By Bill Bregar, Plastics News Staff
Duesseldorf, Germany -- KraussMaffei AG showed off its core strength at K 2010: technology that can combine several processes to make plastic parts.
The Munich-based company makes injection moulding machines, extruders and reaction technology equipment for processing polyurethane. Examples of all three were on display at KraussMaffei's K show booth in Duesseldorf, and officials outlined the combinations of technologies during a news conference on 27 Oct.
Ceo Dietmar Straub said the company, which includes the KraussMaffei, KraussMaffei Berstorff and Netstal brands, generated sales of about Euro 754 million ($1030 million) for fiscal 2010, which ended 30 Sept.
At K 2010, KraussMaffei displayed machines running ColorForm, SpinForm, CleanForm, CoverForm and FiberForm.
The ColorForm process, introduced at K 2010, painted parts with a high-gloss surface, inside the mould on a press running a SpinForm system, where two mould faces rotate between two injection units.
The show-floor press - an MX machine with 1000 tonnes clamping force, moulded an ABS case with a soft-touch surface of thermoplastic polyurethane finished with a high-gloss blue coating. A RimStar Nano metering system applied a polyurea coating inside the closed mould. Total cycle time was about 68 seconds.
ColorForm can completely replace conventional painting, including extra steps of pre- and post-painting work, according to Frank Peters, a member of the machinery maker's managing board.
"The ColorForm process developed by KraussMaffei is an absolute world premier," Peters said at the press conference.
In another demonstration, an all-electric AX press moulded polycarbonate LED lights encapsulated with PU - so high-pressure reaction injection moulding and injection moulding join forces. The parts are ready to assemble after four minutes - 50-90 percent faster than other methods.
In a demonstration of the FiberForm process, unformed organic sheet blanks were automatically placed in the mould, thermoformed and then back-injected with glass-fiber-reinforced nylon. An LRX 150 linear robot removed the parts, which require no trimming.
Peters said FiberForm can give weight savings of up to 20 percent from traditional structural parts. That's an important consideration for automakers under pressure to boost gas mileage, especially for electric cars, he said.