High-precision e-xperience!

Engel is offering maximum precision for the lowest shot weights ever at the market launch of its new micro-injection unit for liquid silicone. This will be revealed at Engel’s ‘live e-xperience’ showcase from 13th to 16th October 2020. Today Engel is producing the world’s smallest precision components for the field of ophthalmology with an individual part weight of 0.0013 grams. An all-electric and tie-bar-less Engel e-motion 50/30 TL injection moulding machine, is used for this purpose. The new LSR micro-injection unit combines highest precision with maximum flexibility and cost-effectiveness.

The new LSR micro-injection unit sees Engel extend the range of applications for its injection moulding machines to include even lower shot weights. The innovation, which Engel has developed together with ACH Solution (Fischlham, Austria), enables the production of precision components made of liquid silicone rubber (LSR) with shot weights of well below 0.1 grams.

Flexible conversion

For the market launch, a 32-cavity valve gate cold runner mould will be used to produce connecting elements used in ophthalmic diagnostic instruments. The filigree parts measure 1.7 mm in length and 0.9 mm in diameter and weigh just 0.0013 grams. The all-electric and tie-bar-less Engel e-motion 50/30 TL injection moulding machine is equipped with an LSR metering pump by ACH Solution, an Engel viper 6 linear robot for micro-part removal and depositing on a conveyor belt, and a camera system for quality control – also from ACH Solution.

The focus during the development of the micro-injection unit was on a high degree of flexibility. Thanks to the quick coupling system, the unit can be exchanged for a conventional screw injection unit in less than 30 minutes to maximise the production uptime of the injection moulding machine.

Tie-bar-less for lowest unit costs

One other unique selling point of the Engel solution is the large platens of the tie-bar-less e-motion TL injection moulding machine. Since there are no tie bars in the way, the platens can be fully utilised, right up to the edge.

This means that large multiple-cavity moulds fit on comparatively small injection moulding machines, which reduces the system footprint and increases productivity per unit of area. This in turn ensures the lowest unit costs.

The target group for the tie-bar-less, all-electric e-motion TL machine in combination with the new micro-injection unit is the medical technology and the consumer electronics industry. These sectors produce very small electronic precision parts and high-quality optical components for a wide range of precision products including smartphones. Due to the trends towards electro-mobility and autonomous driving, the automotive industry will also require a larger number of micro parts made of LSR in the future. Engel will also be using the new micro-injection unit to implement multi-component processes, for example, to inject sealing elements with very small shot volumes directly onto a base body.

Virtual and interactive trade fair

Engel is setting new standards with a completely new virtual and interactive trade fair concept in a year that will not let the Fakuma show happen. Live exhibits, an online specialist congress and one-on-one meetings with familiar local contacts and other experts ensure that the Engel ‘live e-xperience’ is on a par with a physical trade fair.

Written by Philip Yorke