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The new duo 350 injection molding machine with MuCell technology package is permanently available at the Engel Technology Center in Stuttgart, Germany.
The new duo 350 injection molding machine with MuCell technology package is permanently available at the Engel Technology Center in Stuttgart, Germany.
Photo: 12

Engel Austria has recently opened a MuCell Competence Center for structural foam molding at its Germany subsidiary, Engel Deutschland Technologieforum Stuttgart.

"As a Competence Center, we are even better able to support our customers to more fully exploit the potential offered by the physical foaming process," said Claus Wilde, Managing Director at Engel Deutschland in Stuttgart. "We already have a number of major customers here in southwestern Germany who use the MuCell process in their factories worldwide."

A large manufacturing cell has been installed in the Engel Technology Center in Stuttgart for customer trials, development work, application-specific consulting, training and small-lot production.

Equipped with an ENGEL duo 350 injection molding machine with a clamping force of 3,500kN, an integrated ENGEL easix multi-axis robot and a T-200 MuCell unit from technology partner Trexel, the cell covers a broad spectrum of applications.

Before the Competence Center was opened, Engel had appointed a MuCell Technology Expert, Lukas Neunzigfor, the site. The company hosted a MuCell technology event in mid-September to celebrate the inauguration of the Competence Center, which welcomed over 120 participants.

"The great success of our event confirms the huge potential and strong demand here in the southwest," Wilde emphasized. The technology event underlined a further trend: MuCell is not just for car manufacturers. "We are receiving a growing number of inquiries from other industries as well, such as technical injection molding and medical technology."

There are two key factors leading to the growth of MuCell technology, according to Engel. First is the general lightweight trend and, second, the high quality of the components produced in the structural foam molding process.

Physical foaming involves the injection and homogeneous distribution of a blowing agent into the plastic melt during plastification. After injection into the mold, the gas separates from the melt and creates a fine-cell foam structure. In this way, significantly less material is needed to fill the cavities compared to standard injection molding and the component weight decreases.

At the same time, components produced by MuCell have proven to have high dimensional stability. Since foaming enhances the flow properties of the melt, even challenging geometries with undercuts are completely filled.

MuCell is a technology owned by US-based Trexel. As a system supplier, Engel imports the MuCell systems and manages the integration of the controls and safety aspects into the injection molding machine.

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