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Enjoy Innovation

Enjoy Innovation


At the K 2019 in Düsseldorf, WITTMANN BATTENFELD exhibited its products and applications under the motto “Enjoy Innovation” for the first time in hall 15 at booth C06. WITTMANN BATTENFELD had thus an additional 120 m² of exhibition space at its disposal, and from 16 to 23 October the company presented its innovative injection molding technologies, processes and applications right next to its key competitors.

Innovation has always been a top priority at WITTMANN BATTENFELD. The company’s product developments are designed to offer customers maximum benefit and simultaneously to protect the environment and preserve it for future generations in a sustainable way. Apart from further development and optimization of machinery and equipment, which are setting benchmarks in the market in terms of energy efficiency, this is achieved primarily through the development and continuous improvement of the adaptive HiQ application and process technologies and use of ultra-modern software systems and technologies to enable the integration of machines, robots, auxiliary appliances and MES systems via WITTMANN 4.0, plus sensor systems for machine condition monitoring, abbreviated CMS. Furthermore, the company is working together with partners on processing materials which at the end of their product life are 100% recyclable and/or completely degradable.

Key topic: intelligent machines with adaptive algorithms
The main theme of WITTMANN BATTENFELD’s presentation at the K 2019 was to showcase intelligent machines with adaptive algorithms, which adjust themselves to the ambient conditions.

This was demonstrated with an all-electric EcoPower 55/350 equipped with the software packages HiQ-Flow, HiQ-Melt and HiQ-Metering. A W918 robot from WITTMANN and all auxiliary appliances connected with the machine, as well as the TEMI+ MES system, are integrated in the machine’s UNILOG B8 control system via WITTMANN 4.0. The electronic mold data sheet will also be used on UNILOG B8. The production cell linked together via the WITTMANN 4.0 router is thus able to check whether the connected auxiliaries are sufficient for the selected product data set, or if additional equipment is needed.


Mold for blood tubes – and finished product, manufactured on an EcoPower Xpress 160, in medical version

At the WITTMANN BATTENFELD booth, this production cell were used to present the HiQ functions in the form of specialist lectures and live demonstrations. On the EcoPower 55/350, polycarbonate clothes pegs were manufactured with a 4-cavity mold supplied by Lechner, Austria. Using this fully integrated production cell, the advantages of integration via WITTMANN 4.0 and the TEMI+ MES system could be clearly seen. In a live demonstration, the product HiQ-Flow automatically compensated the effect of material viscosity fluctuations, thus ensuring stable parts quality and eliminating scrap. To avoid plastic waste, pieces of sprue and bad parts deliberately produced for demonstration purposes were re-granulated in the new GMax 9 granulator from WITTMANN, and then directly returned to the machine hopper via the vacuum conveying device connected with the granulator.

Launching of new VPower COMBIMOULD model with special automation package
At the K 2019, WITTMANN BATTENFELD showed its latest further development of the vertical machine in PowerSeries design in the multi-component version. On a VPower 120/130H/210V, a plug made of PA and TPE for the automotive industry was manufactured with a 2+2-cavity mold. The complete automation system for the machine is designed by WITTMANN BATTENFELD Deutschland in Nuremberg. In this application, a Scara robot and a WX142 linear robot from WITTMANN are used, which insert the wrap pins, transfer the preforms, then remove and deposit the finished parts.

Introduction of new EcoPower Xpress in medical version
Another new product at this year’s K was a high-speed EcoPower Xpress 160/1100+ in a medical version. On this machine with 1,600 kN clamping force, PET blood tubes were produced with a 48-cavity mold supplied by Pass Card, Taiwan. To meet the stringent requirements for PET plasticizing, this machine has been equipped with a modified high-performance screw. In addition, a special drying hopper has been mounted above the injection unit, where the granulate is dried by a frequency controlled DRYMAX 300 dryer from WITTMANN. The tubes will be removed from the mold and deposited in transport boxes by the new WITTMANN high-speed robot. The robot controls a box exchange device, which removes every full box and replaces it immediately with one of the empty boxes held ready, to ensure uninterrupted production of the tubes.

Medical application on MicroPower 15/10 production cell
Another medical technology application was demonstrated on a machine from the MicroPower series from WITTMANN BATTENFELD designed for the production of micro parts in the clean-room version. Using a MicroPower 15/10 with 150 kN clamping force, a micro retaining ring for medical miniature tubes was produced from PC with an 8-cavity mold supplied by Wittner, Austria. This product has a part weight of only 2 mg.

The machine comes with a rotary unit, an integrated WITTMANN W8VS2 robot and a camera for complete parts inspection. Following removal and camera inspection, the parts are transferred to transport containers, separated according to individual cavities.

A novelty in the MicroPower is a further improved, 2-step screw-and-plunger injection unit now able to process shot volumes of up to 6 cm3.


CELLMOULD® module on a MacroPower 1100

Lightweight technology for the automotive industry
With an example from the automotive industry, WITTMANN BATTENFELD demonstrated at the K 2019 its competence in CELLMOULD® structured foam technology, which enables the production of extremely light-weight parts as are required primarily in the automotive industry to reduce fuel consumption and/or increase the battery range. On a MacroPower 1100/12800 with an energy-efficient servo drive, a seat bench support for a German sports car was manufactured from PP with a single-cavity mold supplied by Frimo, Germany. The machine is equipped with the SEDE combined nitrogen and pressure generator unit developed and manufactured by WITTMANN BATTENFELD. The nitrogen required for this technology is taken from the ambient air and compressed to the working pressure of up to 330 bar. The material processed will be a type of PP suitable for automotive applications supplied by Borealis. It is the type ME225SY, which contains 25 % postconsumer recycling material and 25 % talcum. With the use of recycling material in passenger car interiors, WITTMANN BATTENFELD makes a significant contribution to promoting the recycling economy in the automotive industry. The parts will be removed and deposited by a WX152 robot from WITTMANN.

On this machine, the CMS condition monitoring system from WITTMANN BATTENFELD was installed, too, which ensures continuous condition monitoring of the most important machine parameters. The current condition of the MacroPower 1100 could be read out from a CMS info and control station placed directly next to the machine. Beside this machine, there was also an AIRMOULD®/CELLMOULD® info stand, where visitors could get detailed information about the processes being demonstrated.

High-tech sheet for the automotive industry
A second application for the automotive industry was presented on a machine from the SmartPower series in XL configuration. With a SmartPower 240 XL, a module for a car headliner with a functional surface was produced with a single-cavity mold supplied by Georg Kaufmann, Switzerland. The module consists of an operating section mounted at the center and lighting sections on each side. For the production of this module, the IMD VARIOFORM process developed by LEONHARD KURZ is used. In this process, a partially translucent decoration sheet is combined with a functional sheet with a printed-on sensor structure on the inside of the molded part. The poly TC sensor demonstrated the touch operation of light on/off and dimming functions as well as setting of the color of the LED light source behind it.

The machine was equipped with an automation system from WITTMANN BATTENFELD Deutschland in Nuremberg. It consists of a WX142 robot from WITTMANN with a C axis and an infrared radiation heater on the Y-axis to heat the continuous sheet used for this application. The WX142 inserts the functional sheet with sensor structure into the mold. The next step is to pull the IMD VARIOFORM sheet through, heat it and then thermoform it using a vacuum. During the same production step, both sheets are overmolded. In this application, the sensor sheet can be optionally selected via a touch button. In this way, it is possible to injection mold parts either with or without sensor sheet.


Cosmetic jars made of a compound 100% based on natural materials

LSR application on EcoPower 160
One of WITTMANN BATTENFELD’s main application technology themes at the K 2019 was silicone injection molding. WITTMANN BATTENFELD demonstrated its expertise in this area at its booth by producing a valve for medical technology from an LSR formulation on a machine of its all-electric EcoPower series, an EcoPower 160/350, with a 16-cavity mold supplied by Nexus, Austria. The injection unit in open design enables easy integration of the LSR metering unit. The Nexus Highline metering unit came with a new servomix metering system with OPC-UA integration. In the mold, latest cold runner technology was used including TIMESHOT needle shut-off control. Parts removal and depositing was handled by a WX142 robot from WITTMANN.

Recycling economy with a product from the packaging industry
“Circular economy” is not only a modern buzzword, but also a strategic focus of WITTMANN BATTENFELD. At the K 2019, WITTMANN BATTENFELD presented one of its current projects jointly with a partner company.

Here, cosmetic jars with lids were manufactured from a material completely based on natural ingredients on an EcoPower 240/1100H/130L COMBIMOULD using a 4+4-cavity mold. This material can be recycled without any loss of its functional properties. The jar was injected by the machine’s main aggregate, the lid by the L aggregate. The machine was equipped with a fully integrated W842 pro robot from WITTMANN, which took a round paper label from a magazine and inserted it on the clamping side for the bottom of the jar. Next, the W842 pro removed the parts from the nozzle side and passed the jars on to a W818 robot, which inserted them into a screwing station. The W842 pro then transferred the lids for the jars to the screwing station, where they were screwed onto the jars and deposited.

In addition to the AIRMOULD®, CELLMOULD® and condition monitoring system info stands, there was also be an info corner presenting the TEMI+ MES package at the WITTMANN BATTENFELD booth. TEMI+ is able to work with injection molding machines as well as robots and auxiliary appliances around the machines. This makes it possible to obtain complete, comprehensive data acquisition and analysis of the quality parameters from all appliances involved in the production of a part.

Info point for plasticizing systems
The plasticizing system of an injection molding machine is the central unit determining the quality of a plastic component. WITTMANN BATTENFELD supports its customers with tailor-made solutions in terms of geometries, materials and surface finish. At the K 2019, visitors had an opportunity to gather information about the latest developments at a separate info point.

Central material supply
The machines at the WITTMANN BATTENFELD booth were supplied mainly via a central material handling system from WITTMANN. In addition to a drying system for PET, mobile ATON dryers and GRAVIMAX gravimetric blenders were used. FEEDMAX central material loaders and stand-alone material loaders completed the picture.

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