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A low tonnage injection molding machine: small but efficient  #11 (69) 2008

Using an injection molding machine with a low clamping force instead of large ones has a  lot of advantages. This is why in the 60s of the last century a small injection molding machine  BOY 15 of a German manufacturer Dr Boy (Neustadt, Germany) appeared on the market. Today, there are other facts in favour of low tonnage machines

Today almost in all technologically sophisticated fields such as medical equipment production, communications, electronics, automobile production, sensor technologies there is a tendency for minimizing parts size.
Thus, in automobiles a compact design and lightweight details have become of crucial importance. It is true especially for touch sensitive engineering when technical requirements are ensured by extremely small details. Airbags, signaling system, mileage measurement devices, ice warning devices, engine control system, navigation system, oil level sensors and rain sensors – all of them consist of microdetails.
To meet the requirements of the auto industry the company’s specialists created a unique plasticizing unit with a screw of a 12 mm diameter which allows to reduce the time of the melt being in the unit and also to considerably reduce the risk of material thermal degradation. It has influenced the increase of precision and products quality stability.
Medical industry is the leader in demand for microdetails. Strict requirements for medical articles production are reflected in the clean room technology. It must be logical that the less space in the room is to be sterile the fewer technical and financial investments the manufacturer will need.
Dr. Boy offers an economical an effective alternative to expensive solutions: in the BOY 22A model the clean room is just the area of the molding process proper in the clamping unit and a packing block built under the plasticizing unit. Besides, floor space is saved too: total system’s footprint is equal to the footprint of injection molding machine only, which is 1,85 m2. Such a manufacture has another advantage: the articles produced are already in a sterile package.
The clamping unit device with cylinders is on the same side as the injection unit. It permits to find a place to set a mold in the limited area of our small clean room.
The compact solution is possible due to the two-platen cantilever clamping unit system. Air ionization device, the cast gate withdrawing device and sterile packaging unit – all these elements are compactly placed within the machine’s workspace.
Due to the concept of compact dimensions in all the stages the offered solution minimizes the investments and operational costs for this technology.
Another important thing is no need for further articles sterilization. A check test showed that equipment totally meets ISO 6 cleanliness standard.
The advantages of using small injection molding machines in the manufacture process are based on their compact dimensions. Launching a full-scale production when switching to producing a new detail becomes faster. If there are a lot of small injection molding machines instead of a large one at the manufacture, then, in case there is some trouble with the mold or the machine itself, manufacture is stopped only partly. At the same time it is possible to use different materials and colorants when producing one and the same detail on different machines. Parallel details production for further assembling to one block reduces buffer stock. Small machines are easier integrated into automated lines. All this ensures a great flexibility of the manufacture.
Manufacture efficiency remains the same even if demand for articles changes. If required, production capacities can be easily expanded. Investment risks are considerably reduced. Fewer investments are needed at the production launch stage. In this case, peak demand for articles can be met without large investment into a new production cell.
The advantages of using low tonnage injection molding machines are in the possibility of changing molds and plasticizing units without any special equipment, such as cranes.
As for articles quality, a high detail precision is achieved by using molds with fewer cavities. In case of quality failure and malfunctioning the problem will not influence the whole manufacture be confined only to a peculiar machine. Small injection molding machines can be equipped with a very sensitive and economical device for mold safety.
 Since in the small production lot manufacture molds with few cavities are used in comparison with large injection molding machines, switching to a new colour is faster and the amount of waste material is low.

Compact injection molding machines with vertical clamping units
There has been a tendency towards the automation of injection molding machines in the plastics processing industry. It requires a new modular design.
Dr. Boy molding machines with vertically arranged clamping units offer many advantages for automated production processes. In particular, the easy and ergonomic integration of peripheral equipment is a key factor here.
Dr. Boy offers a modular line for insert molding – a vertical IMM BOY 55 VV (with a  clamping force of 550 kN). The fixed  lower  platen  is suitable for  secure positioning of the inserted parts.
 Big clearances between tie bars of 360 x 335 mm allow the production of relatively large molded parts, or the use of moulds with many cavities. The maximum size of the parts is determined by the clamping force and the available size of the mould for the insert molding machine. Especially compact are molding machines BOY 22 VV, BOY 35 VV, and BOY 55 VV. The fixed lower platen, as well as large space for peripheral equipment on the machine frame offer integration facilities for further automation.
Dr. Boy conducts constant research producing technological novelties for equipping its injection molding machines. Particularly, a plasticizing unit of high wear-resistance is rather interesting. The know-how is to improve work at manufactures that use such abrasive materials as ceramics and metal powders.

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