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Keywords of this article:  injection molding 
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Netstal demonstrates injection compression molding on stack molds live at Fakuma 2015.
Netstal demonstrates injection compression molding on stack molds live at Fakuma 2015.

Netstal is demonstrating a new innovation, the world’s first injection compression molding on stack molds, at Fakuma 2015, with a 15oz (425g) margarine tub made from polypropylene (PP) that is manufactured with 4+4 cavities on an ELION 2800-2000 and weighs only 10.7 g.

 

The innovation is a result of close collaboration between the mold manufacturer Plastisud, the automation specialist Machines Pagès and the Swiss injection molding manufacturer Netstal, so that the injection compression molding process and the stack mold technology were brought under the same roof. The benefits are as follows:

 

- Maintain a competitive edge with injection times of 100 ms

- 99.98% synchronicity for an outstanding performance

- Reduce costs with 20% material savings

 

The cavities are partially filled in only 100 ms with extremely even results and the process is performed at a low pressure to prevent tension in the material. The high quality of the platen parallelism guarantees a synchronicity of 99.98 % between the mold, machine and automation system.

 

At the stand, it appears almost trivial at first sight to visitors. There is a slightly modified injection molding machine from the Netstal ELION Hybrid series molding margarine tubs in standard format 15oz (425 grams) with IML decoration in a cycle time of five seconds. However, on closer inspection, it turns out that the process is performed in a stack mold with 4+4 cavities.

 

"The really revolutionary thing about the whole process is hidden from view: the polypropylene packaging is not injection molded but manufactured in an injection compression molding process," explains Markus Dal Pian, Vice President, Sales & Marketing at Netstal. "This combination of injection compression molding and stack mold is a complete novelty in the industrial production of packaging."

 

A genuine innovative leap

The slightly modified Netstal ELION 2800-2000 injection molding machine appears almost trivial at first sight. 

Thomas Iten, PAC application engineer at Netstal says: “The combination of the injection compression molding process with a specially balanced stack mold is a genuine innovative leap because this configuration uncompromisingly combines the advantages of the two technologies.”

 

The fundamental benefits of injection compression molding include narrow wall thicknesses and a lighter product resulting in lower unit costs. Furthermore, the end product (lids in particular) shows fewer signs of distortion and has a greater dimensional accuracy due to the lower stresses placed on the material.

 

Meanwhile, there is a significant increase in productivity through the use of a stack mold as well as drastic reduction in material costs by up to 20%. Total flexibility in terms of shape, appearance and decoration of the manufactured part can also be achieved.

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