ENGEL has been present in Asia for 30 years and is today the only European injection moulding machine manufacturer with local production at multiple locations.
ENGEL is using its knowledge of the local market in China to demonstrate systems that not only increase productivity, quality and flexibility, but highlights how regional production sites, as well as collaboration with local partners can benefit business.
Shanghai is the home of the plant for large-size injection moulding machines of the ENGEL’s ‘duo’ model series and injection moulding machines with small to medium clamping forces come from Pyungtaek-City in South Korea.
ENGEL is the only non-Asian injection moulding machine manufacturer with multiple production plants in Asia. It says decentralised local production guarantees short lead times for customers and also ensures that the products and system solutions can be flexibly adapted to regional and customer-specific requirements.
"Above all when it comes to application-specific consulting and service, close proximity to our customers is extremely important, explained Gero Willmeroth, Sales and Service President at ENGEL Machinery.
“The short distances save our customers time and costs, and speed up the project planning and commissioning of new manufacturing cells.”
At CHINAPLAS the moulding machine manufacturer is offering its insight into the opportunities offered by ‘Industry 4.0’. To achieve optimal results, it says, it is no longer enough to deploy the best injection moulding equipment; it is all about leveraging its maximum potential.
"Industry 4.0 is no longer just a buzzword, but rather a trend that is getting increasing attention among our customers," continued Willmeroth.
"We expect that injection moulding processors will inform themselves at the exhibition about the possibilities and opportunities that Industry 4.0 opens up for them."
During the four days of the trade fair, the parameters from all the production cells in operation at the ENGEL stand are gathered by a central master computer where the ENGEL e‑factory MES solution is running.
It provides features for scheduling jobs, querying the status of the injection moulding machines, and creating quality reports and documentation (smart production). At the same time, the exhibit visitors are given insights into how maintenance and servicing tasks can be completed online via remote connection, thus saving the processor time and costs and increasing the machine availability of the production cell (smart services).
Sustainability in production
During CHINAPLAS, the company is highlighting its systems for sustainable production, including clutch pedals manufactured with the ENGEL watermelt method on an ENGEL duo 350 large-size machine.
Thanks to targeted formation of a hollow structure by means of water injection technology, raw material is saved, the component weight decreases and the cycle time drops. Additionally, the injection of water into a cavity partially filled with plastic melt ensures a uniform wall thickness throughout the clutch pedal and no sink marks despite the complex part geometry. This also results in a very precise part surface.
"The method makes it possible to achieve a fabrication process that is not only very efficient, but also sustainable,” continued Willmeroth. “The issue of sustainability in particular is growing greatly in importance in China.
IML and local partners for cost effective packaging
ENGEL says for efficient production in the packaging industry it will present in-mould labelling (IML) solutions using technology from local partner companies, showcasing the injection moulding machine, the mould and the handling of the labels and finished products all perfectly coordinated with each other.
ENGEL is presenting an e-mac 180 injection moulding machine operating with a 4-cavity mould from CNN Plastic System of New Taipei City in Taiwan, producing oval bowls that are for example used for convenience meals, with the IML automation has been realised by YET Engine Automation – also located in New Taipei City, Taiwan.
"The collaboration with local partners makes it possible for us to guarantee high cost-efficiency for our customers, even for very sophisticated, innovative technologies, and also keep the delivery times for the complete production cell very short," continued Willmeroth.
Mastering Multi-Component Processes
In order to showcase the benefits of process integration, ENGEL is showcasing the manufacture of of housing shells for flow metering devices.
On a tie-bar-less ENGEL e-victory 120 combi injection moulding machine with an integrated ENGEL viper 20 linear robot, four housing shells are first injection-moulded of thermoplastic in a 4+4 cavity mould. These are transferred to the second set of cavities by the robot where a seal of liquid silicone (LSR) is subsequently applied directly in the same mould. While the soft components of one set of housings are being processed, the next housings of thermoplastic are already in progress in the lower half of the mould.
"Having the seals moulded directly onto the housings not only increases production efficiency, but also product safety, because the thermoplastic and the elastomer then form one inseparable unit," says Willmeroth.
Faster positioning for shorter cycle times
Finally, at Chinaplas 2016, the new generation of ENGEL viper linear robots is celebrating its premier in Asia. A special highlight, says ENGEL, is the new active vibration control that boosts positioning speed and therefore contributes to achieving shorter cycle times. Whilst up to now vibrations were reduced through intelligent programmed trajectories, external influences can now also be compensated for online using active vibration control.
ENGEL at Chinaplas 2016 in Shanghai: hall E3 stand E3E01