Arburg received the international “Leonardo da Vinci” Award on 17 March 2016 in Parma, Italy during the MECSPE trade fair. The Italian Association of Industrial Designers AIPI (Associazione Italiana Progettisti Industriali) awarded this prize to acknowledge the design of the Freeformer, an innovative system for additive manufacturing.
“I’m delighted to accept this coveted award on behalf of Arburg Italy. Our Freeformer is unique – both in terms of design and the numerous options that it offers to plastics processing companies for the additive manufacturing of fully-functional one-off parts and small batches,” said Managing Director Adriano Carminati at the award ceremony, which was held during the MECSPE trade fair in Parma, Italy.
International design award
Established by Italy’s AIPI association in 1981, the international “Leonardo da Vinci” Award is presented every two years to individuals and companies who have made a valuable contribution to design and technical innovation for the industry. In addition to Arburg, this year’s recipients included Italian engineer Aldo Costa, who has designed and developed 32 Formula 1 racing cars, the Helicopter Division of Finmeccanica, and cycling company Victoria.
Innovative Freeformer for additive manufacturing
In order to also achieve a high level of production efficiency during the production of small batches down to a single unit, Arburg complemented its Allrounder injection moulding machines with the Freeformer for additive manufacturing, which it introduced to the Italian market in 2015. The Freeformer uses an additive manufacturing process to produce fully-functional plastic parts from qualified standard granulates on the basis of 3D CAD data.
Convincing industrial design
In 2014, the Freeformer already received the renowned Red Dot Award for “excellent product design”. Examples of how aesthetics and functionality have been combined include an easily accessible construction chamber with pivoting glass front, simple operating options and a fold-out PC with multi-touch screen mounted on the side. The clear, soft lines of the housing are reminiscent of modern telecommunications devices and are well suited for use in a design studio or laboratory environment. The fact that the overall concept is successful in visual terms is evidenced by the positive feedback from existing and prospective customers.
At the Plastics & Rubber Vietnam, which takes place in Ho Chi Minh City from 1 to 3 March 2016, Arburg will present an efficient production solution based on a hybrid Allrounder from the high-performance Hidrive series, thus placing the focus on the packaging industry. The high-speed Allrounder 570 H in the “Packaging” version will demonstrate the cost-effective production of drinks bottle closures.
“With a hybrid Allrounder 570 H in the “Packaging” version, we will be presenting an injection moulding application designed for high volume production in the packaging industry at the Plastics & Rubber Vietnam 2016. This efficient high-speed machine produces 24 water bottle closures in only three seconds,” explains David Chan, Managing Director of Arburg Singapore and responsible for the entire ASEAN region.
Packaging technology: Allrounder “Packaging”
In the packaging industry, fast, high-quality volume production using reliable and efficient technology is required. Specially for the production of screw caps, Arburg will present a hybrid Allrounder 570 H in the “Packaging” version at the exhibition. Its high performance capabilities will be impressively demonstrated, using the example of size 29/25 standard drink bottle caps for still mineral water. The exhibit, which features a clamping force of 1,800 kN and a size 800 injection unit, operates with a 24 cavity mould from Z-moulds. The high-quality screw caps weighing 1.25 grams are produced in a cycle time of around three seconds.
“Packaging” version: high performance and fast
Arburg offers a “Packaging” (P) version of the high-performance hybrid and electric Hidrive and Alldrive machines. These efficient high-speed machines offer high productivity and reduced energy requirements for applications in the beverage industry and are characterised by a well-balanced combination of distance between tie-bars, clamping force and opening stroke. Moreover, it provides fast, precise, energy-saving mould movements through servo-electric toggle-type clamping units, high plasticising flow rate through barrier screws and servo-electric dosage drives, dynamic position-regulated screws and effective injection flows volumes.
Special features for screw cap production
In addition to the basic equipment in the “Packaging” version, special features are available that enable the machines to be adapted to particular applications for the production of thin-walled items and screw caps. Fast, reliable ejection of mass-produced parts is what counts in screw cap production. A servo-electric ejector with a hydraulic boost function, i.e. an increased ejector force of 250 kN, is available for this purpose. This ensures problem-free demoulding, even in the case of shrunk-on closures. The “eject” and “open mould” steps can be synchronised. The dropping of the moulded parts can be precisely adjusted to keep the mould open times short. Higher screw circumferential speeds enable correspondingly short dosing times. This enables very short cycle times to be achieved.
The Fakuma 2014 went exceptionally well for Arburg. The Lossburg-based machine manufacturer was the only exhibitor to present the entire spectrum from additive manufacturing to injection moulding. The main focus was on the next step in the production efficiency strategy: the cost-effective production of plastic parts – from one-off parts, multiple-variant small and medium batches, through to mass-produced items.
“The trade fair in Friedrichshafen has traditionally been an excellent platform for high-quality discussions, intensive exchanges of ideas and good business. The exhibition stand was extremely well frequented throughout, and we received numerous specific enquiries,” says Michael Hehl, Managing Partner and Spokesperson for the Arburg Management Team, summing up the trade fair. “With eleven exhibits on our own stand and a further eight on partner stands, we presented numerous technical innovations, exciting processes and pioneering applications, positioning ourselves as the trendsetter of the industry.”
High level of interest in additive manufacturing
Particular interest was generated by the Arburg Plastic Freeforming (AKF) technology with the Freeformer, the German sales launch of which took place at the Fakuma. The ability to process standard granulates using an additive technique, and to build up the desired plastic part layer-by-layer from tiny droplets using 3D CAD data is unique. Using the production of a pair of office scissors as an example, Arburg offered a clear demonstration of the flexible customisation of plastic products under the Industry 4.0 heading by combining injection moulding and additive manufacturing.
Positive expectations for 2015
For the entire industry, the Fakuma 2014 was an important trend indicator of the coming months. The positive response and positive mood among visitors – including many international guests – at Europe’s major trade fair of 2014, has given Arburg a positive outlook on the year to come.