ENGEL at Arabplast 2019
Optimum efficiency, maximum performance and consistent quality: ENGEL, the Austrian injection moulding machine manufacturer and system solution provider, will be demonstrating how tailor-made interplay between the injection moulding machine, automation, and the mould can reconcile these demands cost-effectively and sustainably at the Arabplast 2019 fair from January 5th to 8th in Dubai, United Arabic Emirates. ENGEL’s information stand in hall 6 will focus on innovative products and applications for the construction, logistics and packaging industries.
As the dynamic development of the plastics industry in the United Arab Emirates continues, it is not least Expo 2020, the upcoming world exhibition in Dubai, that is inspiring the region. The construction, logistics and packaging sectors in particular are benefiting from the preparations for several million additional visitors. "Plastics processors in these industries are increasingly investing in the modernisation and expansion of their machinery," reports Andreas Leitner, Sales Director Middle East at ENGEL in the run-up to Arabplast. "Demand is particularly high for solutions that lead to greater efficiency and further increase sustainability." As an innovation-driven company with a high level of automation and expertise in system solutions, ENGEL is one of the preferred suppliers in the region. "If we precisely tune all components of the production cell from the outset, we can fully exploit both efficiency and quality potential," says Leitner. In addition to injection moulding machines, ENGEL develops process technologies, robots and special automation solutions in-house and also collaborates with partner companies that are also leaders in their respective fields. One of these partners, Otto Hofstetter, is exhibiting along with ENGEL in Dubai. Among other capabilities, the Swiss toolmaker is one of the world's leading suppliers of thin-walled packaging. The two partners have many joint reference projects in the United Arab Emirates.
Packaging: maximum performance – minimal energy consumption
During the four days of the fair, ENGEL and Otto Hofstetter will be presenting a whole range of different thin-walled containers – from small food containers to larger paint buckets – which are manufactured using in-mould labelling (IML) at particularly low unit costs. IML makes it possible to produce highly decorated, ready-to-fill packaging in a single production step. For this purpose, a decorative film is automatically inserted into the mould and back-moulded with thermoplastic material. The high-performance machines in ENGEL's e motion series ensure that even extremely thin-walled containers are highly stable in these applications. With its closed system for toggle levers and spindles, the all-electric e-motion ensures optimum and clean lubrication of all moving machine components at all times, thus complying with the strict requirements of the food industry.
In the manufacture of caps, efficiency is also still the most important driver of innovation. The e-cap, which ENGEL developed specifically for cap production, is the only cap machine on the market providing all-electric operation with a clamping force range as high as 4,200 kN. At the same time, it is the most energy-efficient machine in its class. To manufacture 26 mm caps made of high density polyethylene in a 72-cavity mould, for example, an e-cap 2440/380 requires only 0.4 kWh of electricity per kilogram of pellets with a cycle time of less than 2 seconds. Because it is all-electric, the e-cap also saves cooling water. "The lowest possible energy and cooling water consumption values are crucial in the United Arab Emi-rates," says Leitner. "The trend in cap production is therefore clearly towards all-electric machines."
Construction: compact solutions for voluminous moulds
In the construction industry, it is mainly fittings which are produced in large quantities and place high demands on suppliers. As a rule, fitting production requires a large number of core-pulls and slide valves, thus leading to particularly large moulds. To avoid the size of the injection moulding machine being determined by the mould volume, and instead by the clamping force required for the injection moulding process, increasing numbers of fitting manufacturers are opting for tie-bar-less ENGEL victory machines. Because there are no tie bars in the way, the mould mounting platens can be fully used up to their very edges. In this way, large moulds fit on comparatively small machines, which keeps investment costs low and saves a huge amount of energy over the entire production period. The ENGEL ecodrive servo-hydraulic system, which is part of the the victory series' standard scope of supply, makes a further contribution to high energy efficiency.
Further advantages of the tie-bar-less clamping unit are faster set-up processes and more efficient automation, as the robots move close to the clamping unit and can reach the cavities without needing to work around the interfering edges. The trend towards integrating work steps downstream of the injection moulding process is leading to a further increase in the degree of automation. In the manufacture of fittings, for example, ENGEL viper linear robots automatically place seals in the component.
Logistics: reliable processing of recycled materials
The trend towards greater sustainability is particularly evident in the area of logistics. Companies in the Middle East would like to completely do without wooden pallets in the long term. Plastic pallets do not require environmentally hazardous chemicals such as pesticides and fungicides and are lighter, while offering greater stability and rigidity, making them ideal for air freight. In addition, they are neither hygroscopic nor flammable and do not splinter. "Pallets are increasingly being produced from recycled packaging waste," says Leitner, describing an important milestone. "The circular economy trend is leading to more and more high-quality applications being developed for recycled materials, which we support as machine manufacturer and system solution provider." With their very powerful plasticising units, compact, dual-platen, large-scale machines by ENGEL duo series are optimally equipped for processing recycled material.
To achieve full automation even for larger dimensions, ENGEL offers its viper robots with a nominal payload capacity of up to 120 kg. With a mould take-off stroke of 3000 mm and a reach of 3550 mm, the ENGEL viper 120 is expanding the horizon of linear robotics.
Master complex processes easily
From the standardised robot cell to the tailor-made special automation solution, ENGEL precisely meets individual handling requirements. One special feature with ENGEL is that the robot control is a component of the injection moulding machine's CC300 control. This guarantees uniform operating logic throughout the entire production cell and exploits further efficiency potential. As the machine and robot access a common database, their movements can be coordinated precisely, which cuts cycle times in many applications.
The whole process is very easily and clearly visualised via the CC300 control panel of the injection moulding machine and can be controlled centrally using the panel. With the increasing complexity of manufacturing processes, this aspect is becoming increasingly important. Control integration reduces complexity and makes it easy, even for a machine operator with little experience, to master the process reliably and produce consistently high quality. "The shortage of skilled workers in the United Arab Emirates continues to worsen," Leitner reports. "With our Simplicity approach, we are helping our customers to further boost their competiveness."
New service base in Dubai
A deep understanding of local markets and individual customer requirements is a prerequisite for developing tailor-made injection moulding solutions. To ensure close proximity to its customers worldwide, ENGEL is continuously expanding its sales and service network. In the Middle East, the service team in particular has recently been expanded. Dubai now also has its own service base. Within the ENGEL Group, ENGEL has been able to recruit a very experienced technician for the emirate.
ENGEL at Arabplast 2019: hall 6, stand C110
(Engel Austria GmbH)