Injection moulding machinery manufacturer ENGEL will be exhibiting on Stand 5204 in Hall A5 at Fakuma. The event, taking place from 12-16 October in Germany, will see ENGEL shine a spotlight on sustainability and unveil its new 4,200 kN version of the e-speed injection moulding machine.
Over the five days of the trade event, an e-speed 420/90 injection moulding machine with integrated in-mould labelling (IML) will be used to produce ready-to-use margarine tubs from polypropylene in a fully automated injection compression process. The containers, which have a wall thickness of 0.4mm (including the label), will be removed from the 4+4-cavity stack mould via high-speed, side-entry automation and stacked on a discharge conveyor following camera-based quality control. Corporate partners at the trade show include MCC Verstraete, Plastisud, Campetella, Mevisco and Borealis.
The continuing trend for reducing wall thickness is leading to ever more extreme flow path/wall thickness ratios that are often in the range of 1:400. From a ratio of 1:300 and above, consistently high component quality in many applications can only be achieved through injection compression moulding. Other advantages of injection compression moulding technology include the lower clamping forces and injection pressures required compared to conventional compact injection moulding, plus the fact that even high-viscosity materials can be processed in a repeatable manner. Overall, this means reduced energy consumption and competitive unit costs.
Despite this, injection compression moulding tends to be seen as ruling out the use of a stack mould; this is because, for many injection moulding machines, the speed of the platen movements is insufficient for a stack mould. Things are different for the ENGEL e-speed injection moulding machine – designed to handle the long-term, high-performance output required by the packaging industry. The electrically driven clamping unit and the toggle lever design facilitate very fast, short compression strokes – 4mm in the case of the margarine tubs. The parallel movements can be controlled very exactly – the prerequisite for coordinating the compression stroke and injection profile to the necessary degree of precision.
High-performance e-speed machine available in a new size
With the new e-speed size 420, which offers 4,200kN of clamping force, ENGEL diversifies its product range, aiming to tailor its injection moulding machines and systems solutions even more closely to specific applications, thereby maximising overall efficiency. The ENGEL e-speed injection moulding machines with hybrid injection units and electric clamping units combine very short cycle times with maximum precision and very high injection speeds of up to 1,200mm per second; they operate with extreme energy efficiency. An innovative energy recovery system absorbs braking energy from the platen movements and returns the stored energy to the motor – for example, to accelerate the mould mounting platens again.
The toggle lever is encapsulated to ensure particularly low oil consumption and maximum cleanliness. In this way, the machines of the e-speed series meet the strict requirements of the food industry as standard.
Intelligent labelling technology
The labels of MCC Verstraete, which will be used to produce the margarine tubs at Fakuma, are interactive. These labels are based on technology by Digimarc and, much like a QR code, Digimarc codes can be scanned with any smartphone camera. The main advantage of these is that they extend invisibly over the entire label surface. The camera can scan any point. Moreover, the codes do not interfere with the packaging design.
From production through retail and recycling, the interactive labels offer added value. Consumers can discover the details of the ingredients and manufacture for both the product and the packaging while shopping. And when the packaging has reached the end of its useful life, the label provides information on the recycling process. Where the containers and labels are made of the same material, interactive IML packaging becomes fully recyclable.
From margarine tubs to tapered closures
The margarine tubs produced at the Fakuma event will be made of polypropylene, as will the labels. At the end of its service life, the mono-material packaging can be shredded, as is the case for production waste from the manufacturing process; the raw material thereby obtained is used to process new products. At its stand, ENGEL will demonstrate these possibilities by processing waste label offcuts in the form of regrind. An ENGEL victory 460/80 will be used to produce Pöppelmann tapered closures from an 8-cavity mould. Like ENGEL, Germany-based Pöppelmann (at Fakuma in Hall B5, Stand 5107) is pioneering the establishment of a circular economy for the plastics industry. Protective elements in Pöppelmann’s KAPSTO product range are used in the logistical and construction fields, among others. The plastic in these products is 100% recycled material.
Recycling, thin-wall technology, energy efficiency, and information transparency are critical to the success of any circular economy – and ENGEL’s stand at the trade fair will underline this point.
Click here to learn more about Fakuma 2021, and don’t forget to visit ENGEL on Stand 5204, located in Hall A5.