Plastics Technology

DEC 2018

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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KraussMaffei Rolls Out 'Digital Service Solutions' At the Fakuma 2018 show in Germany in October, KraussMaffei announced that two products from the company's new Digital Service Solutions business unit are now ready for general rollout. Both were first imple- mented for Netstal machines and now will be offered for all products of the KraussMaffei Group. One is the e-Service platform, making service available anytime, anywhere. Features include access to machine-specific documents and a 3D spare-parts finder with order functions. It was presented in prototype at K 2016 and has been field tested since. Some 200 machines are connected at present. Access to the main features is free. Second is the AnalytiX cloud-based production-monitoring app for recording, storing and analyzing up to 500 signals from an injection machine at a resolu- tion of 5 millisec. These can be standard machine signals or special signals such as mold cavity pressure. A simpli- fied dashboard (pictured) provides key performance indicators of stabil- ity and productivity for all machines at a glance. Data is avail- able anytime, anywhere on mobile devices. KM calls this "having an injection molding machine in your pocket." New Twist on 3D Blow Molding 3D suction blow molding is known for its ability to mold automotive and appliance ducting in complex shapes with minimal trim scrap. As shown here, sports equip- ment is another opportunity for this technology. This paddle- ball racket was molded of a mix of nylon 66 and 6 with 18% glass. The parison for the hollow handle is wrapped in a complete 360° turn. The machine used was an ASPI model from S.T. Blow Moulding in Italy, such as was exhibited at NPE2018 in Orlando (see April NPE preview). Athena Automation Is Now Niigon Injection machine builder Athena Automation Ltd. in Vaughan, Ont., has changed its name to Niigon Machines Ltd. "This allows us to emphasize our business objective of becoming a global leader in custom- ized injection molding machines," says Robert Schad, chairman and founder. "Niigon is an Ojibwa word that means 'for the future.'" Niigon builds hybrid two-platen presses from 150 to 550 metric tons. Molding Simulation Added to Injection Machine Controls Two injection machine suppliers at October's Fakuma 2018 show in Germany showed off a new approach to making machines "smarter" at assisting in setting up the process for a new job. Both Arburg and Wittmann Battenfeld have introduced elements of filling simulation to their newest machine controls. This involves giving the machine information about the part geometry, which it has never had before. Both firms are using Cadmould simulation software from Simcon in Germany. Still at the prototype stage, Arburg showed integrated filling simulation in its new Gestica controller. This option is planned for introduction next year. Meanwhile, Wittmann Battenfeld has integrated filling simulation (pictured here) into its B8 machine control. It provides the setup technician with information on the filling pattern, filling pressure, location of weld lines, and potential short shots (as shown here). Right now, this feature only shows the simulated effects of machine settings; the next step will be to reduce trial and error by deriving optimized machine settings from the simulation results. 93% Filled Unique 3D-Printed Shock Absorber A complex 3D-printed demonstrator for a shock absorber was showcased at the recent Fakuma 2018 show in Germany by Covestro. According to the company, this part marks another milestone in the move from 3D printing of individual prototypes to the integration of practical functionality and mass production. This shock absorber is unique in that the individual parts were produced from three different materials and with the aid of three different additive manufacturing processes: The outer spring of the 40 x 7 cm (15.7 x 2.8 in.) part is made of powdered TPU using selec- tive laser sintering (SLS). Because the adjust- ing screw inside the shock absorber has to be very strong and hard, it is made of filaments of Covestro's PC material, using the fused filament fabrication (FFF/FDM) process. The air chamber in the interior is created from a liquid PUR resin via the digital light processing (DLP) method. The individual components are subsequently assembled. According to Covestro, "This complex structure would not have been possible with conventional production processes. Another new development is the combi- nation of different materials with various tailor-made properties. This has enabled us to significantly expand the possibili- ties of additive production." 10 DECEMBER 2018 Plastics Technology T E C H N O L O G Y A N D I N D U S T R Y N E W S St ar t ing Up

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