of this to disperse well in plastics year and Iwasaki expects initial allowing the production of annual sales of 30,000 units. It highly efficient moulded heat Buy your ticket now +++ at an attractive price +++ is designed to replace sinks in a wide range of shapes in the Online Ticket Shop +++ at mercury-vapour lamps in for a variety of applications. outdoor applications such as ❙ illuminating signs. Iwasaki ❙ The most important trade fair t a Plastivaloire places in the world for you ! its trust in RocTool “It’s K time” means that about 3,000 exhibitors from over 50 countries present the latest products and The Plastivaloire Group has or seal lines, and with short concepts – from standard to high-tech solutions. signed its fourth licence agree- production times. With its first-class range of exhibits, both in terms of ment with RocTool for use of 3iTech is a 3D network of quantity and quality, K is the most important business its technologies in the “super heating cartridges” that and contact platform for the industry worldwide. manufacture of interior parts are placed differently depend- In 19 halls, everyone is represented, from the market for the automotive market. ing on the processes required. leaders to the niche market suppliers who decide the Under this agreement, By removing the constraint of future of the industry. Plastivaloire will utilise inertia effects, RocTool has Be there when the world-class suppliers of plastics RocTool’s 3iTech technology, developed heating tools that which is a method of heating make it possible to dissociate and rubber meet in Düsseldorf ! the mould by electromagnetic the heating of a stationary induction. portion from a moving portion, This will allow it to obtain or to heat the tool locally to a optimum surface quality, that desired temperature. Messe Düsseldorf GmbH Postfach 10 10 06 is, plastic parts and trim ❙ 40001 Düsseldorf without any visible weld lines ❙ Germany Tel. + 49 (0)2 11/45 60-01 Fax + 49 (0)2 11/45 60-6 68
  6. 6. markets feature | Germany’s plastics industry As the world’s plastics industry gets ready to converge on Düsseldorf for next month’s K show, Carole Kluth takes a close look at trends in the German thermoplastics market, which is showing positive signs of recovery Deutschland delivers Germany is the powerhouse of the European plastics industry. It is the largest market both in terms of production and demand, dominating nearly every sector of the processing industry and accounting for over 20% of thermoplastics demand. The market performed strongly in the period 2005- 2007, driven by the strength of the German economy and strong demand from Central Europe. However, the impact of the global recession saw demand collapse for nearly all polymer materials in Q4 2008 with plastics processing activity remaining weak throughout most of 2009. According to AMI data, after reaching a peak in demand in 2007 of 8.6 million tonnes of thermoplastics processed in Germany, the market dropped by 6% in 2008 and nearly 8% again in 2009, which effectively wiped out five years of growth for the industry. Production of plastics materials suffered an even steeper 15% decline in volumes in 2009 according to the trade association PlasticsEurope Deutschland. Both domestic and export demand figures were down, reducing Germany’s traditional trade surplus in polymer materials. The impact of the global recession has also been severe for German producers of capital goods, such as plastics processing machinery, as companies around the world slashed their investment spending. Sales of German plastics and rubber machinery were down 30% in 2009 according to the industry association VDMA. The economic downturn has inevitably reduced the number of plastics processing operations. In its survey of German injection moulders, AMI found there had been a net loss of 5% of companies over a three year InjECTIon worlD | September 2010
  7. 7. PHOTO: KrAuSS mAffEi period. Over 60% of these were lost because of seen in most other West European countries where car germany’s insolvency or because of transferring moulding production was down anything from 20% to 50%. machine operations to Eastern Europe or China. A number of Government infrastructure investments also helped to makers are companies ceased to exist because of the retirement of sustain some building product demand. As these reporting a big owners or because of plant rationalisations or mergers. measures are now ending, there are signs that the increase in Others chose to withdraw from processing activities underlying strength of German manufacturing and incoming preferring to sub-contract out their moulding require- engineering is helping to lift the plastics industry out of orders in the ments or to refocus their activities on tooling, assembly recession quicker than in many other countries and a first half of this or finishing operations. more optimistic feel is beginning to emerge about the year future prospects for Germany’s plastics industry. Last Staying put month it was announced that Germany’s GDP grew by However, the trend for plastics processors to relocate to an impressive 2.2% in the second quarter, the strongest Eastern Europe or Asia has generally been less evident three-monthly gain since reunification in 1990. The in Germany than elsewhere in Western Europe. growth is being driven by rising production levels and Although German companies have established opera- exports in areas such as machinery, vehicles and tions in Central Europe, this has not always been at the chemicals. As result, business confidence has reached s expense of their home plants. Germany’s proximity to its highest level in three years. Central Europe also benefited its processors prior to the downturn. The growth in demand for a wide variety of products in Central Europe from packaging to end use technical components could not always be met by markets for local processors, either because of capacity thermoplastics constraints or a lack of competency. German in germany 2009 companies were well placed to meet this shortfall in capacity or technical know- how and are likely to benefit again, once economic growth returns to the region. Various government initiatives during 2009 sought to mitigate the effects of the recession and they did have some impact on plastics demand. The car scrappage scheme helped to sustain demand for new cars but production still declined by 10%. source: ami However, this was considerably less than was September 2010 | injECTiOn WOrLD
  8. 8. markets feature | Germany’s plastics industry DEMAND FOR THERMOPLASTICS IN GERMANY 2001-2009 Source: AMI the materials that appeared to have been least markets, PVc saw the largest falls in demand last year, affected by the downturn were Pet and ePS where declining by around 15%. in addition to weak local there was relatively little loss of volume, although both demand, profile producers also suffered from a collapse these materials had been experiencing strong growth in export sales to eastern europe and russia, which had up until the recession hit. the Pet market had been grown significantly in the period to 2007; and PVc cable driven by the move to Pet bottles for one-way packag- markets had been weak for sometime because of a ing replacing cans, glass bottles and cartons, led by the combination of substitution by polyolefins and the discount stores such as Aldi and lidl. ePS demand had growth in imports of cheap finished low-voltage cables been driven by initiatives to improve the energy from central europe, which is the main market for PVc efficiency of buildings in line with the eU directive. cable compound. the drop in car production and For most other polymer materials the story was one electronics manufacturing further affected demand. of shrinking demand during 2009 with the scale of decline dependent on the extent to which the market Packaging props up polyolefins was driven by packaging, building, automotive or the decline in demand for polyolefin materials last year consumer goods. the downturn in automotive produc- was slightly less severe at around a 6% drop, thanks to tion, although not as severe in Germany as elsewhere in the higher proportions of the market in packaging europe, still contributed to weak demand for most markets. weakest performance appears to have been engineering polymers and PP compounds. reduced for linear and low density grades because of weak production of consumer electronic and domestic demand for agricultural, building and technical films, appliances also led to steep falls in the moulding and which are significant markets in Germany. demand for extrusion of technical components and cable products. protective films were weak because of the downturn in these markets all saw a contraction in the region of furniture and automotive markets. Agricultural film 10-15% in terms of polymer volumes used last year. demand was affected by the long, cold winter and with the exception of insulation materials, building stretch film markets were weak because of a decline in product demand was also weak through the year, demand for transportation packaging. Pipe and cable despite some investment in infrastructure products. demand was slashed because of the slump in building the collapse in demand for profiles in eastern europe activity. these were offset by demand being maintained and russia also badly affected the production of PVc for food packaging and hygiene films. window profiles. A similar story applied to HdPe resins with demand Packaging, as is often the case through a recession, for smaller containers and closures holding up, while was less affected but the market still declined by industrial containers, car fuel tanks and pipe production between 5 and 7% overall largely due to weak demand have all seen significant drops in demand over the past for industrial and transit packaging products with two years. consumer packaging demand holding steady. in PP it is again the consumer packaging markets with its high reliance on building and wire and cable that have sustained some areas of demand for products injection world | September 2010
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  10. 10. markets feature | Germany’s plastics industry Making more machines Germany’s machinery makers have seen sharp increases in demand in the first half of the year according to their industry body, the VdMA Plastics and rubber Machinery Association. “developments turned out much better than expected at the beginning of the year,” says thorsten Kühmann, managing director of the Association. He adds: “[our] members are also optimistic regarding the outlook for incoming orders in all customer regions in the second half of the year”. Ulrich reifenhauser, the Association’s chairman added: “no one could have foreseen the 85% jump in orders recorded by the industry in the first six months of the year; it is a truly remarkable performance that gives grounds for optimism”. orders from within Germany were up by 26%, while demand from abroad grew by 117%. orders from the euro zone showed an increase of 51%. SupplierS’ ShareS in World exportS Actual sales for the period january to june 2010 were Source: VdMa/Federal Statistical office down by 23% compared with the previous year, however the sharp increase in orders placed during the period is boosting industry confidence in the run up to K 2010. “in is 31%, according to the VdMA, while in Asia it is just under light of the marked rise in incoming orders, we expect 24%, placing the country ahead of the previous leader sales to grow by 11% by the end of the year,” explained japan. Sales across the Atlantic give Germany a market Kühmann. share of 26% of global deliveries in north America, 18% in looking at global market shares, Germany maintained central America and 20% in South America. in Africa, its market leading position last year despite the global Germany has a 15% share, placing it behind china with 22% economic downturn, accounting for 24% of global and italy with 19%. deliveries. in europe as a whole, Germany’s market share ❙ such as thin wall containers and BoPP films for food tion of Germany’s plastic processing industry, the packaging. Automotive, electrical and consumer good country is an important market for the use and sectors have all been weak as have most fibre markets development of engineering resins. Having enjoyed although the hygiene and medical markets have strong growth in the period to 2007, which saw demand performed better. reach nearly 1 million tonnes, there has been an the decline in general-purpose high-impact PS was estimated 150,000 tonne decline in volume across these also not as severe as might be expected given the weak various materials, which include ABS/SAn, PA, PBt, fundamentals this market has been experiencing for Pc, PMMA and other high heat thermoplastics. several years. this has seen the market decline from a However, this is not surprising given their high reliance peak of 430,000 tonnes of demand in 2002 to around on automotive, electrical and other technical sectors. 380,000 tonnes currently. Volume had already been lost Germany is destined to remain the largest consumer because of a decline in production of consumer and producer of plastics in europe and its apparent electronics, the development of flat screen tVs and recovery is good news for the rest of the european competition from PP and Pet in some thin wall industry because it will help to drive demand through- applications. the insulation trends that have helped out the continent for some time to come. maintain the ePS market have helped drive demand for this article is based on aMi’s 2009 european XPS despite the downturn in the building market. Food plastics industry report and aMi’s guide to the packaging markets have also maintained their demand thermoplastics compounding industry in europe. for PS packaging. Further information available from: As would be expected given the size and sophistica- ❙ 10 injection world | September 2010
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  12. 12. processing feature | Micro moulding Ultra small, high specification products are being successfully produced as a result of advances in equipment, processes and materials. Peter Manser reviews some of the latest moulding machinery developed for the growing micro moulding sector Micro moulding: Great achievements in small packages The world of micro moulding is changing fast. Although micro mouldings are intended for high-value usage the first dedicated micro moulding machines were such as orthopaedic implants and surgical tools, and brought to market approximately 25 years ago, it is only recent advances in the technique are being used to in the past two to three years that demand for smaller produce diagnostic and drug delivery devices. parts at higher specifications has really fuelled the The emphasis, as with all moulding technology, is on development of technology that can truly keep pace. provability and repeatability. A major investment to date by Acceleration of demand for micro moulding has the Centre of approximately £5 million in state-of-the-art come primarily from the global medical product equipment and thirty expert staff illustrates the growth industry and testament to this is the Research and and prospects for this sector of polymer moulding. Knowledge Transfer (RKT) Centre for Polymer Micro “For most micro moulding customers a whole Rondol’s bench and Nano Technology at Bradford University, UK. systems approach is best,” says Whiteside. This can top Medika 50 “Healthcare is a very large and key driver for many involve proof-of-concept, polymer materials design and injection micro technologies,” says Ben Whiteside, RKT Centre selection, environmental testing, prototyping, tool moulding manager, “and polymer micro moulding has a critical design and commissioning including soft tooling, two- machine part to play in so many areas.” Most healthcare-based part tooling through to full production tooling. Bespoke handling and inspection solutions also provide meas- urements with the speed and resolution required for 100% quality assurance within the restrictive cycle ‹ times (typically 5 seconds) of the process. Injection moulding machinery builders have taken some time to truly rise to the challenges and technical needs of the sector. The micro moulding of polymers of less than 1g in shot weight presents a completely different demand to most other areas of mainstream commercial injection moulding. Such a small quantity of polymer material is used per unit that the general commercial cut and thrust of materials savings and wastage do not come into consideration. Consequently, high performance thermoplas- tics such as LCP and PEEK are commonly employed and commodity polymers such as PE, PP 12 INjECTIoN WoRLd | September 2010
  13. 13. or PVC are rarely used for micro moulding. Understand- lower limit to the screw diameter, which has typically Class 7 ing the process technology and the physical behaviour been determined as 14 mm if standard materials are to cleanroom of polymer melts is a major part of the developing be processed reliably. Even at this diameter, the stroke facility industry. Micro moulds generally take only a millisec- for extremely small shot weights is too short to installed over ond to fill a mould and also heat-to-cool within a few monitor and control repeatedly. a Fanuc tenths of a second. These constraints represent a major In response, Rondol has developed a low cost bench S2000i100A scientific challenge and new problem-solving methods top machine that uses a single phase 13A supply. It has high speed and technologies have had to be devised to be able to just two servomotors and utilises the clamping move- moulding capture data and understand and improve future ment to create injection force by driving the barrel machine at the processing techniques. Ultrasound is employed for backwards over the screw. With European investment RKT Centre measurement and to aid processing, and high speed and expertise in materials processing, Rondol has camera work combined with thermal imaging provide a opened new facilities in the UK to make its latest Medika unique insight into the process dynamics. 50 machine, which has touch screen control and is clad Naturally enough perhaps, the suppliers of main- in stainless steel specifically for medical applications. stream injection moulding equipment are still absorb- Meanwhile Wittmann-Battenfeld in Austria is ing the lessons needed for micro moulding environ- pressing forward with the redesigned MicroPower ments. In the late 1980s, injection moulding machine machine. The system has a multi-stage injection unit in control systems moved to a higher level of sophistica- which a 14 mm screw provides plastification and tion and this technology was applied to the first micro metering duties following which the measured shot is moulding machines. Servo electric drives became a transferred to a small diameter (3– 5 mm) plunger unit viable alternative to hydraulics and offered precise for high speed injection into the mould. Multi-material control and repeatability, greater energy efficiency, low moulding has also been developed using two Micro- noise level and suitability for cleanroom environments. systems moulding machines with a transfer robot passing the preform to a second mould. The new Machine developments MicroPower will be featured at the K show in Düssel- Manufacturers who have adopted these high precision dorf, Germany, at the end of October 2010. systems have taken different approaches to achieve the Arburg has also created a new type of injection unit control and precision necessary for the production of to meet increasing demand for micro moulding ultra small, high specification products. When the applications. This is based on a two-stage injection micro scale is applied to part weights in the range of process using a 15 or 18 mm preplasticising screw 0.1–0.001 g there are practical limitations in the feeding a final 8 mm injection screw to improve material injection moulding machinery build. First, there is a mixing. One of its main selling points is that it can be September 2010 | INjECTION WORlD 13
  14. 14. processing feature | Micro moulding thin-walled or micromoulding applications. these materials must be robust enough to survive the intense pressures, shear forces and temperature gradients inherent within the micro moulding process, while still providing a range of bespoke properties and functionali- ties for the intended application. control of the materi- als manufacturing processes is also vital, because a change in flow or thermal properties of a fraction of a percent, or ingress of impurities could have a significant affect on moulding quality. Profit from links with academia Because of the specialised nature of these new materials and products, industry has sought expertise from academia. Specialist centres have been created throughout the world where development of materials, mould manufacture and process optimisation is undertaken. one example is the rKt centre at the University of Bradford, which is part of a wider network of expertise including other technology providers such as the Manufacturing engineering centre (Mec) at the University of cardiff, UK. Mec provides ultra fine cavity geometries using advanced techniques such as laser The redesigned fitted in place of the original injection unit on many of machining, micro electrodischarge machining, high multi-staged the company’s existing electric machines. speed milling and focused ion beam (FiB). For example, MicroPower A two-stage plunger system without a pre-plasticis- FiB techniques can provide nanometre scale precision; injection ing screw has been developed by desma in Germany. however, removal rates in the region of one month for a moulding the compact design allows a two material version of the single cubic mm of material ensure that they are only machine from machine to be contained within the machine envelope. adopted for the most demanding applications. Wittmann- Preform and overmoulding operate simultaneously with Battenfeld an indexing transfer plate built into the mould system, Award winning micro insert which offers low mass rapid rotation and overall cycle one example of a product borne from a fruitful industry times in the order of 3–4 seconds. and academic partnership is a novel root canal treat- Given the small mould sizes, low cavitation and ment. this was the result of a successful development corresponding projected areas for micro moulding programme at the rKt centre with drFP of Sheffield, products, a clamping force of 5 tonnes was typically UK, which gained the prestigious Plastics industry assumed to be adequate. However, the development of Award for Best technology Application by producing a specialised materials that require higher injection dental root canal insert. this has a tip diameter of pressures coupled with increasing requirements for 200 µm and overall length 43 mm in a highly filled larger mouldings containing micro features has nano-scale radio opaque polymer composite, which resulted in second generation machines such as the wittmann-Battenfeld’s MicroPower with optional clamping units of up to 15 tonnes. Material developments the micro moulding challenge has also been addressed by materials suppliers. A range of nanoscale filler materials are now available for compounding with polymers to provide improvements in performance in Arburg’s two- areas such as mechanical behaviour, electrical and stage micro thermal conductivity and flame retardancy. it is also injection common to find low viscosity grades of many industrial module polymers that have been created specifically for 14 injection world | September 2010
  15. 15. Commercialising Nanotubes 2011 8-10 March 2011, Maritim Hotel, Düsseldorf, Germany We are in the middle of a major expansion in carbon nanotube production with global capacity more than quadrupling over a two-year period. As a result, prices are falling and exciting new markets are opening up. The first commercial products are already being used in the automotive, electrical and electronic, sporting goods, mass transport and marine industries with many more under development in areas such as the renewable energy, medical and wire and cable markets. This conference will examine the latest CNT technologies and applications, as well as addressing processing issues and health and safety concerns. The event’s focus will be on growing volume markets for nanotubes and on adding value to polymer compounds and composites. CliCk Here for More inforMation For details on giving a presentation, attending as a delegate, Organised by Media sponsor being a sponsor or exhibiting at the event, please contact Maud Lassarra, Senior Conference Organiser, Applied Market +44 117 924 9442 Information Ltd
  16. 16. processing feature | Micro moulding A dental root canal insert with an overall length of 43 mm and a tip diameter of 0.2 mm Scanning requires precise control of polymer storage, preparation include features approaching sub micron or nano- electron and processing at high injection speed and pressure. scale. this is of particular interest for a wide range of microscope applications including micro fluidics, biological inter- image of a Funding opportunities faces, drug delivery, optical applications and anti- micro pillar industry partnerships with universities can be devel- counterfeiting. feature oped with a range of different funding routes to provide As the requirements for characteristic length scales moulded in PC benefits to the technology provider and the recipient. become ever smaller, the challenges for materials next to a Some examples are given below. understanding, process technology, measurement and human hair in the UK, the technology Strategy Board is working handling rise exponentially. with the engineering and Physical Sciences research However, advances are being made regularly to council to drive development with regional assistance further improve what is achievable and industy is for a range of innovative collaborative projects between beginning to see the emergence of high value, func- academia and industry. Grants may also be available tional components at a scale that would have seemed through Knowledge transfer Partnerships, which like science fiction by both moulders and mould makers enable staff to gain a recognised qualification whilst operating 25 years ago. employed by their company but spending time on Peter Manser, FiMMM, is industry Associate at the company related work at the partner university. research and Knowledge transfer centre for Polymer From a european perspective, the Seventh Frame- Micro and nano technology University of Bradford, UK, work Programme allows the building of large consortia, For more information on the work undertaken at the which usually consist of companies of all sizes and rKt centre, contact the centre director, dr Ben academic institutions. one example is the converging whiteside, e-mail: technologies for Micro Systems Manufacturing ❙ (cotecH) project, which was created in 2008 to “investigate new approaches of micro manufacturing Click on the links for more information: based on advanced technology convergence processes ❙ and to propose hybrid solutions for high added value ❙ cost-effective micro manufacturing emerging applica- ❙ tions”. it will run for four years and has 24 academic ❙ and industrial contributors from Austria, denmark, ❙ Finland, France, Germany, italy, the netherlands, Spain ❙ and Switzerland, including the Universities of Bradford ❙ and cardiff, wittmann-Battenfeld, Moldflow (europe) ❙ and Microsystems (UK). ❙ ❙ The future is getting smaller ❙ So what is next for micro moulding technologies? ❙ dimensions are moving beyond the micro level to ❙ 16 injection world | September 2010
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  18. 18. Thin Wall Packaging 2010 International conference on market trends and developments in plastic tubs, cups, bakery trays and ready meal dishes CLICk hERE tO dOwnLOAd bROChuRE Thin Wall Packaging 2010 International conference on market trends and developments in plastic tubs, cups, bakery trays and ready meal dishes 7-9 December 2010 Maritim Hotel, Cologne, Germany Images courtesy of: Superfos Deutschland GmbH, Kiefel AG, Advaltech AWM and Norner. * +19% German VAT SPECIAL OFFER: Save (100* if you register before 15th October 2010 Organised by: Sponsored by: Applied Market Photo courtesy of: Milad Payami Ltd. Information - Statoil 7-9 December 2010 Maritim Hotel, Cologne, Germany Images courtesy of: Superfos Deutschland GmbH, Kiefel AG, Advaltech AWM and Norner. * +19% German VAT SPECIAL OFFER: Save (100* if you register before 15th October 2010 Organised by: Sponsored by: Media sponsors: Applied Market Photo courtesy of: Milad Payami Ltd. Information - Statoil
  19. 19. in-mould labelling | processing feature in-mould labelling offers a wide range of benefits and is not as hard to do as you may think, as one Scottish dairy farm recently discovered From milk to moulding there is growing interest in-mould labelling (iMl) as the complete injection moulding system offers an Mackie’s, a one of several strategies companies can employ to exciting opportunity to decrease production costs while family run increase performance and revenue. the drivers for gaining a better product, says thomas leng, head of dairy business, adopting iMl are wide and varied. it can improve the business unit packaging at netstal. now operates quality of a product’s appearance. in addition, it is a Utilising iMl will give a product greater aesthetic its own ice cost-effective alternative to printing and etiquettes appeal, but redesigning its overall look and geometry cream tub (self-gluing paper labels), which do not deliver such a will deliver additional advantages. leng explains that production line sophisticated finish, and the results of in-mould these can include reducing its wall thickness and labelling are more durable because the process weight, making it tamper evident, and devising a provides higher scratch resistance. Hygiene is also product that fully exploits the capabilities of the improved because products leave the machine complete injection moulding process. these are critical factors without needing to be unpacked for subsequent that will increase productivity and allow processors to decoration. Furthermore, recyclability can be improved give their customers more added value, he continues. by the use of a single material. iMl is best considered at the very outset of a project, IML today when designing the product and the injection moulding the iMl technique has matured since its introduction system, advocates the Swiss machine manufacturer approximately 25 years ago. the technology has now netstal-Maschinen. Upgrading existing equipment can developed to a point where it is a “plug and play” be an option: a company’s current injection moulding system package. machine can be included in a new design and parts of the labels, which are held in place by static charge the mould can be used, but the robot must be upgraded or vacuum, are mostly made from polypropylene, but or a new robot purchased. However, completely can be made of other polymers; paper labels are also reassessing the design of the product and optimising increasingly popular. when selecting the right type of September 2010 | injection world 19
  20. 20. processing feature | in-mould labelling packaging. the company has previously outsourced its packaging production and had no experience of plastics processing. Using netstal’s machines, Mackie’s has been producing all its own ice cream tubs since early 2010. with a track record in thin-wall packaging and iMl solutions, netstal worked with the company to devise a turnkey package. Mackie’s was keen to protect its well- established brand and increase its value. the require- ments of the project were that the product design must l be recognisable as a Mackie’s product, therefore complementary to its current packaging l offer considerable product weight savings with improved product quality l include a tamper evident security feature. the injection moulding system with iMl function had to be ready to go (plug and play) given Mackie’s lack of injection moulding experience and remote location in westertown, north of Aberdeen. it was also vital to This Netstal label for a product, the main issues to consider are deliver efficient system performance together with good Elion 1200 l producing a quality appearance cycle times, up-times and yields and ease of use. it had all-electric l barrier properties and whether there is a need to to be financially viable and deliver a suitable payback machine is improve these period on the initial investment. last but not least, it used to l recyclability and reducing the environmental impact must have flexibility so that the system is capable of produce the of the product. producing a redesigned/differently shaped product in lids at the dairy there are also important printing characteristics to the future, if required. consider such as the thickness of the label. the thinner netstal’s turnkey package provided machine, mould it is, the hotter it becomes during the iMl process, and iMl automation equipment and stacker/sleeving which will change the quality of the print, its colour and equipment. this included an all-electric elion 1200 to the resolution of images. there are no restrictions on produce the lid and a Synergy machine to produce the choice of typefaces, colours, graphics and pictures that container. design advice included weight saving and can be employed. the appearance of the label is better functionality elements to improve product quality and than can be achieved by pad, offset and other printing cycle time. Guidance on material selection and product and labelling methods, assures leng. performance criteria looked at the physical properties the most important advantage of adopting iMl is the of the product such as headspace, stacking characteris- cost saving that can be made through eliminating post- tics, dimensions and whether sterilisation was required. mould labelling and printing, including the machines, in terms of the label, the factors considered included the floor space and the labour these entail. when the the ratio of polymer to paper and the label design product leaves the machine finished, it can be packed including positioning on the product, and gloss, matt, directly and put into stock. therefore, there are clear or metallic finishes. Based on these decisions, the significant personnel savings, taking into account that label manufacturer was selected. printing or sleeving needs at least one additional person the ordered systems were installed in February 2010 to finish the product’s surface. if full automation is and Mackie’s was fast tracked into the plastics process- adopted, the iMl part of the packaging process can be ing industry. iMl has been considered to be a high-tech produced without additional staff. commenting on the and complex process. Here, a family run company with possible rate of throughput with an automated iMl no manufacturing experience is doing it for itself. system, typical output is 10-12 shots per minute, says Uptake of iMl is increasing fast. netstal has recently leng. claimed a “world first” with an iMl system built for silicone cartridges for the building and construction How to put IML into operation industry. this system can also be used to produce the ease of use of today’s injection moulding and iMl tubes, for example, for tablets and toothpaste. systems allowed Mackie’s of Scotland, a dairy farm and ❙ ice cream producer to start manufacturing its own ❙ 20 injection world | September 2010
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  23. 23. in-mould labelling | processing feature As demand for in-mould labelling grows around the world, automation systems are becoming more sophisticated. we look at developments from wittmann that will be on display at the K show Automation drives iMl growth the in-mould labelling (iMl) sector has been a fast moving niche of injection moulding in recent years, says jerome empereur, packaging product manager for the wittmann Group. He notes that “the most important trend is the growing size of the market itself. ten years ago we made mainly large installations for large mass markets like margarine tubs. during the past five years, however, we have seen a large number of niche customers adopting iMl. this is due in part to lowered costs for labels, moulding machines and robots.” As well as food packaging, process industries such as paint and cosmetics and applications such as crates and boxes are obtaining the cost benefits and improved systems. the first production cell will utilise a w827 The Wittmann aesthetics provided by iMl. Primus robot to make a two-cavity butter tub with a 827 Primus IML He points out that in decorative and aesthetic terms five-sided label. the company promises a cycle time of robot system iMl has always delivered superior benefits to any under 3 seconds overall and improvements with the alternatives. “First, iMl labels are able to have up to system featuring its latest generation r8 control eight colours with photographic quality. this is really a applied to its side-entry robot. very difficult process to try and achieve through offset the second K show iMl system, will produce a four- printing. Second, the general flexibility of the iMl cavity round cup together with a wraparound label. this approach: [the ability] to use different kinds of label for production cell will be similar to the unit displayed at product range variants within the same production run the wittmann Battenfeld open House session, held is very appealing to customers. it is clear that some earlier this year in Kottingbrunn, Austria. the unit will customers are coming to iMl simply in order to make a comprise w827 Primus horizontal robots in action on a more attractive product.” Battenfeld tM Xpress 210/1350 injection moulding Successful adoption of iMl requires systems to be machine. it will have a cycle time of approximately 4 able to provide reduced product cycle and mould open seconds and will incorporate a new vision system for times and technology advances are achieving this. “not quality control. this will allow 360˚ inspection of the only must the cycle time figures be right, the quality and part without any physical turning of the item. default build of the iMl must guarantee the faultless quality of parts will be rejected and good parts will be stacked. the product,” observes empereur. Five-sided butterfly label application IML in action during the open House event, the production cell the eyes of the plastics industry will be focused on the produced two 750 ml cups, with a weight of 22 grams K show in düsseldorf, Germany, this autumn where the per cup. each mould cavity has its own alignment to wittmann Group will be demonstrating two iMl enable it to offer the highest precision and equal wall September 2010 | injection world 23
  24. 24. processing feature | In-mould labelling thickness even after long station of the carousel. Good parts will be placed with operation and years in produc- the open side down by a stacking robot in stacks of pre- tion. In the demonstration, the IML selected height on the outfeed conveyor. robot placed the five-sided butterfly Wittmann’s IML approach is based on using standard labels into the moving mould half. elements from its three-axis robot range. The Primus is After the removal of the two finished designed to be cost-efficient with short lead time, and parts from the fixed mould half, the the Flex is for applications that need flexibility and the W827 Primus handed them over to a provision of core and base gated parts on a same robot, monitoring station in the shape of a carousel. without any disassembling. The carousel indexed the cups for visual inspec- The company also manufactures mould tools to go tion by two different camera systems. with the IML systems. “We have already proved the The container is first inspected by a high-resolution efficiency of this concept with a couple of turnkey Five-sided camera system connected to the high-end image projects,” says Empereur. label on 500 g processing In-Sight 5000 system. The vision system tub in a four- checks for the insertion of the right label and its correct The race to adoption cavity mould placement. Each container also undergoes a second For many years, Western Europe has been the most application, inspection by Checker Vision-Sensor, which is an “all- important market for IML. Empereur’s view is that with robot in-one” image processing sensor with built-in camera, “right now North America is rising up and becoming a made by lighting, lens, input/output and processor. This sensor very important IML market. Asia and especially Wittmann checks the use of the correct label on the basis of the Australia and New Zealand are interesting as well. In bar code, which is integrated in the print. Containers fact, in different ways, IML applications are developing that are identified as bad parts in the course of the well across all five continents.” visual inspection will be rejected in the subsequent ❙ Free online seminar: How to cut costs and green your supply chain 29 September 2010 Attend this FREE webinar to learn about a new source of 100% The discussion will include: recycled eco-mineral fillers and extenders for use in manufacturing l How RockTron’s proprietary process delivers a new polymer and rubber compounds and in industrial coatings. source of low carbon industrial minerals Reducing the carbon footprint of mineral fillers, production l The key physical properties of these spherical eco- processes and finished products represents a significant challenge for minerals that can be used as fillers and extenders in a manufacturing industries as the world moves to a low carbon economy. wide range of manufacturing processes This is your chance to learn about an award-winning company, l How these low carbon minerals deliver comparable or RockTron, and how it has made a major recycling breakthrough superior performance to conventional fillers including for many manufacturing industries. Its innovative beneficiation talcs, silicas and barytes process enables companies to cut costs, reduce carbon l Why the RockTron process enables the eco-mineral footprints and protect the bottom line. production to be energy neutral CLICK HERE NOW TO REGISTER FOR YOUR FREE PLACE The webinar will take place at 09:00 EST (eg New York), 14:00 GMT/BST (eg UK), 15:00 CET (eg Germany). Registered participants will be sent a reminder beforehand. Event registration: Webinar hosted by Applied Market Information More about RockTron: and Compounding World magazine
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