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A good mould alone does not make good parts

Сase studies

Extremely robust, environmentally friendly and biocompatible – silicones are being used for more and more applications thanks to their outstanding characteristics. In order to live up to this increase, awetis engineering+manufacturing GmbH in Laudenbach an der Bergstraße is making targeted investments in this business area. Recently, a tie-bar-less ENGEL victory 120 LIm injection moulding machine was added to their technology centre.

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Thanks to the tie-bar-less clamping unit, awetis is able to sample a broad range of moulds using the 120-tonne machine. There is also room for large multi-cavity moulds.

In 2010, awetis emerged from the plant and mould technology department of the Weinheim-based Freudenberg group and specialises in moulds, automation and IT solutions for processing elastomers and silicones. As a supplier of turnkey solutions, awetis provides support to their customers from the automotive industry, the fields of electronics, household goods and medical technology, from the initial product idea through the start of series manufacturing. "Silicone is clearly a growing area, partly rubber is already being replaced with silicone," stresses Sales Manager, Konrad Burkhardt. "Especially in the fields of medical technology and consumer products the demand is increasing substantially." Whether they are being used for medical devices, smart phones or engine components, silicone projects have one thing in common: the high requirements for resource efficiency. "Only those whose work is low in burrs, waste-free, highly automated and does not require reworking will survive the competition," says Burkhardt. "This defines the challenges for us as suppliers." awetis has secured unique selling propositions with specific mould technologies; among others e.g. the cold runner system fColdRunner with divided distribution level.

Maximum precision for efficient material use
"A good mould alone is not enough to produce good parts," highlights Burkhardt. "The interaction of mould, injection moulding machine and peripheral units is the deciding factor." Exactly for this reason awetis uses ENGEL injection moulding machines in their own technology centre where moulds are sampled together with customers. "I have been working with ENGEL machines since my time as an apprentice," says Burkhardt. "ENGEL victory machines with tie-bar-less clamping units are able to reconcile the high quality and efficiency requirements of silicone processing particularly well."

This is because of the specific characteristics of this machine design. Thus the central flex link enables the moving mould mounting platen to follow the mould exactly while clamping force is being built up, which results in a high degree of platen parallelism. On the other hand, the patented force divider ensures that the clamping force is distributed evenly throughout the entire platen face and the cavities near the outer edge of the platen are closed with exactly the same clamping force as the ones in the middle. Both reduces mould wear and increases product quality, particularly when processing low-viscosity liquid silicone. The components have constant wall thicknesses and no burrs occur.

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At their technology centre awetis employees injection moulding technology by ENGEL and dosing systems by nexus automation (Marchtrenk, Austria).

Reduce footprint
Another feature is the high degree of flexibility thanks to the barrier-free access to the mould area. "At the technology centre we change moulds almost every day and with tie-bar-less machines this is achieved particularly quickly and comfortably," explains Burkhardt. For awetis flexibility also means to be able to sample a broad range of moulds with a relatively small machine. The largest silicone moulds have up to 256 cavities. While these moulds have a large volume, the injection moulding process requires only a low clamping force due to the rather small projected part area. In this case, the tie-bar-less technology makes it possible to choose the machine size according to the amount of clamping force actually needed instead of according to the size of the mould. "Space is a very valuable good here at the technology centre," says Konrad Burkhardt. "In order to increase area productivity many of our customers also use tie-bar-less ENGEL machines."

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