Molding success, company by company
Hydraulic, electric or hybrid injection molding? This is a question that wouldn't have been asked 15 or 20 years ago simply because these choices weren’t readily available. Even today, there often isn't a standard solution that fits every situation. But here’s the good news: SACMI and B&R can help!
SACMI is a multinational group that specializes in manufacturing machines and complete systems for the ceramics, packaging, food and plastics industries – markets in which they are a recognized leader worldwide. The group's strengths include their rapid implementation of innovative technologies, their standing as a well-established entity on the international market and their commitment to research and development. The SACMI Group is completely committed to always providing top quality products and services to their clients.
As a manufacturer of a wide range of machines for the plastics industry in various designs and sizes, the SACMI Group is a leader in its field. The fact that this leadership position has been maintained and reinforced over time owes much to the future-oriented, innovation-focused industrial policy practiced by the group. At present, the group's Plastics division includes the Bi-Power, Negri Bossi, BM Biraghi and Sytrama (Roboline) brands.
The Bi-Power division was recently relocated to Imola, Italy, in order to consolidate all of the processes necessary for manufacturing presses that are similar in size and design to the ceramic presses that have historically been SACMI's core business.
Key factors in the SACMI Group's success in the plastics field include technological excellence, an ongoing expansion of the product range and, above all, the ability to offer customized products that are increasingly oriented towards designing turnkey production lines that completely meet even the most varied customer requirements.
This technological excellence is perfectly exemplified by two machines that occupy different areas of the SACMI Group’s extensive range of products: the compact 60-120 ton ELEOS injection molding machine from Negri Bossi and the powerful 1,000-7,000 ton VH1000 injection molding machine from Bi-Power. Two brands, two different machines and two sizes, but both have the same B&R automation technology inside.
SACMI's entry into the plastic business actually began with the takeover of a true industry leader, Negri Bossi, a company founded in 1947 that specialized in the development, design and marketing of thermoplastic injection presses and the only company in the world to have full digital control for its entire range. Together with BM Biraghi, Negri Bossi constitutes the Injection Plastics division of the SACMI Group. As a company that has always been characterized by a strong focus on innovation and a very wide range of products, production today includes injection molding machines ranging from 50 to 7,000 tons.
Silvio Tavecchia, general manager of Negri Bossi, has this to say about the new 50-120 ton ELEOS machine series: "Usually this type of line is fully hydraulic, but collaboration with B&R has allowed us to transform this two-platen machine into an electric solution that provides huge benefits in terms of performance."
The moving platen stroke in the ELEOS machine is handled electrically using two recirculating ball screws driven by synchronous motors. Using a full electric injection unit allows precise and efficient management of injection and compression functions during the electric clamping phase.
The two-platen clamping unit made it possible to reduce the total length of the machine and do away with the lubrication system, which results in a clean internal area and allows the machine to be used for medical applications. Powered by B&R technology, ELEOS represents the natural evolution of the hydraulic EOS machine series to an electric solution.
The operator interface is a customized panel designed and manufactured by B&R especially for Negri Bossi. It features a visual design and functional layout that matches the specific requirements of these machine applications and is a perfect example of how successful collaboration resulted in a device that provides the best of both worlds: full functionality and highly recognizable branding.
A giant injection molding machine that is gentle on the environment
The Bi-Power division of SACMI has a wide range of two-platen injection molding machines with 1,000 to 7,000 tons of clamping force that manufacture high-volume molded parts destined for the automotive, packaging, domestic appliance and furniture industries.
Their biggest VH 7000 twin injection unit is able to achieve a single shot of more than 100 kg, while a new injection molding machine will be on show at this year's K exhibition in October in Dusseldorf – the VH 1000.
This new machine is hydraulically controlled using servo motors and a B&R inverter in order to improve speeds and pressure control, thus improving energy efficiency. Electric actuation of the pump also enables a demand-based variable flow rate. This saves energy, reduces heating and exhaust and cuts down on maintenance.
The B&R drives, motors, I/O modules and customized control panel employed in these machines all communicate via POWERLINK – a standardized open real-time Ethernet bus – with all of the automation components fully integrated in a unique programming environment. This complete integration and high-performance communication means more responsive systems that provide higher throughput and improve the quality of the final product.