The manufacture of hybrid components leads to new solutions and product ideas. See here how you can overmold inserts in a "reel-to-reel" process, how to automate the high-volume production of hybrid parts, or how to produce small batches on vertical ALLROUNDERs with coordinated manual activities in an economically efficient way.
Foamed part combined with plastic
Particle-foam Composite Injection Molding (PCIM) combines a foamed insert with a polymer component. By melting the surface of the foamed insert in a defined manner when injecting the plastic, a lightweight part is produced with a durable mechanical connection, dispensing with the need for downstream assembly steps.
The centerpiece of this compact and flexible automation solution is a hydraulic two-component injection molding machine which, in a single process step, produces a finished model wheel comprising a foamed EPP tire and injection molded PP rim encapsulated with TPE. The new mobile Agilus six-axis robotic system (Kuka/fpt) is used for handling, and moves along an additional linear axis arranged transverse to the machine. The flexible seven-axis solution permits more dynamic movements and mold entry that is 43 % faster. The result is shorter cycle times and higher productivity.
Up to 72,000 pins encapsulated fully automatically
ARBURG has designed a production cell for the fully automatic volume production of internal conductors for Fakra connectors, encapsulating up to 72,000 pins per day. The associated robotic systems and peripherals are characterized by extremely fast and precise handling of the delicate inserts.
The production cell is built around a hybrid injection molding machine whose electric clamping unit permits short cycle times. A vertical robotic system takes delivery of individual batches of 16 pins from two vibrating spiral conveyors. The pins are then inserted into the holes in the gripper insertion module and transported to the mold. Here, the robotic system removes 16 finished parts and simultaneously inserts the pins. The cycle time is only approx. 20 s.
to the molded part
Powerful combination: Long fibres and organic sheets
A lever is used as an example to show how the new Fiber Direct Compounding (FDC) process can be combined with the encapsulation of two continuous-Fiber reinforced thermoplastic inserts of different thicknesses (thermoplastic composite sheets). The result is a high-strength composite component which can be used as a substitute for metal.
A six-axis robotic system picks up the two continuous-fiber reinforced thermoplastic inserts (organic sheets), which are of different thickness, and heats them gently in a two-sided heating process, before transferring them into the mold at a precise forming temperature. A servo-hydraulic ALLROUNDER 820 S encapsulates the organic sheets with long-fiber reinforced PP and, in a cycle time of 40 s, produces a component with additional functional and reinforcement elements that is over 500 mm long and weighs just 200 g. This corresponds to 62 % weight savings compared to die-casting.
Leadframes can be encapsulated with plastic using the reel-to-reel process. For the production of clips, a vertical injection molding machine is equipped with a combination mold, which separates the finished parts from the carrier strip. The process impresses with short cycle times of 30 s and continuously high quality.
The incorporation of several processing steps, the automated production system built around a vertical ALLROUNDER 275 V is extremely cost-efficient. The stamped parts are unwound from the reel by a horizontal pay-off mechanism. The pre-stamped strip with the clip blanks is fed into the injection molding machine and encapsulated with plastic. In the second step, the finished clip is separated while the next clip is being encapsulated. The finished parts fall onto a conveyor belt via a chute.
Manual filter production
A vertical ALLROUNDER 375 V injection molding machine shows how fuel tank strainers can be produced cost-effectively and to high quality standards in small batch volumes by integrating manual operations and using innovative working methods. A total of seven production steps take place within a total cycle time of 50 s.
The strainers are produced extremely flexibly to a very high level of quality in unit volumes of up to 3,000. The machine and operator are both used to full capacity. In a cycle time of around 35 s, the upper and a lower sections of the filter are injection molded while the two parts from the previous cycle are joined mechanically. The operator simultaneously performs finishing operations, including assembly of the finished component. In this manner, approx. 85 units are produced per hour.