Arburg: Micro injection moulding machine for research activities at the IKV

Lossburg, (PresseBox) - .
- Presentation of machine at 27th International Colloquium Plastics Technology 2014
- Micro injection moulding with "inverse screw"
- Close cooperation between Arburg and the Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV) in Aachen

To coincide with the 27th International Colloquium Plastics Technology, the Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV) in Industry and the Skilled Crafts at RWTH Aachen University put a new electric Allrounder 270 A injection moulding machine from Arburg, Lossburg, into operation in March 2014. At the heart of this system is a micro injection moulding unit, the plasticising cylinder of which has been developed jointly by Arburg and the IKV.

The innovative plasticising unit, a so-called "inverse screw" is characterised by its special geometry. In distinction to conventional three-zone screws, the thread turns necessary for plasticising and melting the material are incorporated in the cylinder.

Micro injection moulding machine with new plasticising unit

The necessary relative movement is generated by means of an internal rotating piston. As the forces acting upon the piston are lower compared to plasticising screws, a significantly more compact plasticising system can be implemented, which is ideal for use in micro injection moulding.

In addition to a reduced dwell time of the melt in the plasticising cylinder, the injection process can be controlled more effectively due to the smaller piston diameter. The mass fluctuations can thereby be reduced and the repeat accuracy of the injection cycle improved considerably. This has a positive effect on the achievable part quality.

Influence of geometry investigated and optimised

The effectiveness of the process has been evidenced through extensive joint studies carried out by Arburg and IKV. The influence of the geometry on the achievable feed rate and the melting characteristics in particular were investigated in order to progressively optimise the geometry. With the transfer of the geometry to a commercial injection moulding machine, use in a fully-automated injection cycle and consequently the potential of the technology in industrial application is now to be demonstrated.

Joint development of new process techniques

"Joint projects of this kind drive the development of new process technologies and enable systems manufacturers like us to further enhance our competence in the field of injection moulding," explains Dr. Eberhard Duffner, Head of Development at injection moulding machine manufacturer Arburg, during presentation of the machine. Prof. Dr. Christian Hopmann, Head of the IKV concurs: "Developments such as this one in particular impressively demonstrate how important close cooperation between university research and industrial practice are for the competitiveness of companies."

About the IKV

Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV) in Industry and the Skilled Crafts at RWTH Aachen University is the largest institute in Europe dedicated to research and training in the field of plastics technology. Over 300 staff are employed there, working on issues relating to the processing of plastics and rubbers, as well as the associated materials technology and component design. The IKV's close links with industry and science, as well as its outstanding equipment, provide students with comprehensive practical training. The plastics engineers from Aachen are therefore sought-after specialists within the industry. Some 50% of German plastics engineers with a university degree studied at the IKV. The IKV is organised into the departments of Extrusion and Rubber Technology, Composites and Polyurethane Technology, Part Design and Materials Technology, as well as Injection Moulding. Moreover, the Institute also comprises the Centre for the Analysis and Testing of Plastics and the Training and Further Education department. It receives financial backing from a non-profit Association of Sponsors, to which around 250 companies from the international plastics industry now belong. The Head of the Institute and Director of the Association of Sponsors is Prof Dr Christian Hopmann. He also holds the Chair of Plastics Processing at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University.

ARBURG GmbH + Co KG

German machine manufacturer Arburg is one of the world's leading manufacturers of injection moulding machines with clamping forces between 125 and 5,000 kN. This is complemented by robotic systems, customer- and sector-specific turnkey solutions and further peripherals. An innovative additive manufacturing system developed in-house was added to the plastic processing range in 2013.

In keeping with its motto "Arburg for efficient injection moulding", the company places the topic of production efficiency at the centre of all its activities, taking into account the entire value-added chain. The objective is to enable the Arburg customers to manufacture their plastic products, whether one-off parts or high-volume production, in optimal quality and at minimum unit costs - e.g. for the automotive and packaging industries, communication and entertainment electronics, medical technology, or the white goods sector.

An international sales and service network guarantees first-class, local customer support. Arburg is represented by its own organisations at 32 locations in 24 countries and by trading partners in more than 50 countries. The machines are produced exclusively at the parent factory in Lossburg, Germany. From a total of around 2,300 employees, around 1,900 work in Germany. About 400 further employees work in Arburg's organisations around the world. In 2012, Arburg became one of the first companies to gain triple certification: to ISO 9001 (Quality), ISO 14001 (Environment) and ISO 50001 (Energy).

Further information about Arburg can be found at www.arburg.com.

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