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Machine with clamping force of 8,000 kN broadens the spectrum

News 04.05.2018

With a market share exceeding 20 %, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is the leading manufacturer of injection moulding machinery for plastic packaging. Launched twenty years ago, the hybrid El-Exis SP is the main contributor to this success. Now in its fourth generation, it is the quickest and most advanced machine on the market.

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El-Exis SP series from Sumitomo (SHI) Demag – clamping forces up to 800t

Energy efficiency marks the fourth generation of the El-Exis SP
Located in Schwaig near Nuremberg, the injection moulding machine manufacturer has adapted the highspeed machine from version to version to meet the increasingly exacting demands of packaging producers. The fourth generation was introduced in 2016 and is primarily distinguished by its optimised use of energy and resources – one of the most pressing challenges in engineering given the global increase of production volumes. Depending on production parameters, it requires up to 20 % less energy when compared to its predecessor. The hydraulic accumulator enables the achievement of injection speeds of up to 1,000 mm/s and accelerations of up to 4g. Intelligent accumulator control simultaneously ensures process-dependent, variable accumulator allocation.

Machine with clamping force of 8,000 kN broadens the spectrum
The hybrid concept combines the high speed demanded by the customer with availability and reliability in a single machine – characteristics which are particularly indispensable during typical packaging applications involving high quantities and a low part weight. “Right from the outset, development of the ElExis focused on the demand that performance, service life and energy consumption should play equally important roles and that no sacrifices should be made in this respect”, explained Arnaud Nomblot, Director Business Development Packaging at Sumitomo (SHI) Demag. The dynamic hybrid drive ensures a maximum level of performance and excellent process consistency and accuracy, both during acceleration and braking. “In the area of packaging, we primarily benefit from two facts. First of these is our specific experience in this sector, for example during the design of mould clamping plates which, thanks to finite element analysis, exhibit considerably superior rigidity to conventional plates and, secondly, the high vertical range of manufacturing in our company. Crucial machine elements such as screws, plates or columns are manufactured by us rather than being purchased outside”, continues Nomblot. “This direct control of manufacturing precision is a decisive factor in ensuring that the machine meets all requirements in the high-speed range and works reliably and accurately over the years.”

Sumitomo (SHI) Demag now also meets the growing demand for large machinery for multiple cavities by expanding the clamping force range of the El-Exis SP series. With maximum clamping forces of 8,000 kN, the machine impresses through a dry cycle time of 2.05 seconds during daily operation. Cycle times of less than 4 seconds for the production of milk product containers (500 gram) in an 8-cavity IML mould underline the aspiration of the German-Japanese machine manufacturer to set the high-speed benchmark on the market with the El-Exis SP.

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Significant increases in efficiency can even be achieved in thin-walled production through speed compression

Broad application spectrum as standard feature
Next to the ejection rate, repeatability, availability, efficiency and sustainability, versatility has since become an equally important development driver. The El-Exis SP opens up a wide process window to the user when it comes to cycle times and process parameters such as injection speed. IML, two-component and injection compression moulding are also standard. Injection compression moulding in particular is one of the technologies at Sumitomo (SHI) Demag that is suitable for more sustainable, higher quality and, simultaneously, more cost-effective packaging production. A high precision level and the injection speed of El-Exis SP machines transform injection compression moulding into speed compression, even in the standard version. For example, trays made of a PP Mfi 20 with a flow path wall density ratio of 450:1 are produced in a cycle time of 3.5 seconds in a 2+2 cavity level mould developed and patented by Plastisud. This technique achieves wall thicknesses up to 25 % thinner and, consequently, a lower part weight with comparable product characteristics. In addition, the customer can run processes with around 30 % lower clamping forces.

Two-component injection moulding is also part of the standard repertoire of the El-Exis SP, which allows applications such as the production of premium packaging with a high level of transparency, in-mould labelling and superior-quality colouring. Injection moulding of buckets with an integrated handle is also possible using the two-component process. This extremely rapid and stable process was standardised and optimised together with Brink Werkzeuge. Thanks to maximum performance, large machines in the El-Exis SP series are particularly suitable for the production of buckets that require higher clamping forces.

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