Category Archives: Plastic and composites

Production of aspherical mirrors for head-up displays (HUDs)

In November 2016, Arburg delivered the tenth Allrounder to Continental for the production of aspherical mirrors for head-up displays (HUDs). The company has been cooperating with Arburg on an exclusive basis in this highly demanding segment since 2010, for which it solely uses specially equipped electric machines from the Alldrive series. Demand for head-up displays is growing steadily: annual production increased by 70 percent to around 600,000 parts between 2015 and 2016 alone. There is no end in sight for this growth.

Head-up displays from Continental are installed in cars of various brands throughout the world. These use aspherical mirrors to project all driving-related information (such as the current road speed) onto the windscreen, and thus directly into the driver’s line of vision – an important contribution towards greater driver safety. Displaying this information on the screen without distortion requires moulds with accurate contours and high-precision surfaces. When producing the mirrors, it is essential to accurately reproduce the different curvatures of a wide variety of car windscreens.

Technological cooperation since 2010
Continental has been using Allrounders in plastics processing since 1970. In 2010, cooperation intensified in the field of head-up displays, as the production of aspherical mirrors makes extremely stringent demands in terms of precision. In the case of the injected part, the permissible deviation from the target geometry is less than five micrometres, in other words the diameter of a human hair.
Accordingly, technological cooperation between the two companies covers not only machine design, but also joint process optimisation in terms of sequencing and programming.

Specially equipped ALLROUNDERs
In order to mould the mirrors from Cycloolefin-Copolymer (COC), a special transparent thermoplastic, the electric Allrounders of the Alldrive machine series feature injection compression moulding equipment. A sensor in the mould detects the coining gap and the internal mould pressure during injection compression moulding. The Selogica machine control system monitors these measurement signals. Near-contour temperature control is implemented in up to twelve individual mould temperature control zones. The sprue is removed immediately in the mould. After the injection moulding process, a six-axis robot with specially adapted gripper removes the mirrors without bending them and transfers them to a laser station. Here, each part is marked with its own individual production data, so that it can be identified directly and tracked through production. This step is in line with the requirements of Industry 4.0. Next, the mirrors are set down onto a cooling station, where they are cooled from below with ionised air. This is followed by 100 percent measurement and vacuum deposition of highly-reflective aluminium on the front side. The whole process, including packaging, is fully automated and takes place in a clean-room. This reliably prevents contamination from dust particles.

Continuous advances in development
Continental is now producing its third generation of head-up displays. While the first-generation moulded parts still required downstream assembly operations, the optical and mechanical functions are now directly integrated in the current versions. They can be installed directly in the housing, which enhances production efficiency. HUD development is moving in the direction of larger mirrors, better image quality, integration of assist systems and augmented reality applications.

www.arburg.de

Swiss Plastics 2017: Arburg heralds a “golden” electric era

Arburg will present the cost-efficient automated manufacturing of quality parts at Swiss Plastics 2017, to be held in Lucerne (Switzerland) from 24 to 26 January 2017. An Allrounder 470 E Golden Electric from the new electric entry-level machine series will produce a connector as an example of a technical moulded part for the electrical industry on the Arburg stand C1061 in Hall 1. Thanks to its consistent standardisation, the machine offers an excellent price/performance ratio. A Multilift Select linear robotic system will perform the handling tasks.

570 E, 370 E, EDRIVE, Perspektive
570 E, 370 E, EDRIVE, Perspektive

 

“Our customers in Switzerland are increasingly turning to electric injection moulding technology. Most of the machines we supply have electric drives,” explains Marcel Spadini, Arburg Subsidiary Manager in Switzerland. The high-end machines are available for high-performance and special applications in the shape of the high-end electric Alldrive series, which can be adapted individually to the application at hand. Arburg also introduced the “Golden Electric” machine series onto the market in spring 2016 to enable cost-efficient entry into electric injection moulding manufacturing. Like their successful “Golden Edition” hydraulic counterparts, the new electric machines offer an excellent price/performance ratio thanks to consistent standardisation, e.g. a fixed combination of distance between tie-bars, clamping force and injection unit size.

High-performance, precise, energy efficient

The Allrounder Golden Electric is available in four sizes with clamping forces from 600 to 2,000 kN.

The double five-point toggle ensures fast, high-performance cycles. The play-free spindle drives operate with high precision. The position-regulated screw ensures high moulded part quality. The new electric machine series also features liquid-cooled motors and servo inverters and also offers benefits in terms of energy efficiency, short dry cycle times and high reproducibility. Compared to hydraulic standard machines, the high efficiency of the servo motors, continuous power adaptation and energy recovery during braking achieve energy savings of up to 55 percent. The machines are also easy to maintain thanks to swivelling injection units, plug-in cylinder modules and further improved lubrication and cooling.

Ideally suited to high-quality technical parts

The entry-level electric machines are mainly used in the cost-efficient and reproducible manufacturing of high-quality electric parts. Arburg will demonstrate this at the Swiss Plastics 2017 with a PP moulded part for the electrical industry: an Allrounder 470 E Golden Electric with a clamping force of 1,000 kN and a size 290 injection unit will produce 16 connectors for size M12 Skintop® screw fittings in a cycle time of 18 seconds. These fittings are used to fasten, centre and seal cables and also include a strain relief feature. The moulded part weight is two grams. A linear Multilift Select robotic system will perform the handling tasks.

Cost-efficient automation solution

The Multilift Select is the entry-level model among the linear robotic systems from Arburg. It features servo-electric drives and is fully integrated in the Selogica machine control system. For the operator this means: only one data set, a familiar approach during programming and perfect synchronisation of robotic system and machine. Moreover, the teach-in function means that the Multilift Select is extremely easy to program. The advantages of this strategy are evident. Programming times and conversion procedures are efficiently shortened, handling sequences are more reliable overall and training expenses are much lower.

www.arburg.de

iComposite 4.0 launched: Schuler leads group project on the economic serial production of fiber-reinforced plastic parts

As the importance of lightweight construction methods continues to rise, the automotive industry is increasingly considering fiber-reinforced plastics (composites). Due to high strength combined with low weight, fiber-reinforced plastics offer lightweight potentials which have not been fully exploited yet. At the moment, however, high resulting component costs, among other things, are preventing the widespread use of such composite parts. The beginning of 2016 saw the launch of iComposite 4.0, a group project led by Schuler aimed at achieving economical serial production of components made of fiber-reinforced plastics through increased resource efficiency.

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A self-regulating production line makes it possible to maintain defined characteristics of composite parts.

Due to the high material cost, resource efficiency opens up enormous potential for cost savings. One approach to decreasing the component cost is to reduce the use of materials and processing times in production drastically. The cut-off of semi-finished products is up to 50 percent during manufacturing, for instance. In addition, due to new technologies, there is significant production-related scrap. With the iComposite 4.0 project, cost savings are to be achieved by near net shape, additive production processes (“3D printing”) – in combination with a resin-injection method established in the industry – as well as a networked production system with regulating system intelligence (“Internet of Things”).

The starting point of the networked production system is additive fiber spraying, which is a highly productive process to generate the basic structure of the component. After this, fiber strands are applied very precisely and in accordance with the load profile in order to absorb peak loads in the part and compensate for part variations in the fiber spraying process. During the subsequent injection of resin and shaping in the press, the die’s deflection is deliberately influenced in order to obtain the desired wall thicknesses of the part.

During the subsequent process steps, regulating system intelligence compensates for any fluctuations in the part’s properties in order to minimize scrap. The production history is stored on an RFID chip integrated into the part. This uninterrupted quality monitoring and linking of individual systems along the production line in accordance with Internet of Things methods is ultimately aimed at achieving a zero scrap rate.

In addition to Schuler, partners of the group project sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) are the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) at RWTH Aachen, Apodius GmbH, Broetje Automation Composites GmbH, Frimo Sontra GmbH, ID-Systec GmbH, the Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV) in Industry and the Skilled Crafts at RWTH Aachen, Siemens AG, and Toho Tenax Europe GmbH.

www.schulergroup.com

Arburg and GripIt Fixing win the prestigious Plastics Industry Award

In London on 9 October, Colin Tirel, Managing Director Arburg Ltd (UK), and Jordan Daykin, inventor of “GripIt”, received the Plastics Industry Award (PIA) 2015 in the “Supplier Partnership – Prime Machinery” category.

Successful invention “GripIt”: The fixing elements for plasterboard walls, patented by young entrepreneur Jordan Daykin, are produced on Allrounder injection moulding machines.
Successful invention “GripIt”: The fixing elements for plasterboard walls, patented by young entrepreneur Jordan Daykin, are produced on Allrounder injection moulding machines.

“We are particularly pleased to receive this renowned award together with our customer GripIt Fixings, winning out over some tough competition,” said Colin Tirel, Managing Director of the Arburg subsidiary in Warwick, to the more than 700 plastics experts in the audience. “The GripIt story is a great example of British entrepreneurship – from problem, through concept to successful product on the market.”

Award-winning invention
Jordan Daykin invented “GripIt” at the age of 13 and applied for a patent for his invention in 2009. In 2014, the young British entrepreneur won the “Dragons’ Den” on BBC 2 with “GripIt”. He invested the winnings of 80,000 GB pounds in Allrounder injection moulding machines from Arburg.

Since then, the fixing elements for plasterboard walls have become best-sellers and are available in more than 2000 stores in Great Britain as well as 32 countries worldwide. “Thanks to ‘GripIt’ and the media coverage, I’ve become quite well known. So I’m all the more pleased to win an industrial prize now with our supplier Arburg,” explains Jordan Daykin. “Because this award recognises our engineering and production capabilities, which characterise our company.”

Arburg recipient of several awards
The Plastics Industry Award is usually presented to long-established suppliers. This makes it all the more remarkable that machine manufacturer Arburg received the award after a partnership with GripIt Fixings of only 18 months. Arburg UK last won PIA awards in 2013 and 2012 for its successful cooperation with Harwin and John Guest.

www.arburg.com

LSR processing at Medtec Europe 2015

Arburg will present an application for processing liquid silicone (LSR) on exhibition stand no. 5B04 in Hall 5 at the Medtec Europe to be held in Stuttgart from 21 to 23 April 2015.

The electric Allrounder 470 A presented at the Medtec Europe 2015 is specially equipped for processing LSR and use in the medical technology sector.
The electric Allrounder 470 A presented at the Medtec Europe 2015 is specially equipped for processing LSR and use in the medical technology sector.

An electric Allrounder will produce bellows used as a valve in medical test devices. This application is designed to showcase Arburg’s expertise and demonstrate the potential of the LSR material in medical technology, as well as to demonstrate that the clean room connection to the machine via an encapsulated conveyor belt is a cost-effective production solution.

Liquid silicone
“The Medtec Europe is an important meeting point for all the leading companies in the industry. The focus will be on the manufacture of medical technology products. It is the perfect platform for presenting our range of products and services and expertise, as well as maintaining contacts,” says Sven Kitzlinger, who is responsible for application technology consulting in the medical technology sector at Arburg. “We have extensive specialist know-how in the processing of liquid silicone (LSR): Arburg has been developing special injection moulding solutions for processing this liquid material for more than 35 years. The properties of this material make it perfect for medical technology”, explains the expert.

Electric Allrounder for LSR processing
Arburg will present an electric Allrounder 470 A with a clamping force of 1,000 kN and a size 170 injection unit specially equipped for processing LSR. The Allrounder is specially equipped for production in a clean environment and features a laminar-flow box, a stainless steel sorter unit and an extended machine conveyor belt with tunnel housing for docking to the clean room. In addition, the light grey colour and raised machine feet ensure easy cleaning.

ARBURG GmbH + Co KG
Postfach 1109
72286 Lossburg, Germany
www.arburg.com

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Shaped plastic: products and solutions

Even though there are still a few months before the opening of the Fakuma exhibition, it is clear that the modern centre of exhibitions of Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance (Germany) will be full from next October 14 to 18.

Mr. Schall at the Grand Opening ofthe Fakuma 2012.
Mr. Schall at the Grand Opening ofthe Fakuma 2012.

Fakuma occupies indeed the pole position in its field, and its 23rd edition confirms it once more. The 1300 exhibitors give the event a highly international character, particularly in the delivery of software and hardware for industrial plastics. For further information on this exhibition, we met directly with the organizer Paul Schall.

Mr. Schall, what can visitors expect at Fakuma?
1300 exhibitors and participants come from 32 industrial nations and have needs in term of stand surfaces that are more important than ever, which explains the occupation of all of the halls of the Friedrichshafen Exhibition Centre on the edge of Lake Constance. Given that Germany is the global market leader in the plastics industry, both technologically and commercially, we record 675 exhibitors from that country. Followed by Italy with 72 manufacturers and service providers and Switzerland with 66 companies. Austria arrives in 4th position with 27 participants, pursued by China with 24 and the Netherlands recording 22 exhibitors.

How is it possible that the success of this show is so sustainable?
Given that the world economy continues to show strength in 2014, and insofar as no political disorder occurs, manufacturers and processors are quite willing to invest. We must also take into account the context of hardening of the constraints in terms of reduction of energy consumption and resources which applies to the broad spectrum of the plastics industry.

There is more to come…
In Eurotec’s next issue you will be able to discover the answers to those questions:

  • Can we already see trends that influence the exhibited products?
  • Do you also expect purely industrial novelties in the field of manufacturing?
  • Do you also foresee future trends in the plastics industry?
  • Are there more pronounced trends for a sector of origin of exhibitors?
  • One often speaks of the Schall group. Could you please tell us a few words on this subject in conclusion?

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www.schall-messen.de

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Composites for lightweight construction

More than 90,000 visitors and around 1,300 exhibitors are expected to attend AMB 2014 from 16 to 20 September 2014. Exhibitors will present innovations and further developments from the metal cutting and precision tool industry, as well as chucking tools, CAD, CAM, CAE, software, grinding machines, handling of workpieces and tools, and measuring systems on a gross exhibition area of more than 105,000 square metres.

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The efficient machining of composites and composite
materials is currently one of the key topics of manufacturing technology. True to its motto “Key to markets”, Messe Stuttgart is also making this a major topic at the upcoming AMB, the international exhi-bition for metalworking, which takes place from 16 to 20 September 2014 in Stuttgart. Under the heading “Competence in composites”, exhibitors display their special skills in this area. Trade fair visitors can find these exhibitors very quickly thanks to a corresponding logo at the trade fair stands and special information in the trade fair guide. Visitors can also obtain information within the framework of the event series of business breakfasts. “Introduction to composites and precision tools” by the Stuttgart Region Economic Development Cooperation, which also dedicates itself to the topic with several presentations.

Full article available
You can download the full article on this topic here. It contains:

  • Presentations introduce the topic
  • Improved process reliability
  • Examples from exhibitors
  • Trainee project: Pedal car with CFRP components
  • Mechanical engineers with new concepts
  • For the automotive industry

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AMB
International exhibition for metal working
Messe Stuttgart – Deutschland
Dates: 16-20 September 2014
Schedule:
Tuesday to Friday from 09.00 am to 06.00 pm
Saturday from 09.00 am to 05.00 pm

www.messe-stuttgart.de/amb/

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