Flow straightener

The combination of different materials to create multi-functional components in a single production step is one of the domains of plastics processing. Flow straighteners in shower heads are a good example: thanks to the elastic LSR nozzles integrated in the solid PBT main body, scale can be removed with ease.

Flow straighteners for shower heads are produced, inspected and packaged fully automatically in a production cell built around an electric two-component injection molding machine from the ALLDRIVE series. This enables efficient high-volume production of this complex hard/soft combination.

Highlights

  • Ready-for-use, finished product: fully automated injection molding, inspection and packaging in a single step
  • Efficient use of materials: sprueless part production using hot and cold-runner technology
  • 100 % quality: inspection of holes in LSR nozzles and checks for overfeed and underfeed
  • Central monitoring: automation and peripherals integrated in the SELOGICA machine control system
  • Everything from a single source: ARBURG supplies the complete production cell, consisting of an injection molding machine, automation and peripherals

Basic specifications

Flow straightener
Cavities: 2 + 2
Part weight: 43.3 g
Material: PBT GF 30 + LSR
Cycle time: 40 s

Technology

Machine
Flow straighteners for shower heads are produced from PBT and LSR on an electric two-component ALLROUNDER 570 A, which is equipped with two 3.7 oz injection units. Two pre-molded parts and two finished components are produced in a cycle time of 40 s in a consistently high part quality.
to electric machines

Robotic system
Transfer technology is the ideal answer for hard/soft combinations such as the flow straightener. The vertical MULTILIFT V robotic system turns the pre-molded parts over in the mold. In addition, it removes the finished parts and transfers them first to a cooling station with integrated visual inspection, then on to a packaging system.
to linear robotic systems

Process

Multi-component injection molding
For the combined processing of thermoplastics and liquid silicone in a single mold, the necessary thermal separation presents a challenge: while the PBT needs to be cooled, the LSR cross-links at high temperatures. For a fully automated process, transfer technology offers the ideal solution.
to the process

Liquid silicone injection molding (LSR)
For sprueless part production, both the PBT main body and the LSR nozzles of the flow straightener are directly injected using hot and cold-runner technology. As a result, no non-recyclable waste is generated. Efficient use of materials is also ensured by an optimized emptying system for the LSR dosing unit.
to the process

Sector

Technical injection molding
In technical injection molding, high-precision components can be produced for a wide variety of applications. The production of flow straighteners is an example of how sophisticated mold technology and complex workflows can be comprehensively automated.
to the sector

Partners

Mold:Rico
LSR dosing unit:2KM
Cooling station:Barth
Camera system:Fuchs
Packaging system:AVT