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Keywords of this article:  injection molding 
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automotive 
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packaging 
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injection mold 
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Roth Werkzeugbau demonstrated the qualification of an IML-decorated cup with 0.4mm wall thickness at the Roth Packaging Day.
Roth Werkzeugbau demonstrated the qualification of an IML-decorated cup with 0.4mm wall thickness at the Roth Packaging Day.
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Supported by KraussMaffei and Netstal, mold manufacturer Roth Werkzeugbau held its inaugural "Roth Packaging Day" event at its testing center in Auma-Weidatal, Germany.

With more than 80 visitors attending, the event heralded the official entry into the packaging market of the German mold manufacturer.

"Since the founding of the company shortly after German reunification we have flourished in the automotive sector, which up to now has been the major source of our sales," said Marco Roth, CEO of Roth Werkzeugbau.

He went on to explain that the company had been taking an intensive look at the intricacies of packaging molds for around four years and had implemented initial projects in that area, which nonetheless proved to be a hard road for the company.

"But we have now gained enough experience to enter the market officially. This is the start of a new era for our company. In the next five to 10 years, we are looking at generating around 50% of our sales in the packaging sector," declared Roth.

According to Roth, the newly built testing center is playing a major role in implementation of the packaging strategy. "Today, customers expect more from us than just molds: we support them in making their injection molding processes more efficient. Our longstanding partnership with the KraussMaffei Group is a significant factor in this respect."

The basic machine park comprises four KraussMaffei CX and MX injection molding machines covering clamping forces of between 110-1,300 tons. All of the machines are equipped for three-component (3K) applications and with six-axis KraussMaffei robotics. The systems are used for the qualification of molds for automotive applications and thick-walled packaging products, especially reusable and logistics containers.

For extremely thin-walled packaging applications, since mid-2016 Roth has also been operating two Netstal EVOS injection molding machines with 350-550 tons of clamping force respectively.

Located between the two machines is a versatile buckling arm robot for placing In-mold Labels (IML) and removing the finished product.

In cooperation with KraussMaffei Automation, Roth has also developed a special handling solution that ideally meets the requirements of mold manufacturer testing operations and also enables short cycle times. The systems used in the Roth testing center were specially designed for versatile application in mold qualification processes.

Live demonstrations were carried out on a total of five injection molding machines during the one-day event. Test products ranged from magnets and stackable boxes used by Roth itself and popular EMSA food storage boxes, including the commensurate lids and patented thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) seals, right through to IML-decorated polypropylene (PP) cups with a wall thickness of just 0.4mm.

"At our valued partner Roth Werkzeugbau, we were able to demonstrate in practice that with our two brands KraussMaffei and Netstal we are the only injection molding machine provider worldwide that covers the entire spectrum of packaging applications with highly efficient solutions for each specific product," stated Klaus Zeiler, Head of Global Business Development at KraussMaffei.

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