An event held at Engel UK’s headquarters on the opportunities offered by MuCell foam injection moulding was one of the “best attended” of those held so far, says the company.
More than 230 plastics processors visited the Engel UK Technology Centre in Warwick over the course of the two-day demonstration event, which was organised in conjunction with Jaguar Land Rover and other industry partners.
Together, the companies demonstrated the potential that this technology has for carmakers and their suppliers.
"MuCell offers the opportunity of combining resource-efficient lightweight design with a high degree of cost efficiency and excellent component properties," commented Graeme Herlihy, CEO of Engel UK. "This combination will ensure that the process continues to rapidly gain importance."
Under the ‘Engel foammelt’ banner, Engel offers single source production cells for MuCell structural foam moulding. The company imports MuCell systems from Trexel, USA, for its customers, handling control and safety integration with the injection moulding machine, and offering application-specific consulting.
Keynote presentations given to delegates at the event included MuCell-compliant component design, filling simulations, creating premium surfaces in the MuCell process, and the cost-efficiency of the process.
Michael Fischer from Engel Austria, Harald Heitkamp from Trexel and Fabien Buchy from Mouldex3D offered a sneak preview of future challenges and developments, whilst Ian Ray from Jaguar Land Rover and Dominique Manceau from Plastivaloire in France reported on the potential for their products.
Engel says the keynotes illustrated how structural foam injection moulding transcends the limits of compact injection moulding and opens up new degrees of design freedom.
In a live demonstration at the technology centre, Engel took up one of the latest trends: the combination of MuCell with other process technologies. To manufacture ready-to-use components in high-gloss piano black, both ENGEL foammelt and ENGEL variomelt for vario-thermal mould temperature control were integrated with an ENGEL e‑victory 120 injection moulding machine with an integrated ENGEL viper 6 robot. Sample parts were injected during the event. Among other applications, this dual technology integration opens up new efficiency and quality horizons for interior applications.