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Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association

ARBURG sponsored meeting: Innovations in Injection Moulding

Simon Wrighton, Sales Manager at ARBURG UK

SPRA President Fergus Hardie welcomed an audience of 42 to the November Technical Lecture, hosted by ARBURG, at the Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld. Fergus handed proceedings over to Simon Wrighton, Sales Manager at ARBURG who, in a highly entertaining presentation, took us through the latest innovations that ARBURG are involved with.

Technical information began with an overview of ARBURG, from their first machine, built in 1954, through over 50 years of innovation, which still continues today..... ARBURG "Technology Days" are a chance for customers to visit ARBURG and experience the latest in Injection Moulding technology. All of their systems are available in the 2100 sqm facility, which includes a full clean-room for demonstration.

With Tandem Moulding technology, a family tool can be constructed with two parting lines. This allows parts with different optimum injection settings to be moulded in the same cycle. This increases output by utilising unused machine time.

The DMC and 6-axis Robot technology concerned the moulding of thermoset materials. These materials are de-moulded at high temperatures, thus making handling problematic. The 6-axis robot overcomes this, being able to handle parts typically de-moulded at 160°C. Another common feature of thermoset moulding is increased flash, which can be de-burred whilst being carried by the robot. The next stage is vision system inspection, still being done via the robotic system, and parts can then be placed onto collation trays until cool enough to handle.

ARBURG's Fast Cycling Technology showcased a mould producing 6 thin-walled aerosol caps every 3.2 seconds. This was achieved through a combination of electric and hydraulic machine technology, with independent drives offering a variety of options for cycle time optimisation - for example, starting the injection cycle as the tool closes, or "Injection on the Fly". 

LSR buttons and gasket on a PA housing for a washing machine
Multi-component moulding was next up with an example of a nylon component over-moulded with an LRS (Liquid Silicone Rubber) button and gasket. Again, the LSR required a mould temperature of up to 160°C, so the Multilift V robot system was the key. For this application the two Injection units were positioned in an L-shaped configuration and the ARBURG Multilift V robot was used for the precise transfer and placements of the nylon parts into the second cavity for the LSR moulding. Finished parts were then automatically transferred to a pad printing station for decoration.

Simon rounded off by highlighting Micro-Injection Moulding, currently defined as any part under 1g in weight. The challenges involved in this moulding have typically been in part handling, and the supply to the mould of material, which often starts off in granules bigger than the mouldings themselves (but still need to be fully homogeneous before injection). Smaller plasticising screws can be used, but if smaller granules are needed, this incurs a price penalty. ARBURG overcome this by using a standard 18mm plasticising screw feeding a smaller 8mm screw to do the injection, this technology guarantees the first-in first-out principle. The Micro-Injection Module can be fitted to a standard ARBURG electric machine with a 70 injection unit.    
Images courtesy of ARBURG.
Micro Injection Module from ARBURG





Report by David Barlow, SPRA Social Convener

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PDM Event

11 June 2019
Manchester Central Convention Complex

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Technical Info from SPRA

  • Materials Thermoplastics, Thermosets, Elastomers, Additives.
  • Processes Moulding, Extrusion, Thermoforming, Ancillaries.
  • Design Product, Mould, CAE, Testing.
  • Applications Healthcare, Packaging, Electronics, Other Markets.
  • Environment Waste, Recycling, Sustainability, Legislation, Energy.
  • Business Issues Network, Seminars, Competitiveness, Innovation, Regulation.