GX injection molding machines in the medium clamping force range
May 15, 2012 World premiere at KraussMaffei: During a customer event KraussMaffei showed trade visitors its new progressive GX series. Presented for the first time, the GX series extends the product portfolio in the segment of hydro-mechanical dual platen machines in the medium clamping force range. The engineering of the developers is manifested in a first-class machine concept featuring intelligent product innovations such as the GearX locking device and the GuideX guide shoe.
During the world premiere in Munich, KraussMaffei provided a demonstration of six machines in its new GX series with a clamping force ranging from 400 to 650 tonnes. These machines have different sizes and equipment variants for production requirements in a very large number of industries such as packaging parts and premium quality articles for the automotive industry or the consumer goods sector. "Our customers were primarily interested in the modular automation cells containing linear and industrial robots in different configurations", summarized Dr. Karlheinz Bourdon, Vice President Technologies in the Injection Molding Machinery Segment of KraussMaffei
GearX and GuideX
According to Krauss Maffei, the hydro-mechanical clamping unit in the GX series sets new standards in terms of quality and productivity. "In my opinion, the GX machines represent the best overall concept", underlined Bourdon. "We talk about a new dimension because our customers can use the machine to get the best results from their production." With the ingenious GuideX guide shoe, forces are ideally absorbed and the service life of the molds is increased. As an intelligent fixed bearing joint with an optimized FEM design, GuideX is a highlight which ensures excellent platen parallelism due to the stable design and guarantees smooth, energy-saving movements. The innovative GearX locking system is reliably activated straightaway within the shortest possible time and continuously produces quick machine movements. Arranged in a space-saving way behind the moving mold fixing platen, it facilitates simple access and numerous customer-specific options.
Convenience and efficiency for the complete machine
Maximum priority is attached in the GX series to easy accessibility of the clamping, ejection and nozzle area, as well the switching cabinets and pump area. Thanks to the accessible design, the operator always works extremely comfortably and time efficiently. Short set-up times and simple maintenance are advantages of the new concept.
Powerful injection unit with proven plasticizing system
The KraussMaffei screw system, which ensures a wide range of applications, was retained in the GX series. Its standard plasticizing unit assures optimal melting quality and high throughput. “As a specialist for special polymers, we also offer our customers a raft of material-specific plasticizing solutions", said Frank Peters, Vice President Sales at KraussMaffei. “The application areas range from PC and PMMA through to PET, PC/PBT and plasticizing systems for long fiber processing." The Competence Center provides customers with competent advice. Fixed check valves with quick and precise closing behavior guarantee high weight constancy from shot to shot.
Processors profit from precision
The efficiency of the plasticizing process is supported by the in-line injection unit which has a rotary piston design and transmits force centrally via the injection piston to the screw. This direct path ensures precision and maximum reproducibility. Injection regulation of pressure and speed is a standard feature of the GX and guarantees processors maximum process reliability.
New MC6 control system offers considerable latitude
"With the MC6 we have a developed a control system which meets our customers' needs for "usability" in every respect”, said Bourdon. “It can be operated clearly and incredibly easy using SplitScreen and ProcessDesigner." Whether an operator is working with a KraussMaffei control system for the first time or is accustomed to its MC5 predecessor – MC6 technology is so intuitively accessible that he will hardly notice it. In keeping with our overall energy-efficient design, the MC6 control system has been equipped with a so-called "Eco button" for the first time. A most energetically optimum machine setting can therefore be made at the push of a button. The new "SplitScreen technology" shows the operator all important production processes at a glance. It almost never takes more than two clicks to get where you want to go quickly and easily. The integrated ProcessDesigner tool clearly presents all current processes in visual terms and enables the customer to modify them, depending on requirements, by means of simple drag-and-drop movements or wiping movements.
Overall modular concept creates flexibility
The modular machine design makes it possible to meet individual requirements, regardless of the type of injection unit, clamping unit or drive needed. Due to the fact that the machine center always remains at the same height, the system is compatible with all clamping and injection unit combinations. In the modular drive system of the GX series, the latest generation of the variable delivery pumps is a standard feature. Their use improves efficiency and guarantees processors maximum cost-effectiveness. The parallel movement of the ejector and core pullers increases productivity and is integrated in the standard. The new premium quality hydraulic components were designed with the focus on higher availability and a long service life to meet the latest state of the art regarding energy efficiency. Depending on the application and production cycle, the machines can be supplied with different PowerPack performance classes for first-class economical production. Through the optional use of "Blue Power Servo Drive" Technology, energy consumption is further optimized compared with variable delivery pumps. The saving amounts to 10 and 30 percent depending on the particular application. Compared with conventional hydraulic concepts on the market, savings of up to 50 percent are actually possible.
Symbiosis of automation technology and machine
Machine and handling form a functional unit. The linear robots from the LRX series are ideally suited for simple pick & place solutions and quick removal. The industrial robot (IR) guarantees flexibility during complex demolding and a wide range of other assembly steps or production steps. A uniform protective housing makes the perfect symbiosis visible on the outside as well. The shared control MC6 system allows both functional units - machine and automation - to be controlled on any control panel: Smart programming with WizardX: The dialog-based programming assistant in the MC6 control system allows even beginners to create basic demolding processes in the shortest possible time. The interactive communication between the user and control system makes manual programming superfluous and eliminates programming errors.
First-time use in production
A GX 550-4300 was delivered to WAFA Kunststofftechnik GmbH in Augsburg in October 2011. Due to the very high demands on the production process and the component, the company was deliberately selected for the field tests in continuous production operation. "The high precision, speed, modularity and high usability completely convinced us", said Wolfgang K. Müller, proprietor and managing director of WAFA. "KraussMaffei once again raised the bar for the high quality of their injection molding machines with their new GX series." The machine is equipped with a type LRX 250 linear robot, the basic component for economical manufacturing cells. This removes the sensitive parts, places them on a cooling/conveyor section and separates the sprues gates as required. The robot also ensures that conditions regarding demolding time and cycle time remain consistent, thus exerting a positive influence on process conditions.